Sunday, October 26, 2014

Snarkology Blog Hop Post! Ghosts and Great Gifts!


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Ghost of the French Opera House in New Orleans

New Orleans has a reputation for ghosts. One such ghost is known as the “Witch of the French Opera House.” She has been around for over a hundred years.

She has long, wild white hair that trails behind her on the street. Her huge eyes are red, and tears stream from them. A white shroud covers her. You wouldn't want to run into her unless you'd had a couple of hurricanes at Pat O,Brien's Bar. Then you'd be like: "Hey, girlfriend, what's up with that hair?"

In life, the ghost was supposedly an aging Madam in Storyville, who had taken a young lover. (You know, that rarely works out well.) Naturally, the younger lover found someone else. The Madam, who was heartbroken, killed herself. Of course, before she died, she vowed would return and have her revenge. Why she didn't do it before she killed herself, don't ask me. 

Then her vengeful spirit returned. (They need to do this on an episode of Supernatural.) She went to a boarding house where she broke bad and killed her former lover as well as his new ladylove. The Madam didn’t stop there. She wanted to kick ass all over the place. She allegedly killed all the occupants of the boarding house and servants as well.

Legend has it that her ghost would emerge from the French Opera House, which was located on the corner of Bourbon and Toulouse until it burned in 1919. She walked Toulouse and Royal en route to the corner of Royal and Dumaine where the boarding house once stood. Locals still claim to see her wandering down Royal, Toulouse, and sometimes St. Ann. So, if you're in the French Quarter this Halloween, keep an eye out for her!

If you love history and New Orleans, you might like my new historical romance, TO SAVE A LADY. It's a fast-paced romantic novel with lots of action, a dashing captain, a dauntless lady's maid, moonlit courtyards and a masquerades, a romance that will make you sigh, a conniving villain, terrific secondary characters, some humor, some sorrow, and even a war.

It is the first book of my French Quarter Brides series set during the Battle of New Orleans era (1814-1815). It is $2.99 and available for pre-order now on Amazon. Read the blurb and Chapter 1.



I'm giving away a beautiful black and white infinity scarf. This is the latest accessory for your black sweater. It will look beautiful wrapped around your neck, and if you're old, hey, it'll hide wrinkles! If you're a guy, you can always use it for a Christmas gift at a Dirty Santa party.

You'll have to scroll down past the Rafflecopter to reach the comment button.


Also if you want an extra entry in the drawing and want to be entered in my December drawing for a fleur de lis necklace, sign up for my newsletter. It only comes out when I have a new release so that means five years down the road....

On Monday, I may not have access to a computer until the evening, but I'll respond to your comments then.

Happy Halloween! Check out the other authors participating in this hop and enter their contests!


Enter Grand Prize Drawing a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Canon PowerShot S2 IS: No Cost Quick Fix for Blank LCD Monitor

I have a Canon S2 that I've owned for several years. This week, all the sudden, the LCD screen goes black and any photos I took were blank. Just black images when I downloaded them. From what I read online, it does cost about $150 to get this fixed. I do have another camera and I'm not interested in putting that much money into this camera due to its age. Then, I ran across a little trick that does get the camera to working again. This is not like a permanent fix or it hasn't been for my camera, but the camera does work every time I do it and sometimes I can turn the camera on and off a few times before I get the black LCD screen again. Here's what you do:

This is how my camera looks when it isn't working. 

Keep camera on. Turn the Mode Dial to TV or Auto. I've
tried both and got the same result. 
Once you've done that, you need to slide the lock forward on the
battery cover. Just enough to that it shuts off the camera. Then
you press the battery cover closed and camera restarts. 
So far each time I've done this the
camera restarts with the LCD monitor working. 

And it takes photos just like always. 

The important thing seems to be sliding the battery cover lock slightly forward enough to shut off camera and then closing it so the camera restarts. I'm not a camera expert, so I have no idea if this will work for your camera or not. It has for mine.

