Monthly Archives: November 2015

All About Family

family diversity imageJonathan and I just returned from our family Thanksgiving gathering. We’re dragging ourselves around this morning but we are smiling. Filled with memories as much as with turkey and my daughter’s divine stuffing.

I remember Thanksgivings that weren’t as idyllic as this one. Fraught Thursdays of problems and grievances lowering over the feast table. Thank heaven the psyche performs a blessed erasure of all that when better times arrive.

I also remember less traditional holidays than this one where everybody at the table was related by blood or marriage. When Jon and I personally hosted Thanksgiving we evolved a tradition of inviting folks with nowhere else to go. Nobody in our acquaintance was allowed to avoid being overfed. That day they were our family and we were theirs.

When I was a single mom finances were perpetually strained. Communal Thanksgiving was a must and a joyful good time. I’d roast the turkey and make the stuffing. Never as from-scratch as my daughter’s but Pepperidge Farm mix plus my own additions turned out tasty anyway.

My single mom friends came with their assorted offspring and everybody brought her best side dish. Plastic glasses of inexpensive wine were raised in toast to everything – including having made it through the previous year – but especially in gratitude for each other.

Each of these assorted configurations was a family in the most important sense. We held each other up. We carried each other when necessary. We were there. We still are.

This history is big among my reasons for writing about families. Not idealized family. Realistic family with problems and personality flaws and screw-ups all at the table – keeping on keeping together through thick and sometimes desperately thin. Plus I write romantic suspense so there’s a murder in their midst to complicate the menu even further.

They prevail as family whatever their configuration or their challenges may be. The Kalli family and their habit of adopting stray souls. The Miller family with trials and tensions galore. And a third family yet to come of – guess what – a single mom and her single mom friends. All in Riverton. All in the family. All eager to welcome you to the feast.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A holiday deal for 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.

 

Giving Thankfuls

Jonathan Carving Turkey 2014When our grandchildren were with us every weekend we began a mealtime tradition we call the Thankfuls. We’d go around the table and each of us would say what we were thankful for that day.

The first thing we’d all mention was how thankful we were to be together. We’ll be together this holiday season and that togetherness will be first among my thankfuls yet again.

Next is the guy in the photo – Jonathan Orr. He’s carving the feast day turkey but I have no idea why he’s peering into the bird’s you-know-what. Jonathan and I have been together for forty-three years and I’m still not certain why he does lots of things. I am certain I’m thankful for us.

My family is another super biggie in the thankful department. As I said – we’ll all be together. I used to cook the holiday dinners every year. One year Jonathan took the turkey out of the roasting pan after it was done and somehow it got loose and slid across the floor.

We plopped it on the platter and said nothing. Years later we discovered the turkey slide as well as our outcries and giggles had been overheard. Maybe that’s why I no longer have to cook holiday dinner. I must admit retirement from that once-beloved duty is among my personal thankfuls.

On the home front. Jonathan and I have found a church we love five blocks away. Jonathan also does work he truly enjoys. We have dear friends across the country. We live in a city we find exciting and stimulating. We are Thankful Thankful Thankful.

What are your Thankfuls? I’d love to hear them and join in your rejoicing. Because I am very much Thankful for you.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series. A holiday bargain for 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC.

 

Introducing Starla Kaye – Ask Alice Saturday

Question: How can I give you a special pre-Thanksgiving treat?

Answer: I can introduce you to a special author – Starla Kaye.

ABOUT STARLA KAYE

Starla KayeStarla has been writing and publishing in various romance sub-genres and formats for twenty years. Her first published book Tug of Love was a sweet romance published with iUniverse Press. These days she mostly writes much edgier romances with an erotic or slightly naughty focus.

Starla enjoys creating strong-willed and independent heroines who butt heads with equally determined and slightly domineering men. She finds her hero his perfect match. She also makes him the perfect match – either happily for now or happily ever after – with the woman who wins his heart. Each is challenged by the other. Because love isn’t easy after all.

Starla has published 20 novels, 39 novellas, 8 anthologies, 18 short stories, and 3 audio books so far. She writes for Decadent Publishing, Black Velvet Seductions and Blushing Books.

