Monthly Archives: April 2015

Social Media and You – Ask Alice Saturday

Question: What’s the most important thing to know about Social Media?Social Media image

Answer: The most important thing about Social Media and You is this. Your Presence there. Your Presence is how you Present yourself. The nature of that Presence should be a conscious – even a calculated choice.

Ask yourself this crucial question. How is it in my best interests to be seen? That means you must first ask yourself another question. Why am I on social media? What do I NEED to get out of being there? That was two questions. I know. So sue me.

Case in point. My last snarky comment – “So sue me” – might be out of sync with the way I want/need to be seen – the Presence I intend to Present. I’m on the internet mostly as a book author. I want to attract people to me. In turn I hope they’ll be attracted to my books.

I want/need to be likable/approachable/pleasant. Somebody you’d enjoy a chat with. Snark may not accomplish those ends. Snark could turn some people off and I must think about that. The point is that I must be what we now call Intentional about such choices.

You should be Intentional too. You might ask “Why bother?” And I would answer “Because of visibility.”

Social media isn’t a peephole only accessible to your chosen friends and followers. Social media is an unbelievably wide picture window. All it takes is Google and your name for anybody and everybody to look through that window at you.

They may be casual browsers or prospective employers or potential consumers of your work. What they see through the world wide web window is the Presence you Present. So you must think very seriously about what you want and need that Presence to be.

If you want/need to be seen as a political firebrand – or any brand of firebrand – rant away. If you want/need to be seen as a sex pot – vamp away. I’ve got no dog in your fight. I’m just advising you to make a savvy and considered choice regarding what breed your dog will be.

Social media as I see it isn’t a come-as-you-are party. It’s a come-as-best-suits-your-agenda party. Is that manipulative? You can bet your pugilistic pooch it is. Oops! Was that me being snarky again? Must be that’s an aspect of the Presence I intend to Present.

RR

 My next story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Launching with summer on June 22nd at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and it is full to the brim with the Presence I intend to Present.  Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

Home Is Where the Heart Is – Riverton Road Monday

Riverton Road SeriesIn my adult life I’ve done a lot of what the English refer to as “moving house”. I can’t blame my birth family for my restless spirit and its long-time quest for something new wherever I happen to be. They lived in the same house from the time I was six months old until I left for college. Once the possibility of selling our gray-shingled bungalow was simply mentioned and I cried my eyes out for days.

What is Home anyway? We talk a lot about it. We’re forever searching for one or running away from one or missing one so much we’re stricken with Homesickness. All of which is pretty intense. We’re never lukewarm about home. We either burn to be there or yearn to get away. Anywhere that falls short of that kind of passion for us is just a resting spot. A temporary stopping-off point on the road to our heart’s true destination.

That’s part of what fascinates me about Mark Kalli and Hailey Lambert in A Year of Summer Shadows. They are and always have been Home in terms of the town they live in at least. The town of Riverton, New York. Mark was born and raised on Riverton Road at Kalli Corner in the same homestead with only a few years away for college. But in this story – his story and Hailey’s – Mark finds his own restlessness. To find his own new heart place near Kalli Corner and Riverton but separate from it too.

Hailey’s relationship to home has a more complicated past. As a child home was two places. Her family’s place and her friend Julia’s more stately Hargate House until that went sour.  Her father died soon afterward and her mother lost her bearings. Hailey didn’t feel at home again until she returned to Riverton after her own college years. She’s lived by herself ever since and would be content to go on doing so if not for the confusion Mark Kalli has become and the danger Julia’s reappearance brings.

What remains constant about Home for Mark and Hailey is their love of Riverton. I love Riverton too. The details of this town aren’t just the specifics of Mark and Hailey’s heart place. They’re the specifics of the heart place of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series.  Riverton, New York isn’t only where the stories happen. It is another character in the stories themselves. Riverton’s as real to me as the people who live there and the struggles they go through. And Riverton grows more real with each story of this good town where bad things can and do happen.

Riverton is more than the home of Mark and Hailey and all the rest. It’s the heart of this series because we grow to care more about the place as we travel through each struggle and adventure that erupts there. As we care more the place becomes more real to us. Until – at least in our imaginations – Riverton evolves into a town we can also call Home. I know that’s true for me. After a lot of moving house – when I roam through the streets and mysteries of Riverton I’m Home.

 RR

 My next story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Available May 15th at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and a home for your heart as well as mine.

 Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com

 

 

A Handsome Hunk of Beef – Orr What? Wednesday

A Recipe for Writers (But civilians can try it too)

Jonathan fixes the fence - small imageThis is my husband Sweet Jonathan – foxy at the fence. The recipe is one of his favorite dishes other than me of course. I can smell it slow cooking now. Set up in the early a.m. so I can simply flip the switch later on. In between – because I’m a writer – I compose a sexy scene. Handwritten for a more sensual experience.

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 3 pound bottom round roast (or another cut if you prefer).
  • 1 large onion peeled and cut in half-inch slices
  • 1 ½ tsp. each cinnamon, paprika, garlic powder.
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 cup beef broth or bouillon

Instructions:

  • Mix together cinnamon, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Wash beef in water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub beef all over with cinnamon etc. mix.
  • Heat olive oil in skillet to sizzling. Brown beef on all sides 2 minutes per side.
  • Place onion slices in a layer to cover the bottom of your crockpot/slow cooker.
  • Place browned beef on top of onion slices.
  • Combine onion soup mix with broth or bouillon.
  • Pour over beef in crockpot/slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for 6 hours.
  • [Optional – Add peeled potatoes and carrots cut in large chunks halfway through cooking time.]

