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Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic JOY, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about JOY for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


Filled with a freeness, a joy Miller hadn’t felt in years—hell, maybe never—he reached out and wrapped both his big hands around Laura’s waist, stilling her. Time froze as their gazes locked.

Claire Gem


Everyone else had scattered and left with hungry stomachs, but Susan and I would enjoy the exquisitely prepared meal.

Joanne Guidoccio


“I lived for your daily posts, and I couldn’t wait to see what you’d been doing, where you’d been. Some days that’s the only thing that brought me joy after I’d lost faith in the world around me.”

Stephanie Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


She didn’t know what it was about this man who hadn’t cared for her when they first met—nor she for him—but she enjoyed being around him. He always made her believe he’d keep the bad stuff at bay.

Marsha West


Rafe’s words broke apart as if there wasn’t room in his voice for all the laughter and happiness. “There aren’t enough stars in the skies to match the I love yous in my heart.”

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


She wadded up a piece of paper and threw it, expertly hitting his pride and joy—his ball cap.

Jacquie Biggar


Quin felt sick. The joy of their new relationship was being derailed by AJ’s loyalty and concern for his best friend.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


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Keeping Cool…On a Budget!

At least once each summer, I treat myself to a Dairy Queen banana split. And each time, I try not to gasp at the “new” price . In 2017, a DQ banana split costs $7.00 (CDN). Like everything else, Dairy Queen treats have risen in price.

Glancing at the menu board, I mentally calculated the minimum and maximum amounts a family of four could easily spend on a Dairy Queen excursion. If they all selected banana splits, the cost would be $28.00 (CDN). Four small dipped cones would ring in at $12.60 (CDN). These expenses could add up if summer temperatures soar and humidity levels become unbearable.

While there aren’t too many substitutes for a DQ® Peanut Buster® Parfait, Buster® Bar or Blizzard®, it is possible to create reasonable facsimiles of DQ sundaes and banana splits at home.

 Here are ten of my favorite homemade sundaes:

Oranges ‘n’ Sherbet: Place two scoops of orange sherbet in a dish, cover with orange juice, and decorate with slices of mandarin oranges.

Vanilla Vamp: Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a dish, cover with chocolate syrup, sprinkle with chopped nuts, and top with a maraschino cherry.

Coco Delight: Place one scoop of vanilla and one scoop of chocolate ice cream in a dish, cover with whipped cream, and sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut.

Maple Delight: Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a dish, cover with maple syrup, sprinkle with granola, and decorate with shredded coconut.

Caffeine Boost: Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a dish, cover with strong black coffee, top with whipped cream, and decorate with grated chocolate.

Strawberry Dream: Place two scoops of strawberry ice cream in a dish, cover with strawberry sauce, and top with whole fresh strawberries.

Fruity Vanilla: Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a dish and cover with fruit cocktail in syrup. Add whipped cream and top with a maraschino cherry.

Hawaiian Delight: Place two scoops of frozen vanilla yogurt in a dish and surround with pineapple and kiwi slices. Top with coconut.

Superfood Sundae: Place two scoops of frozen chocolate yogurt in a dish, surround with blueberries or blackberries, and top with chopped almonds, and ground flax seed or chia seeds.

Banana Split: Cut a banana in half lengthwise and place in a dish. Cover with any of the above sundae recipes.

Note: If you have dietary concerns, substitute frozen yogurt, fresh fruits, and chopped nuts for the ice cream and toppings.

Any other suggestions for cool treats…Please share!

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic EXCITEMENT, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about EXCITEMENT for a great start to the week. Enjoy!

 


For the first time Quin’s feeling of excitement was colored with a tinge of dread.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


But Laura was shaking her head slowly from side to side, that glint of mischief piquing Miller’s excitement even more. “I want you here,” she whispered.

Claire Gem


I watched the changing expressions on her face as she tried to show sympathy for her husband. But all I could see was radiance and hidden excitement.

Joanne Guidoccio


You were both bareback, and looked like a couple of free spirits galloping through the snow, laughing as it flew up around you. I was certain I could see your eyes flashing with excitement.

Kathryn Jane


Mia excitement bubbled over into Jake.

Marian Lanouette


Andie smiled, trying to contain the excitement of her brother coming around to help. She was committed to the adventure without him, but what was the fun in that?