Contact Starla Kaye any of these links. She’d love to hear from you.

Website: http://starlakaye.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/starla_kaye

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarlaKayeWriter

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/starlakaye/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Starla-Kaye/e/B002ZH8K3U

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5494986-starla-kaye

Authors Den Page: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=151725

Printable Book List(s)   http://starlakaye.com/my-books/my-complete-book-list/

ABOUT STARLA KAYE’S LATEST BOOK

Starla Kaye Book Cover Trusting Love Again

Contemporary Romance – Published by Black Velvet Seductions

 

All she wants is to start over, live a peaceful life…

After an abusive marriage and an ugly divorce, Toni needs to rebuild her self-confidence and start a new life in her hometown. Going home again and confronting people she’d hurt when she’d left is never easy. She’d hung onto the idea of buying a long-abandoned old house and remodeling it to help her recover. But a man from her past has recently purchased it for his business. That’s her emotional breaking point and she does something reckless. Now she must pay the legal consequences of her foolish actions…by working for him.

All he wants is to focus on his work…

Chad’s job as a lawyer working to protect the rights of the abused elderly consumes his time and energy. It cost him his marriage and an aborted child he hadn’t known about. Now he works harder, guards his bruised heart. Yet the return of someone he’d held secret feelings for comes back to town. She upsets his world, starting with minor destruction of his business property and causing him minor injury. He shouldn’t become involved in helping this troubled woman, yet he can’t keep from doing so.

Two heart-damaged people have trouble trusting love again.

Buy Trusting Love Again at….

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Trusting-Love-Again-Starla-Kaye-ebook/dp/B017RNS888/ref=sr_1_1?tag=geolinker-20&ie=UTF8

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trusting-love-again-starla-kaye/1122924735?ean=2940156674237

iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/trusting-love-again/id1057415027?mt=11

Kobo:   https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/trusting-love-again

Smashwords:   https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/591678

An Excerpt from TRUSTING LOVE AGAIN

He glanced at the young woman standing close by, worrying her lower lip. “Maybe you should call—”

“What? Call my father? Because I’m acting a little wild?” Toni snorted and cut him off. “I have every right to act upset. Yet another man has messed with me, lied to me.”

His angular face tightened in annoyance. “I still have no idea what you’re talking about.” He stepped closer and reached for her.

“No!” She jumped back, breaking off the other stiletto heel, and barely managed to keep from falling. Her entire body tensed.

A memory flashed into her mind. Stanley had grabbed her arms during their last argument right after they’d eaten a special meal she’d prepared for him. His grip had been agonizingly tight. When she’d hissed in pain, he’d shoved her away. She’d landed hard on the floor, knocking her head against the dining room table. After a half-second of possibly regret, he’d turned and hurried out of the house. No apology.

“Antoinette,” Chad said again, sounding cautious.

She pushed the recollection away and looked at Chad. His expression appeared concerned. Again, he inched forward and tried to reach for her.

“Don’t touch me!” she gasped, batting his hand away, dropping the heel and purse. She hated that she was reacting this way but felt helpless to control it.

“What’s your problem?” Appearing confused, he moved toward her once more.

Panicked, defensive, and determined to stop him, she snagged the iPad from his grasp, flung it away. It crashed into the nearby towering, leafless elm tree. The sound of cracking glass made her flinch. What had she done?

Footsteps behind her on the sidewalk pounded in her direction. The young woman on the porch gasped and Chad’s father walked behind him.

“Have you been drinking?” Chad’s tone dripped with disgust as he seemed to sniff for hints of alcohol.

Her cheeks flamed. “No, I haven’t been!” she bit out. It was humiliating to realize that her brother must have told Chad about her drinking problem, something he must have read in the gossip columns.

His vivid blue eyes didn’t look as though he believed her. His jaw taut, he latched onto her left forearm before she could move. He gripped her tightly.

No! Panicked, she drew on the self-defense lessons she’d learned after the separation. With a palm strike, she gave a hard jab to his shoulder.

“What the hell?” he snapped, jerking but not releasing her. His arm was stretched out between them.