Of course, you can't take spur-of-the-moment photos with it, unless you have it working and don't turn the camera off. I have turned my camera off, turned it on and it works. Other times, I have to do the battery cover unlock/lock to get the monitor working. 

So, if you're not looking to spend repair money on this model, but still want to use it, maybe this will be a way you can do that! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Interview with Betty Bolte


Today, my interview guest is Betty Bolte, who writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. 

No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master’s in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Get to know her at www.bettybolte.com.

1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write using my laptop on my lap in the family room, with the TV turned on as background noise. I don’t currently have a desk where I could work, but this arrangement is comfortable, and I love old westerns for their wonderful soundtrack!

2. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Mostly read and research, but also needlework (crochet and counted cross-stitch), play my guitar, or take a long walk. Creative endeavors to help me relax and recharge. Of course, there’s always watching TV or movies with my supportive hubby, always with an eye to the story and the romance. I call it research as well!

3. What do you like most about writing?
The flexibility of where I work and when. Although I do have deadlines, some that force me to keep to the keyboard, there are also lulls when I can take a day to read and research. Or take time away to handle family obligations and needs. In other words, it’s the kind of job you can do and still have a fulfilling life.

4. What do you think makes a good story?
Strong characters who are striving to overcome some emotional hurdle to achieve their goal. Each character should have both an internal and external goal they must reach before the story ends in order to make the tale complex and satisfying.

5. What does your family think of your writing?
They are very supportive of my desire and effort to write books. However, I do occasionally get ribbed for writing “dirty books”; not that I DO! It’s the same kind of teasing I heard at work when folks found I write romances, and they called me “Dirty Betty” until I put my foot down. Just because a book contains sex does not make it porn, after all!

6. What is your guilty pleasure?
A dry gin martini with one olive after a long day. Or any day, for that matter!

7. What movie best describes your life?
The Incredible Journey, because it’s been filled with animals, caring friends and family, as well as many mountains to climb.


Emily’s Vow


Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser--a former beau--promises to recant if she will marry him.

Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.

Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer--the only man she's ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family's reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.

Amy’s Choice

Without a goodbye, Amy Abernathy's childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence. Amy chooses to pick up the pieces of her heart and leave Charles Town to help her sister who is with child.

Benjamin knows he hurt Amy, but he plans to make it up to her after his mission is completed. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he's never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from vengeful British occupation.








Social Media Links
Twitter: @BettyBolte


Monday, October 20, 2014

Win a Fleur de Lis Necklace This December



In celebration of my new series, French Quarter Brides, I'm going to give away a pretty fleur de lis necklace on December 10th, which is the day that Jesse and Elise met in TO SAVE A LADY.

Today I am at Jenna Jaxon's blog doing a cover reveal and an interview. http://bit.ly/ZLBarA

You can leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. You can leave a comment here as well for an extra entry!  And sign up for my newsletter, follow me on Twitter, or Facebook for extra entries. 

Pre-order TO SAVE A LADY 

Much more coming later!!



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Friday Spotlight and Giveaway: Jesse's Find by P. A. Estelle

Today, I am spotlighting Penny Estelle's new release, Jesse's Find, a historical western romance. Love a short read with great reviews? I do. I already bought a copy. Buy Here!
Please leave a comment to win your choice of Penny's books! 




Jesse Mason is bone tired and just miles from home when a strange sound drifting with a Kansas wind catches his ear. 


He spies something hiding in the tall grass.  His temper sizzles at the sight of a horse, dead from exertion, and is ready to string up the cowboy that has done this. What Jesse finds is no cowboy at all, but a woman who has been shot and an infant, both, he fears will not make it to his home alive.

Jesse didn’t ask for this, but he knew he couldn’t turn his back on them.  What he didn’t know was somebody wanted that woman dead and didn’t care who else had to die to get that job done.