Stephanie Taylor
Shutter (work in progress)


“Oh, I’m so sorry. My excitement ran away with me and I haven’t let either of you get a word in.” She leaned back. “Your turn.”

Marsha West


When Samantha used Juliet’s silver combs to attach the veil trimmed with the same lace, she felt like a bride. Always and forever.

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


“S-swell.” I suppose I could show more excitement about this thrilling opportunity. After all, Trixie had performed way beyond the normal call of duty for a friend.

Vicki Batman


“The baby’s head is crowning,” he gasped, the mask sucking in and out with his words, eyes shining with fear and excitement.

Jacquie Biggar


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To Be or Not to Be – doobie doobie doo

author 100 x 100When I was in tenth grade, high school curriculum mandated we study “Romeo and Juliet.” So we read and discussed the play, and although I did well on that particular unit, I didn’t get it. I felt as if I’d missed something in the writing. romeo and juliet

Then the teacher showed us the movie version. Click. Like big time click. I understood what I’d been missing-the interpretation, the setting, the whole enchilada. Shakespeare was meant to be heard and watched, not necessarily read. Although I am not an auditory learner, his works made much more sense to me through this medium.

For many years, I have gone to Shakespeare in the Park. (It does help the venue is close-by.) We go with friends and family, pack a picnic, bug spray, and our comfy folding chairs. Sometimes, even in July, we need a light sweater after sunset.

This troupe does a particularly good job of performing one comedy and one tragedy each season which lasts about six weeks. They add songs, dance numbers, set and dress in different eras. I truly hate to miss. This quote from “The Merry Wives of Windsor” tickled Handsome and me, “One. Two. Third.” I don’t know if Shakespeare wrote it, but it worked.

shakespeare

What’s your stance on Shakespeare? Love? Hate?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Although I’m not Shakespeare, I am a writer and am writing a funny holiday story with those names. LOL. Here’s a tease:

Once I’d determined he couldn’t see or hear me, I rubbed my bruised side and turned on Melissa. “Did you have to hurt me?”

“Oh my goodness, Julianne, it’s not like I gave you a broken rib. You were beginning to sound like a lovesick cow.”

“Me? Not hardly.”

“Was, too. Or a lovesick Juliet. Moooooo.”

“Your bovine imitation is sorely lacking.” I shoved my fists to my hips. “Didn’t you just say I might meet my true love on the ship?”

“Yes, but I didn’t mean Romeo. Anyone but him.”

“Right.”

Find me and other funny stories at: Author Central

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic TREPIDATION, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about TREPIDATION for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


I gave in to Doctor Barnes and went in for a check-up last week. I figured he’d tell me to get some vitamins or something.

Jacquie Biggar


This woman had never shown trepidation. She was always the first to scurry up a ladder or rappel down the side of a building.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


When Miller turned and studied the long, narrow, barely foot-tall basement windows, the trepidation in his eyes was palpable, and terrifying.

“Let’s get you out of here,” he said solemnly.

Claire Gem


So it was an act. Underneath his calm exterior burned something else, possibly more passionate, and Susan was afraid of poking that smoldering interior.

Joanne Guidoccio


Tingling began in her fingertips and moved up her arms, colors danced and sparkled before her eyes, and a great weight lay on her chest. She couldn’t get air.

Kathryn Jane


It wasn’t like Captain McGuire to stall but that’s exactly what he was doing at the moment.

Marian Lanouette


He’d never be her equal, especially crouched down and hiding, fearful the police would find him.

Stephanie Taylor
Shutter (work in progress)


Thank God, she could deal with anger. The other emotions left her weak and vulnerable.  Vulnerable. She could not, would not be vulnerable.

Marsha West


A doe watched Rafe from the edge of the woods. With delicate legs poised to run and brown wary eyes, the deer reminded him of Juliet.

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


However, how many people were interviewed by the police twice in their lifetime? I prepared myself to handle this one with some trepidation due to the interviewer, Detective Wellborn.

Vicki Batman


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Word Search 2

Last month I posted on my own blog about Overused Words, finding those buzzards, and whacking them out.  I think it was Kathryn Jane who suggested perhaps this would make a good topic for our SOS blog. So, here we go with some repetition, but also new material.

As I worked on the last parts of editing for ACT OF BETRAYAL, Book 3 The Second Chances Series (which will be my 6th published book has now gone to my editor. WhooHoo!), I bore down on searching out overused words.