Heart racing, she hit his elbow with another palm strike. This time he lost his grasp on her arm and glowered at her in frustration and pain. She sensed he would reach for her again, but she couldn’t let it happen.

Another Excerpt from TRUSTING LOVE AGAIN

“I feel like such a wimp, letting him get to me again.” She moved away and walked over to slump down on the sofa. “All it took was hearing his voice.”

Chad closed the door and took a calming second before he faced her. “You’re not a wimp. That scumbag should be locked up for what he did to you.”

The color had returned to her face once more and she gave him a fragile smile. “I’ve come to realize that everything that happened wasn’t all his fault.”

He blinked at her. “What?”

She shrugged out of her coat and let it fall behind her. “I allowed it to happen, and not just because of the whole love, honor, and obey stuff. I was blinded by his charm, and his ease at throwing me apologies is not an excuse. I saw through them. But I wanted to believe in the magic of love too much. I wanted him to be the Prince Charming of my dreams. He wasn’t. He’d never been that, not even when we started dating. I was just too determined to make him into it.”

“You always were a romantic.” He remembered how much she’d liked the Disney movies, especially the ones with happy endings for one couple or another. Ted had done his best to avoid them. Beauty and the Beast had been her favorite; The Little Mermaid was another one Chad knew she’d watched over and over. To his friend’s disbelief, he had sat with her in the Thornton family room and watched both of them one day when she’d been miserable with the chicken pox. She’d been ten, he fifteen. He’d taken a lot of ribbing from Ted for doing it, but he’d done it anyway. Did she even remember that time?

She gave him an amused smile. “I don’t watch Disney movies anymore. Well, not like I used to do.”

He glanced at the coffee table and the thick paperback lying on top, a romance novel. After what she’d been through, it surprised him. “I would have expected you’d be reading a murder mystery or something dark.”

She shrugged. “I still enjoy a good happy ending, particularly a story that pulls my heart strings. Just because there isn’t such a thing in my life, doesn’t mean I don’t want it for others.”

He understood why she felt that way, but it bothered him. “You shouldn’t give up, Antoinette. Give yourself some time. Don’t rule out having something special because of one jerk.”

A Much Hotter Excerpt from TRUSTING LOVE AGAIN – Enjoy!

“You’re taking so long,” she said breathlessly, frowning.

“I guess it’s time to get started.” He stroked his thick shaft while she shivered with anticipation. Their gazes met and he gave a wicked grin. “Thank you for letting me do this.”

He stroked himself again, then guided the cock until it touched her pulsing, swollen lips. The sight was exciting to watch, but she had to turn her head away. She didn’t want him to see how badly she wanted him. It would be there in her eyes, she was certain of that. She braced herself mentally and physically. And waited.

But he didn’t keep her in suspense for more than a second. He gripped her hips with his big hands and the elastic bandage rubbed lightly against her. She barely had time to think about it before he drove deep inside her.

“Ohhh. Oh my,” she gasped at the fullness.

“Are you all right?” he asked in concern. He held still in her body and she quickly adjusted to the thick invasion.

She pressed backward and his balls met her bottom. She shivered, longing for more.

“I take that for a ‘yes.’” He pulled nearly out as she moaned in disgruntlement. He chuckled and thrust deep once more. “Demanding woman, aren’t you?”

Every inch of him smoothed against her sensitized skin, rubbed places inside her in such a delicious way. But a demanding woman? It had been a long time since she wanted a man to have his way with her. Stanley’s way had never been enjoyable, at least not for her. A thought which annoyed her. Stanley was in her past. Chad just might be her future. An idea that worried her.

Enough thinking about that! “How about speeding it up a little?” she beseeched, quivering all over.

“Yes, ma’am.” He began driving back and forth as she’d requested. His grip on her hips tightened and she heard his heavy breathing.

A part of her braced for roughness, for his undeniable power over her. Not Stanley. Remember that.

He eased back on the rhythm, moved more gently. “I want this to be good for you, Antoinette.”