Excerpt

            “Whoa, Bell,” he said, pulling the reins up tight, sitting high on the seat of the buckboard, listening.  All he could hear was the low moan of the wind.  As far as Jesse Mason could see, waist high grasses whipped about.  The man removed his hat, tilting his head, trying to hear the faint sound that kept drifting by.
            “Hell,” he muttered.  “I’ve been driving this wagon two days.  I’m hearing things.”  Jesse snapped the reins again.  “Come on Belle.  We’ll be home soon enough.”
            The wind picked up even more and Jesse put on his jacket, pulling the collar up to protect his neck and ears.  It was late September and the wind had a bite.  Unexpectedly, the horse threw her head up, dancing a bit to the left.  “What the hell is wrong with you, Belle?”  Jesse was taken by surprise at the sudden movement.  There it was again.  He knew he heard it that time.
            Standing, Jesse drew his gun from his holster.  Slowly scanning the area, his eyes lit on something not too far from the wagon, lying in the grass.  He jumped down; making his way over see what was there. 
            It was a horse, a dead horse.  The hair on its sides and neck were stiff from lather from hard riding.  Anger burned through him.  This horse had been run to death.  Someone should be strung up for this.  Trampled grass, like somebody dragging something, was headed south.  Following the trail and crouching when something caught his eye.  Jesse didn’t breathe, his gun poised, ready for whatever was there.  Nothing moved. Inching forward, he saw a burlap bag.
            Cautiously, he opened the bag and dumped the contents.  Jesse felt an uneasy feeling way down in the pit of his stomach.  Squares of cotton and linen scattered and caught on the prairie grass.  Cans of milk, along with baby bottles, rolled in the wind, while baby blankets and clothes tried to fly away.  He hurried to put everything back, losing a few of the squares. 
            Jesse didn’t have to go much further before finding the son-of-a-bitch who had killed the horse.  A man lay a few feet away; face down, and a brown duster spread wide, covering his whole body.    Squatting down with his gun pointed at the cowboy, Jesse took hold of the man's arm and pulled him onto his back.  Mouth agape, Jesse stood staring at a cascade of auburn hair that covered a girl’s face. She wore a brown dress with the top half torn off.
            Lying next to her was an infant that couldn’t be more than a month old. 


From the author: 

I would really like to thank Patricia for allowing me to barge in on her blog today.  Jesse’s Find is my second historical western romance.  I also have Revenge, The Cowboy way, a novel that was released in April.

Also, under my belt, are a few contemporary romances, a paranormal romance, and a family drama.

I started my career in writing children’s (middle grade) stories - from fantasies (Hike Up Devil’s Mountain) to time travel adventures (The Wickware Sagas).

To find out more about my stories, or myself,  please check out the following links.


If you are interested in getting information on my new releases, please sign up for my newsletter @ http://eepurl.com/388Xr

I would love to offer one commentator an eBook of any stories I have written as a thank you!  Thanks so much for stopping!

Please leave your email in the comment so we can get in touch with you. We will have a drawing next Friday!

Happy Weekend! 


Friday, October 3, 2014

Fun Friday's Meet the Author: Barbara Donlon Bradley

Today, I'm hosting Sci-Fi Romance writer, Barbara Bradley. She has taken on the challenge of answering five fun question for this Friday!

1. How are you going to celebrate Halloween?

My birthday is the day before so more than likely after handing out Halloween candy me and the hubby will go out to dinner and celebrate the anniversary of my ummm what number to pick so I don’t sound so old...40th? Birthday?

You know what they say: Life begins at 40, so party all night!

2. When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you react? 

Oh that depends. Most of the time a few choice swear words and an evil look as I pass them before I shake it off.

3.  You’ve just been handed a one-way ticket to where? 

Ireland. I’ve always wanted to go there. See where my family came from. Study the rich history of the Emerald Isle.

4. If you could time-travel, where would your first stop be? 

I’d probably go see myself while I was in college. I had a chance to buy into HBO when it was young but didn’t. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to change that?

5. What is the one thing you hate to do? 

I hate doing laundry. The washing, the drying the putting away  - yuck! I have lots of clothes so I don’t have to do laundry that often.

Roger that!! Okay, readers, go buy some of Barbara's books so she can buy more clothes and never have to do laundry!! 