My original list of 45 words came from Margie Lawson, an awesome writing teacher. She’s the first person who suggested to me perhaps we overuse certain words in our writing. My list has grown to approximately 75 words and phrases. As I used Margie’s list, I stumbled on new words I overused in different books.

I don’t remember which book, but, Sounds good… or Sounds like…became my favorites and I used those words 150 times. In my recent search of ACT OF BETRAYAL, I didn’t use the phrase at all. 0 Times. Rewarding, I’m telling you.

img_4901There is, There are, There’s are commonly over used phrases. I had a total of 25 combined and reduced them to 5. Why don’t we want to use those words? Because this phrasing “There are sweet smelling flowers in the garden.” isn’t as active as saying “Flowers fill the garden with their sweet scent.”

Here are other commonly overused words:

well, somewhat, mused, a bit/a little, in order to, by means of, for the most part, as a matter of fact, and so on and so forth, watch, see, gave, although, almost, some, however, and somewhat.

I didn’t use any of these words in ACT OF BETRAYAL, though I used to generously sprinkle them throughout my books. After checking the word search, I take great pride in writing a zero by the word on my list. Do you wonder why I leave them on the list if I’ve stopped using them? Partly because of the good feeling I get when the zero pops up and partly because I don’t want to fall back into bad habits.

What about words while I’m writing get by me?

So went from 180 to 37

That went from 340 to 69. In previous books, I had improved on the overuse of this word but for some reason, I went back to using the word in grammatically correct phrases, but where the word isn’t needed. Here’s an example from the third paragraph above: She’s the first person who suggested perhaps we overuse certain words in our writing. I originally wrote the sentence this way:  She’s the first person who suggested that perhaps we overuse certain words in our writing. As I typed, I backed up and removed “that.” One of those grammatically correct usages, but not necessary for a reader to get the content.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00075]

I’ve improved on many overused words.

Really only showed up 27 times. I got it down to 9. I wrote very 27 times and got it to 1. My most favorite word is just. I think, breath and speak this word. Even consciously working to keep it out, it showed up 155 times. I reduced just to 9 times. “Sometimes” you “just” “really” need to use “just.” LOL

Headed and pushed were both 27 and went to 5 & 4. I’ve cut back significantly on these words. I use “headed” for a car or a person moving.

How do I do the switch. I delete the word, but more often I find a substitute or a totally different way of saying what I mean.  Here are examples from ACT OF BETRAYAL:

Do you want to come by?” Would you like to come by?

So, what is it you don’t want me to know, Mom?” What are you afraid for me to find out, Mom? (I’d used want 154 times in the ms! Got it down to 53.)

She told Liz to hold all her calls, set the fifty-page document on her desk, and slid on her reading glasses. She told Liz to hold all her calls, set the fifty-page document on her desk, and popped on her reading glasses. Slid went from 32 to 6.

A tear slipped out of one eye and slid down her cheek. A tear slipped out of one eye and trickled down her cheek. (Slid and slipped are almost interchangeable. One of the issues to watch for is changing one overused word for another.)

We’ll be eating in a few minutes. We’ll be eating in less than five minutes. Few went from 32 to 11.

She grabbed her purse… She slung her purse over her shoulder.

She grabbed hold of the back of the nearest chair… She reached for the back of the nearest chair, missed…

Devon let go of Brett’s arm, making an attempt to stand on her own, but the room tilted and she grabbed hold again. Devon let go of Brett’s arm, attempting to stand on her own, but the room tilted and she clutched his arm again.

I’m getting my ID. I’m reaching for my ID.

Are we getting close? How close are we?

No getting out of this. No avoiding this.

I love the word “getting.”! LOL

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00008]

Why do we fall into the habit of using these words? When we begin, we’re writing the story, “getting” it on the screen. Then we rewrite and fix story line issues. Using, just, very, few…these are all ways we talk in everyday life, but reading these words slow down the story. As writers, it’s important to keep readers turning those pages.

Do you have favorite words you use a lot? Have any of you used, “you know,” the great filler from the 70s. If you’re an author do you do a word search like this? As a reader, are these things you notice when reading? If you’d like a copy of my 75 words and phrases, let me know and I’ll send you one. Love to hear from you.

4 Years ago on July 29 my first book released. In honor of that anniversary, I’m running a 99 Cent Sale for both VERMONT ESCAPE and TRUTH BE TOLD. Appreciate your sharing the news. 