She could sense how much this slowing down was costing him and that knowledge endeared him to her even more. He wanted to make her climax first. Another special gift from him. The notion, along with the steady drive in and out, touching the most intimate part of her, had her panting. She squeezed her eyes shut as the sensations built.

Thank You Starla from your host Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas Novella in Alice Orr’s Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. Buy it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC.

Would You Like Some Bookmarks?

A Vacancy at the Inn - Bookmark FrontA few weeks ago I gushed all over everywhere about my first-ever bookmarks. How could that be? I’ve been publishing books for a long time. Why have I never had a bookmark?

It was way back in a bygone century that I began publishing. No YouTube videos. No Twitter feeds. And definitely no Email blasts. If you wanted to spread the word across the nation or even across the county you did it via the US Post Office. With a stamp and a written-out address and a drop-off at the P.O. In those days I did all of that with postcards of my bookcover.

Then I took a sixteen-year timeout from novel writing to help raise our grandchildren and when I returned the world had changed. Facebook friends and Twitter followers and YouTube viewers had arrived. I waded into all of that and enjoyed it too. But something was missing.

I wanted a real-word object I could carry in my hand and give to my non-Facebook friends and maybe even stuff into a stamped envelope once in a while. I resisted that growing urge through two novels. But my Christmas book did me in.

The cover was perfect. Red background with feathery white snowflakes and frost blossoms. Even pine trees in the background. I was overwhelmed by the impulse to spread that image everywhere. Postcards felt passe so I settled on bookmarks.

I turned to The Killion Group Inc. as always and Kim herself adapted the cover image to a bookmark that catapulted me directly into rapture. I had no choice but to put my money where my enthusiasm was and make an order. Five hundred or a thousand were the same price so I said “Let’s go with the thousand of course.”

Then the delivery arrived. At first I thought the two stacks in the center of the box were it but I was mistaken. There were two more equally tall-tall stacks on either side. Have you ever seen a thousand bookmarks? The only appropriate response was “EEK!!!”

I wouldn’t say I panicked but I came close. What was I going to do with this gi-normous quantity of bookmarks? Beautiful bookmarks for sure. I’m puffed-up proud of them. But a gi-normous quantity all the same.

My author friends have encouraged me to be bold on behalf of my bookmarks. So I’ve been doing that. At a perfectly nice lunch I shoved a packet of you-know-what between my companion and her appetizer.

My husband Jonathan is carries mounds of bookmarks to work with him. I’ve plastered my dentist’s office with them. And libraries and bookstores and laundromats. Still a gi-normous quantity remains.

So if you like bookmarks – email me your ground mail address at aliceorrbooks@gmail.com and say “I’ll take some of those bookmarks Alice.” I’ll send them out to you with Joy and Love from Alice.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

 A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas Novella of Alice Orr’s Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series. A holiday bargain for just 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC.

A Taste of the Holidays

Alice's Broken Corn Bread

At the holiday season I love to fill the house with the aroma of good cooking – especially the sweet spice kind. But I must confess I don’t like to work too hard at it.

The result is Alice’s Sweet Spice Corn Bread. This is an easy recipe. An almost but not quite ready-made recipe that begins with a box and ends with a fragrant kitchen and a non-yeast bread that partners very well with other holiday flavors.

Start with two eggs and a third-cup of milk. Beat them together in a small bowl and set aside. To a separate larger bowl add an 8.5-ounce box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. Maybe there are other brands that will work but inexpensive Jiffy is what I’ve always used.

Now for my added personal touch. Into the corn muffin/bread mix – whisk two tablespoons of brown sugar – light or dark as you prefer. Add one teaspoon of cinnamon and a half-teaspoon of nutmeg plus a quarter-teaspoon of allspice. That’s the sweet spice part.

Add the egg-and-milk mix to the corn bread-spices mix. Whisk some more but not too much – only until everything is moistened. Otherwise the bread will turn out tough and we don’t want tough bread. We just want to be tough cookies. Please forgive the lame kitchen humor.

You’re not quite done yet. Fold in a handful or two of raisins or dried cranberries. I prefer dried cranberries. Chopped dates or dried blueberries are other possibilities. For Christmas I add candied fruit – the kind my mother used in her actually delicious fruitcake. But not too much candied fruit. It’s heavy and can keep the bread from rising.