 Stolen Desire by Barbara Donlon Bradley
Released July, 2014 from Phaze Books
Sci-fi Romance, Paranormal/Shifters
 
eBook
978-1-60659-806-1
$5.99

Paperback
978-1-60659-807-8
$12.95

When Heather is confronted with her time traveling self she fears the worse. The woman came to warn them of a terrible accident but something isn’t right. The visitors her future self says are there to help only wants to kidnap her and kill her mate.
Using her mind she tries to protect her friends and family. Yet she wakes up as a prisoner after seeing the ship Storm is in blow up. She is now alone, and trapped. Somehow she has to figure out a way home and hopefully reverse all the horrible things that have taken her family from her.

Buy:

Excerpt
Heather sighed as she opened her eyes and stretched. Before she could move she felt a warm hand on her breast.
“I see you’re awake.” Storm’s breath brushed against her cheek.
She looked up at her mate, who had a knowing smile on his face. “And I see you are awake too.” She was referring to the erection pressed against her hip.
“True, but I can’t help it when I have such a wonderful partner lying beside me.” Storm nibbled against her throat. “We still have time before we need to be anywhere.”
“Why didn’t you wake me earlier?” She smiled as he settled himself between her thighs. “You could have had all the time you want if you had.”
“Because the twins aren’t allowing you to get enough sleep yet. I don’t mind watching you sleep when I know you need it. It gives me time to appreciate having you in my life.” He dipped his head to her mark. “And waking you up this way is an anticipation I look forward to. I don’t mind stretching that out a little.”
“Because you know what will happen when I wake.”
“That is the best part.”
She felt him smile against her neck as he pulled the soft tissue of her mark into his mouth before he worked his way down her body.
“You are incorrigible.”
“And that is why I’m your heart.” His tongue lathed her nipple before drawing the tip into his mouth. She arched up against him and he slipped his hands under her.
A growl escaped him when they were interrupted by the computer system. “Heather, you have a communiqué from Admiral Barrister.”
She sighed again. This time in frustration. What did he want now?
“The last time he contacted us you ended up being whipped.” Storm blew against the tip before he climbed back up her body. “I’m inclined to not let you answer him.”
“Storm, I’m still part of Earth’s security.” She looked up at him, his face only inches above hers. “I can’t ignore him.”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halloween Decorations: Backyard Cemetery

Autumn is one of my favorite season. I love decorating with warm, fall colors and Halloween is such a terrific time to have some fun with yard decor.


On the Money Crashers, they have a terrrific article on DIY Halloween Decorations by Angela Colley.

My favorite is the Backyard Cemetery. They are fun! Plus you can get great ideas for a spooky headstones at old cemeteries in your area. Plus, if you love to take photos like me, you'll find some great material for creating Halloween photos. 

1. Backyard Cemetery
halloween rip cemeteryThis classic Halloween decoration idea turns your yard into a creepy cemetery. Use reclaimed materials to create a free graveyard. To create your haunted cemetery, cut different shapes out of cardboard and paint them to look like aging tombstones. Once they dry, you can arrange them on the lawn to look like a miniature graveyard.
You can also use the tombstones to denote a haunted pathway for trick-or-treaters. As they approach your front door, they have to pass by the tombstones, making for a thrilling Halloween nighttime walk.
Directions
  1. Flatten several shipping boxes.
  2. Use a Sharpie to draw tombstone shapes. I made a few rectangular, cross, and oval tombstones to give my graveyard some variety.
  3. Cut the shapes out of with a pair of scissors.
  4. Paint the shapes a dark grey and allow the paint to dry.
  5. Once dry, add on sayings like “R.I.P” to the front of each tombstone. Glue a wood or plastic yard stake to the back of the tombstone and plant it into the ground.
By using real wood, you can partially waterproof the tombstones, so they last for more than one Halloween season. The project works best if you use thin pieces of composite wood, which you can buy at any home improvement store. The thin pieces are easier to cut and stand up better in the grass.
Check out the rest of decorating ideas at Money Crashers: Click here
Have fun!!!