This is an author-easy recipe that pleases all the senses with its deep dark aroma – juicy tender texture – reassuring sizzle – and rich reddish-brown color. Plus it tastes delicious. At least that’s what my own handsome hunk (see photographic evidence) Sweet Jonathan thinks. Try it on somebody you love soon and please let me know what they think of this Recipe for Writers.

 GOOD NEWS!!!This post is part of the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop. Which means there’s a prize in store. A free copy of the ebook version of A Wrong Way Home for one lucky person who leaves a comment on this post. So Comment Away and Win a Read.  Alice

RR

A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1

Going home can be dangerous…

Kara Cartwright returns to her hometown the same night Anthony Benton is murdered. But she doesn’t know anything about that. She only knows she vowed never to come back to Riverton, New York or to see Matt Kalli – the man she once loved and still lusts for.

Matt has made a vow of his own. He’ll never forgive Kara, the woman who loved him then betrayed him nine years ago. And he can’t forgive himself for the way she’s stuck in his heart – and in other parts of his body too.

All these two have in common is sexual attraction and their hatred of Anthony Benton. Now Benton’s dead and people they care deeply about are suspects. That gives Matt and Kara something else in common – a dangerous search for the real killer before he murders again.

A Wrong Way Home is Book #1 in The Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family & others who find safety & a warm welcome at Kalli Corner on Riverton Road. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book #2 in the series and launches on May 15th.

 

Hello & Goodbye to the Victim – Riverton Road Monday

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Mark & Hailey’s Story – Riverton Road Series – Book 2  Contemporary Romantic Suspense

 Finley Yates

 A Year of Summer Shadows - Final Cover -JPG file smallFinley Yates was bigger in bulk than he was in character. He’d have said that about himself with a sneering laugh, but he wasn’t sharp enough mentally to think that way. He wasn’t ashamed of the kind of man he was either. Finley didn’t bother himself with useless feelings like shame or guilt.

“Why waste your head on crap like that,” he’d say.

Finley had enough to do just carrying around a body that could fill up a closet or maybe even half of a small room. He preferred planting himself in a sitting position as much as possible, and once he got into that position he wasn’t going to use up his time or energy worrying about useless crap. He was going to put his feet up and let the punks around him do the worrying.

Finley really didn’t like to bother with dragging himself out of doors after dark on a night like this, or any other night for that matter. It might be summer, but he’d rather be indoors in his oversized chair, taking a load off in front of the TV. The news guy had been bragging about how beautiful the temperature was, but Finley didn’t care a rat’s behind about that.

Those weather jerks got all worked up about summer because this place was so far north in New York State it was almost Canada. Any weather that wasn’t a blizzard was news in this town. Summer went into winter, bang, just like that, so you hardly got to notice any fall. Still, Finley wasn’t going to send up fireworks just because it was warm outside for a change.

Besides, it wasn’t that warm tonight. Whose idea was it to meet outdoors anyway? Not Finley’s, that’s for sure. He had more sense than to come up with crap gangster movie stuff like having everybody get together in a parking lot late at night. He’d been in on enough left side of the law deals to know most of these meet-ups happened in barrooms.

He’d love to be in a barroom right now. The Tick Tock Tavern was his favorite. It was so loud in there nobody’d be able to listen in on what they were saying or anything else. At the Tick Tock, he’d be tossing back a shot with a cold beer to wash it down. Instead, he was out here messing around in a parking lot on the back end of town.

This is what happens when you do business with amateurs. You end up dragging yourself outside on a damp night, thirsty for a beer and a bump, shuffling through gravel, stepping in who knows what. He’d just as soon take off out of here right now, and he might do that. Except then he wouldn’t get the money.

A grin cut a crease across Finley’s lumpy face, and for half a minute he stopped thinking about all the stuff he didn’t like about tonight. What he did like was the money. Lots of it, in his own damned hand pretty damned soon now. He was getting a kick out of the thought of that so much he didn’t notice the low rumble of an engine at first, off to his right.

You’d think a guy like Finley would get a tipoff from somebody when the big one was coming his way. Small time connected was all he’d ever been, but connected all the same, and that meant he had ways of knowing what was going down. From day one, he’d been real careful too and never let his guard down like he was doing right now for a minute or two.

That’s all it takes to do you in sometimes. A minute or two. He’d tell you that himself, if he had time left to tell anybody anything. Maybe it was because of it being amateurs he was dealing with. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t paying tiptop attention tonight.

The bottom line is this. Finley didn’t figure out what was happening soon enough to save himself. By the time he heard the car engine and wondered why he wasn’t seeing any headlights to go with it, his ticket was punched for good.

He didn’t really feel it happen either. The bumper caught him from the side, aimed square and hard enough to knock him down flat so fast he almost didn’t feel a thing.

“What in hell’s going on here?”

That was the last thing he asked himself before the car barreled all the way over him and put him under so far he didn’t mind that in the next minute the engine revved again and the tires screeched into a tight turn then headed back at high speed toward the spot where the bloody, fleshy layers of Finley Yates lay waiting.

 RR

 My next story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Available May 15th at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and the above is the dramatic opening.

 Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com