Let the batter sit for four minutes or so. Meanwhile coat a 3.5 by 7.5 inch loaf pan well with nonstick spray. Add the batter. I like to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Colored sugars are another festive holiday choice. Don’t use too much or it. Just a sprinkling.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Try not to over-bake it.

Now for my Special Serving Suggestion. To make your bread look just like mine in the photo. Drop it on the floor. Make sure nobody’s watching. Pick it up quickly. Dust it off. Place it on a pretty holiday plate. Serve with a smile.

This recipe first appeared in my newsletter – Orr What? News – which features free books and other giveaways too. If you’d like to receive future issues free by eMail – go to my website and sign up. Click here to do that http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

Alice Orr

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense SeriesA holiday bargain for just 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC. Enjoy!

The We’d Rather Be Writing Cookbook – Orr What? Wednesday


Cookbook - We'd Rather Be Writing 
We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes – Lois Winston, Editor. Contributors Melinda Curtis, Shelley Freydont, Alice Orr & 85 more

On Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1940795346 – Kindle $0.99 and Paperback $9.26

Have you ever wished you could find more time to do the things you want to do, rather than just the things you have to do? Most authors juggle day jobs and family responsibilities along with their writing. Because they need to find time to write, they look for ways to save time in other aspects of their lives.

In We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips you’ll find easy, nutritious recipes for meat, poultry, pasta, soup, stew, chili and vegetarian meals. All of the recipes require a minimum of preparation time, freeing you up to read, exercise, garden, craft, write, spend more time with family.

You will also be introduced to authors who write a wide range of fiction – everything from mystery to romance to speculative fiction to books for children, young adults, and new adults. And others who write nonfiction. In Romance – some of the authors write sweet, others write steamy. In Mystery-Suspense – some write cozy, others write tense thrillers.

Some are debut authors with only one published book. Others are multi-published and have long publishing careers. Some are New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. Even bestselling authors juggle day jobs with their writing. The authors who contributed to this book are a creative and resourceful bunch when it comes to carving out time from their busy lives.

So, in addition to timesaving recipes, in this book you will find timesaving tips and organizational strategies to help you in your own life. And if you happen to be a writer, you’ll also find lots of great ideas for managing your writing life.

Authors who contributed to this book include: Lisa Alber, Reggi Allder, Judy Alter, Krista Ames, Rose Anderson, Cori Lynn Arnold, Judy Baker, Beverley Bateman, Donnell Ann Bell, Paula Gail Benson, Kris Bock, Maureen Bonatch, Ava Bradley, Susan Breen, Lida Bushloper, Michelle Markey Butler, Ashlyn Chase, Judy Copek, Maya Corrigan, Mariposa Cruz, Melinda Curtis, Lesley A. Diehl, Conda V. Douglas, Nancy Eady, Helena Fairfax, Jennifer Faye, Flo Fitzpatrick, Kit Frazier, Shelley Freydont, Mariana Gabrielle, Rosie Genova, Marni Graff, Joanne Guidoccio, Margaret S. Hamilton, L.C. Hayden, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Heather Hiestand, R.Franklin James, Kathryn Jane, M.M. Jaye, Elizabeth John, Stacy Juba, Gemma Juliana, Carol Goodman Kaufman, Melissa Keir, Kay Kendall, A.R. Kennedy, Lynn Kinnaman, Marie Laval, B.V. Lawson, Claudia Lefeve, Alice Loweecey, Cynthia Luhrs, Sandra Masters, Lisa Q. Mathews, J.M. Maurer, Sandra McGregor, Kathy McIntosh, Claire A. Murray, Ann Myers, Tara Neale, Stacey Joy Netzel, Jayne Ormerod, Alice Orr, Laurel Peterson, Irene Peterson, Pepper Phillips, Caridad Pineiro, Kathryn Quick, Renée Reynolds, Josie Riviera, Elizabeth Rose, C.A. Rowland, Cindy Sample, Sharleen Scott, Terry Shames, Susan C. Shea, Judy Penz Sheluk, Joanna Campbell Slan, Karen Rose Smith, Lynette Sofras, Kaye Spencer, Skye Taylor, Lourdes Venard, Lea Wait, Regan Walker, Lois Winston, and Aubrey Wynne.