Please sign up for my Newsletter http://eepurl.com/bBcimz , contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com , and follow me on my social media sites.

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic CELEBRATION, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about CELEBRATION for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


Since this one is extra special, I would like to take you to dinner sometime soon and really celebrate. Love, Allan

Vicki Batman


“Trust soldier-boy to get here in time for the glory,” he chortled. “Come in and meet your daughter, man. Congrats.”

Jacquie Biggar


On the reservation when a man and woman decide to wed, a ceremony is scheduled, the couple marries, they have a celebration then they have sex. Simple.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


“That’s right. Let’s celebrate,” Deidre said, lifting her glass. “To your coming home. A new job, and a new life.”

Laura hesitated, meeting her father’s tired gaze as they clinked glasses.

Claire Gem


First, we had to get through tonight’s dress rehearsal for Monday’s grand opening. David and Susan would prepare a special meal for five of my closest friends and me.

Joanne Guidoccio


Jake couldn’t figure out if he wanted to celebrate or punch someone out.

Marian Lanouette


Another big win tonight, and I couldn’t hold off my teammates any longer. I finally agreed to come out and celebrate with them. It was better than the alternative, a quiet lonely home.

Stephanie Taylor
Sharp Blades  (work in progress)


Whoo Hoo! I’m a storeowner.” Everyone laughed. “Please come over to Crystal Rainbows for the official celebration.”

Marsha West


Every family from the Isle had shown up at Boudreaux’s with food and coolers filled with sweet tea and beer, offering congratulations and, in their own way, forgiveness and acceptance.

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


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Favorite Authors

by Kathryn Jane

Have you ever attended the RWA National Conference?

I’ve been twice, RWA2014, and RWA2016, but I won’t be there this year because, well, reality. Between airfare, accommodation, and conference registration it would cost this Canadian about three grand, and that’s almost three month’s rent!

But as we slip into July, and the buzz has begun, I find myself thinking about my “best” conference moments.

It’s an incredible feeling to be in the same room as the authors you’ve been reading for years. Authors who have moved you to tears, made your heart swell with happiness, or perhaps inspired you.

I am grateful:

For laughter with Sam, AJ, Beverly, Stephanie, and Debi.

For time spent with Loreth and Toni.

For finally meeting my Sisterhood of Suspense peeps in person.

For the first ever meeting of the Seasoned Romance group.

For the incredible fangirl moments when I nearly brushed elbows with Roxanne St Claire, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis.

For the privilege of sitting in a room jammed to the roof with fans listening to Nora Roberts speak candidly about writing–a gracious, and down to earth woman, with a voice I could listen to all day.

I absolutely love that she breaks the rules of writing, and does it so perfectly we don’t notice or care. I reread The Bride Quartet, and The Chesapeake Bay trilogy (plus one), at least once a year.

And I’m addicted to her JD Robb In Death series. It’s 45 books long now, and yep, I reread it at least once a year because I absolutely love Eve Dallas and Roarke, and all the other characters.


So what about you? What are you grateful for?

Are you going to Nationals?

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you like to meet? Listen to?

Do you reread books? Series? Which ones?


Award winning author, Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.



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Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic FREEDOM, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about FREEDOM for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


With his wrists in cuffs, Rafe ran both hands over his shorn head. He craved water, a pain pill, and freedom.

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


If I delivered the burgers to Mom and made for the restroom, then grabbed a gift bag and passed through the breezeway gate around the garage to the alley…freedom.

Vicki Batman


 

His dad died without ever tasting freedom again, and Jason had to live with the black pit of his guilt.

Jacquie Biggar


“AJ, I don’t want to change who you are. I would never stifle your spirit, take your independence, or hamper your freedom. Those are the things that make you who you are.”

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


Learning today that Angie and Miller had been over—really over—for at least the past several months was freeing.

Claire Gem


She needed her creature comforts. And so did I. But I suspect that must have irked a free spirit like David who craved his freedom and the Mediterranean sun.

Joanne Guidoccio


Deep down he was afraid the old DNA samples somehow wouldn’t match and would set free the man he knew killed his sister Eva.

Marian Lanouette


“Land of the free and the home of the brave,” I sang along with my teammates and the energized hockey crowd.

Now I was ready to kick some ass.

Stephanie Taylor
Sharp Blades  (work in progress)


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