Monday, October 15, 2018

Grace by Daniel Kenner #roomforgrace @alwysroom4grace

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By Daniel Kenner 

I called my mom, Maureen Kenner, the day her obituary was published to see if she agreed with the tone, the accolades, the progression. She didn’t answer; which only seemed obvious after it went to voicemail. She died four weeks after my dad, Buddy Kenner, died. 
Mom chose “Grace” as her confirmation name and lived by that code. She spent her lifetime as a teacher working with the handicapped, elderly, and disenfranchised. She lived like the inspirational banners that adorned the bright walls of her Room 4 classroom and saw possibilities in every field trip, every circle in the sand, every Scattergories game, holiday song, night out for pizza and ice cream sundaes, every grandchild, niece, nephew, student, and family member.
But what is “grace?”
Is “grace” strength?
My father had frontotemporal lobe dementia and my mom, diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer only five months later, was his caregiver. She remained steadfast even when his disease prevented him from giving her the care she sought from a husband and partner.
Is “grace” poise? Their dreams of their retirement were never clouded with health issues. The life they worked toward was not there; it had changed past the point of recognizing. The reality of what they retired to was obvious.
Is “grace” the ability to trust, respect or remain optimistic? “Will I be ready in his time of need?” Mom worried about that all the time. “What will happen to him when something happens to me? What’s going to happen to me when something happens to him?” She worried that neither of them would be strong enough to keep their vows. She had such a strong sense of accomplishment for all they had achieved together, but it was clear that their happiest days were behind them.
It is said in the Book Of Job, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Maybe “grace” is found in delicate actions - when we are genuinely there for others, putting our neighbors before ourselves, sharing in their joys and trials. I know Mom found her joy and happiness in the joy and happiness of others. She’d say, “When you put others’ needs before your own, it is truly in giving that we receive.”
I believe Mom found her “grace” through her courageous ability to ask for and to receive help. For four years, our community rallied behind our family, nourishing us with daily visits, leis of orchids, origami cranes, handmade cards, gift boxes, songs, and signs on our lawn. As the seasons changed, our community remained inspired to do good for my family. They let their spirit grow and let it make a difference, unafraid to open themselves up to heartbreak and disappointment. When there was an abundance of pain, and the generosity of others powered my family through to live another day, that’s when I learned about “grace.”

About the Author

Daniel Kenner is the author of the newly published, Room For Grace. Daniel wrote Room For Grace after conducting an oral history with his mother, Maureen Kenner, on her thirtieth wedding anniversary. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace. More information can be found at Room For Grace is partnering with different organizations and 10% of each book purchased will be donated. New organizations will be selected every 1,000 books sold! The first program Daniel has chosen to donate to is Eye to Eye. Eye to Eye began in Maureen Kenner’s Room 4. The program chiseled through structure and uncovered a remarkably beautiful approach into a child’s life. Once a week the members of Eye to Eye talked openly about learning disabilities. Maureen always remembered when a mentor revealed he had spent most of third grade in the bathroom. He had figured out when it would be his turn to read and, embarrassed by his dyslexia, went to the bathroom to hide out. Another positive aspect Maureen loved about Eye to Eye was the classroom-based mentoring. They college students would come and work with her “Lego” kids, the kids who saw the world in a mechanically different way, who thought outside of the box, who could build things with their hands. Maureen’s students were mentored and followed through middle school, high school and onto college. Eye to Eye's mission is to improve the life of every person with a learning disability. They fulfill their mission by supporting and growing a network of youth mentoring programs run by and for those with learning differences, and by organizing advocates to support the full inclusion of people with learning disabilities and ADHD in all aspects of society. Mentors talk openly and bravely about their experiences. Mentees realize they are not alone, sometimes for the very first time. They see someone who was once just like they are today. More importantly, they see someone they hope to be tomorrow. 

Daniel Kenner rocked out to Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” while other infants sang “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” A proud member of Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and National Players Tour 60, Daniel was a Presidential Arts Scholar at George Washington University and Scholarship recipient at The British American Drama Academy. Directed the Washington D.C. premier of Sarah Kane’s Crave. Author of the manuscript, Roux. Winner of the Rhode Island Playwriting Festival for his World War II letters home drama, Fields of Sacrifice. Adapted Les Misérables for high school stages.
Maureen Kenner’s heart was in the classroom. For thirty-five years she was a Special Education teacher in the Providence Public Schools. Born and raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Maureen graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in education and later earned a Master’s Degree from Providence College. Maureen was a vital influence at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School at Fox Point, working tirelessly as a mentor for the betterment of all children and their families. Honored with many accolades throughout her career, Maureen was awarded Providence Teacher of the Year in 2003. Living with cancer, as a model patient, Maureen exemplified integrity, courage, grace, and hope. For thirty-one years, through sickness and health, Maureen was the beloved soul mate to the late Jacob “Buddy” Kenner, her intense love recognized in 2016 as a Rhode Island Caregiver of the Year.