P.S. from Alice. I took part in this effort and it was great fun. My recipe for Pasta ala Capri is introduced in the voice of one of my characters who tells her story of cooking this dish in my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series. Be of Good Appetite and Enjoy.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. Buy it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC

How to Create a Relatable World – Ask Alice Saturday

Hope's Prelude cover image Question: How do I create a fantasy world that works?

Answer: You create a world that real-life readers can relate to.

First of all write a series. Creating an entire alternate world is too much work to undertake for a one-off novel. Besides a series is the road to success for an author in today’s marketplace. A series is also an adventure through that alternate world. Your goal is to draw readers in and make them want to stay through one book then the next and the next. To do this you must create a world that has reality and resonance – a world that is relatable.

Then you must immerse your reader in that world. You must immerse her so completely in your story world that she’s wants – even needs – to remain there until you release her at The End. So completely she will miss that world when she’s forced to leave it and be eager to return asap. Achieve that and you’ve set a powerful narrative hook for the story and for the series as well. But how do you manage such immersion?

I found an answer to that is in a book by L.G O’Connor. Hope’s Prelude – The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles – Book 2.5 is part of a very big story world. The biggest as a matter of fact because O’Connor’s macro story world encompasses nothing less than the struggle between good and evil to determine the fate of the universe. I love big stories and good versus evil but most authors have difficulty managing the scope of that canvas. Specifically they have difficulty making the story believable and relatable.

O’Connor manages the vast scope of her story and the series by anchoring us in credible human territory. The landscape may be vast but the situation is intimate because at its heart is a love story and we relate to love stories. This is the powerful narrative hook we all carry in our romance genre kit bags. We can use it to make a potentially overwhelming story canvas personal. We immerse the reader in the world of the lovers and that is our open sesame to immersing the reader in the alternate world of the story.

But we must do so as deftly as O’Connor does. At the center of an apocalyptic struggle scenario she grounds us in a tender love story that humanizes all of the rest and gives it an up-close-and-personal scale which touches our hearts. I was fascinated by her faceoff between the forces of good – the Angelorum – and the forces of evil – the Dark Ones. But I was truly captured by the love between Hope in her worldly guise as Dr. Sandra Wilson scientist – and her guardian and mate Isa whom she calls Ishmael.

Their passion is both human and otherworldly and Isa is one of the most sexy-powerful yet gentle lovers I’ve ever read. As romance storytellers intent upon creating conflict we are often forced to situate that struggle between our lovers or lovers-to-be. The alternate world framework allows us to situate the struggle outside of the love relationship in the complex universe beyond. O’Connor takes beautiful advantage of that opportunity by creating a hero who openly adores the heroine. I found that refreshing and endearing from the start.

However engulfed I may have been by the multi-layered world of the series – what really grabbed me was Hope/Sandra and Isa/Ishmael and how much they are besotted with each other and devoted to each other. Theirs is the kind of relationship we all long to find in our real-world lives and that longing is the ultimate reader involvement. We not only want to read about this couple – we want to be part of a couple just like them.

What deeper hook can a writer set? How much more relatable can a story be? Does O’Connor’s fantasy world work? You betcha it does. Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XKID2UE and be inspired.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn  – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3. All of my titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.

 

The Tooth of the Matter – Orr What? Wednesday (on Thursday)

My Feet 5-5-15I was aware all of a sudden that I was about to pass into a life-wrenching experience. Let’s refer to this experience as Extreme Dental Modification or EDM for short.

This EDM period would require mass quantities of money or a plethora of plastic accompanied by a crush of credit fees. This was the first life wrench to anticipate and it’s a big one.

The financial threat was scary but – for the sake of honesty – I must confess my true terror. In this world and maybe especially in this culture we are schooled to be vain. I never missed a single one of those classes. EDM would threaten my vanity big time.

My surgeon told me to expect a three to four month window for procedures and healing. Three to four months? That’s not a window – it’s a crater blown out of the wall of my life. Including the entire holiday season. My favorite time of year and full of socializing – face to face.

“Okay, Alice. Calm down,” I told myself. “No need to add angina to the mix.” Still I could feel the quips sprouting about liquefied turkey for Thanksgiving and cookie crumbs for Christmas. I envisioned our blender in burnout mode. I also envisioned myself in the mirror.

That was the true terror. The look of the thing. Alice as desiccated apple doll. Plus no lipstick. Lipstick would call attention. But I love lipstick. Especially in fall when I switch to scarlet. I not only wouldn’t be able to wear scarlet lipstick – I wouldn’t be able to say scarlet lipstick.

I resolved that the only visual anyone would see of me for the next four months is the accompanying one. Note the scarlet toenails. Then the dentist walked in – not the scalpel-toting surgeon – the common sense toting dentist. He said the most amazing thing.

“I think we should consider going another way.” In that instant the story changed. The future was once again bright as the star atop our Christmas tree and the sheen of my toothy grin.

Don’t you just love endings with a twist and a hero dentist and the villain EDM vanquished? Not to mention the scarlet lipstick.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn  – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3.

All of my titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.

 

Binge Watching and Binge Reading – Riverton Road Monday

Alice's Nancy Drew TitleI not only love writing series. I also love reading series. This love affair began in my childhood Nancy Drew Books days. Of course reading under the covers with a flashlight. What better way could there be to experience The Secret of the Old Clock?

Did you know I wrote a Nancy Drew once just for the thrill of being Carolyn Keene for a month or two? It went to #2 on the kids’ bestseller list. Talk about fulfilling a childhood dream. I loved doing it. But I only wrote one. I don’t know why since I enjoyed being a teen again.

The title by the way was Danger in Disguise – and I’m flabbergasted to find it still available. D in D is even an eBook though I wrote it long before that format existed. If you don’t believe me – check this out. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HB62LKI.

I digress. Because what I’ve really been thinking about is how binge television-watching may be conditioning all of us to be ripe for binge book reading too. As in series – series – and more series. This is great news for writers. But it’s great news for readers also.

When I get my teeth into a story that carries me along lickety-split and absorbs me with its absorbing characters – it puts me in a foul mood to read THE END. I want to stick with this story. Most of all I want to stick with this experience. I want to be carried along and absorbed some more.

We’re all getting a succulent taste of this these days via television series. Look at the excitement accompanying anticipation of every new Downton Abbey season. In fact some of us have been so afflicted with separation trauma at season’s end that we binge the whole thing again.

We not only binge that preceding season – we often return to previous seasons and binge those too. Some of us even search out full seasons of Upstairs Downstairs just so we can remain in that delicious Brit place of “Blimey” and “Egad.”

We have been captured. We have been seduced. We have been immersed. We have lived in that delightful though obviously idealized milieu for episode after episode and we can’t stand to leave it. That milieu is what I’ve written about in previous posts as “the world of the series.”

We not only want to spend a bit of watcher time there. If the truth were told – many of us would love to live there and fantasize doing so. I’ve heard there are Downton Abbey parties where people dress in pre- or post-World War I posh and affect lock-jawed nasal accents.

My granny was British and tried to make me British as well so I’m all for this. She and I would have tea at four with little sandwiches and cookies – or biscuits as she called them. She taught me conversation. First I’d talk then she’d talk while I listened instead of itching to talk again myself. Those were the rules.

I digress yet again because what I’m really all for is the long game of story-loving and storytelling. This is the antidote to the here-this-nanosecond-gone-the-next attention span. Or maybe it debunks the myth of that phenomenon. Maybe the internet and the screened device haven’t rendered us all incapable of long-haul commitment after all.

My vote goes with debunking the short-span myth and hanging on to my devices too. What glass-half-empty person said we can’t have it all anyway? I’m definitely down with the have-it-all faction – for my stories if nothing else. I say old chap. Might you jolly well feel the same?

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

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A Vacancy at the Inn  – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3.

All of my titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.