About the Book:

Author: Daniel Kenner & Maureen Kenner
Publisher: Silver Boot Imprints
Pages: 200
Genre: Memoir & Biography


Stage 4 cancer for her and a debilitating disease for her husband: life crashed down in an instant. Maureen Kenner found resilience, however, in the lessons she learned from her Special Ed students in Providence, RI. Her students lived with their hearts opened despite struggles of the highest magnitude. Through these students, Maureen gains courage, humor, and the strength of spirit to face her devastating realities, head on. Maureen’s oral history was captured by her son Daniel who tenderly wrought this book out of their recorded conversations. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace.


"Maureen Kenner was one of those people who brightened every room she entered. Thanks to Room for Grace, that light is not extinguished. Although her story shares great sadness, Room for Grace is a book of hope and a celebration of life that sheds Maureen’s light on us all."

—Ann Hood, Author of The Obituary Writer and The Red Thread

“In these pages, you will find a story like no other. Maureen’s story is one of courage and love, a story that will move you to your core.”

—David Flink, Chief Empowerment Officer, Eye to Eye

“The piercing light of Maureen’s compassion, love and intelligence, will leave every reader wanting to reach out in the spirit of service and live life to the fullest.”

—Annie Lanzillotto, Author of Hard Candy: Caregiving, Mourning, and Stagelight

“Buddy Kenner was a big-hearted teacher, universally beloved by all, a warrior for the arts and their importance in the curriculum. Amazing and unique guy. Read this book.”

Tom Chandler, Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emeritus



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

10 Things You Might Not Know About Marian L. Thomas @marianlthomas01 #10Things

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Award-Winning Author and Speaker, Marian L. Thomas, has penned five engaging novels to date. Her books have been seen on national television stations such as the Oprah Winfrey Network, Ovation, and the A&E Network. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on local, national and online radio stations. For her book, I Believe In Butterflies, Marian ranked among the top 100 Most Popular Authors in Literary Fiction on Amazon. She spent most of her teen years in Oak Park, Illinois, but now resides in a suburb of Atlanta with her husband. She enjoys a good bag of popcorn, a plate full of pasta, and a grape pop.



10 Things You Might Not Know About Marian L. Thomas

1.      I love popcorn. When my husband wants ‘peace’ in the house, he brings me home a big bag.
2.      When I’m writing, my husband is usually snoring. I tend to write, late at night.
3.      I’m married. My husband and I celebrated 19 years on September 25, 2018.
4.      My name, Marian, comes from the first names (Mary and Ann) of my now deceased grandmothers.
5.      I wrote a children’s book, The Things Sasha Learned From Her Dog Winston after my dog of 14 years (Winston) passed away. It was my mother’s idea but helped to deal with the loss.
6.      My second favorite food, popcorn being the first, is pasta. However, pizza comes very close with a good can of grade pop.
7.      I got the idea to write my first book, Color Me Jazzmyne, while in high school. It was my sophomore year, and I was in the library walking up a flight of stairs to find a book.
8.      Paris, Hawaii, and Spain are on my travel wish list.
9.      When I was young, I hated vegetables. Still not a fan. My sister and I would feed our vegetables to our dog. He, of course, was the healthiest dog on the block.
10.  When asked if I have any advice for aspiring authors, my answer is always...Live, Laugh and Write. In that order.

About the Book:

Author: Marian L. Thomas
Publisher: L.B. Publishing
Pages: 307
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Who Would Think That One Act of Love Could Affect Four Generations?
On December 29, 1930, Mildred "Millie" Mayfield gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Addie. Millie teaches Addie three things that she feels matters most in life; inner beauty, reading books and giving your “special something’ only to the man you marry. Addie lives up to the first two. On one autumn night in 1949, Addie falls for the irresistible red curls and vibrant green eyes of a young man from the other side of the railroad tracks. Neither knowing that the consequences of their love would have lasting effects. Known as one of the greatest white jazz pianists in New York, Timmy Taylor never had a reason to question his identity – until truth and betrayal strike. Will Timmy be able to push past the pain? Beautiful and talented, Nina Taylor inherited her father's gift, but not his looks. Certain that's how he made it big, she dives deep into an obsession that could be deadly. Will Nina learn to love the skin she’s in before it’s too late? Spanning from 1920 to 1996, this captivating tale of secrets, betrayal, and forgiveness will pull at the strings of your heart, and keep you turning pages while you pray for a happy ending.


Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun Series by Jamell Crouthers #guest @aquarianmind1

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Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun Series

By Jamell Crouthers

The Code Blue Series somehow became something bigger than me. The best way to describe it is looking at the world now and what’s going on, on the police force. I started to question what good cops are feeling in a position where they’re forced into upholding their badge than their own morals and values.

When I decided to write about Gary, I knew I had to take race out of the picture when it came to him and who he was. In my mind, I had to say, let’s focus on the racism in America between police officers and black and Latino men. What is not discussed is how there are black and Latino police officers who are racist against their own too. It’s not just white cops versus black and Latino men. 

There was a need to address that in my books but in the midst of it, you’re trying to figure out what race Gary is. The reality is no matter what race Gary is or you choose to make him, any police officer who commits the wrongs that I write about in my books, there’s a lack of upholding the oath you took to protect and serve the community. It becomes follow agendas and doing what you’re told regarding black and latino men.

We lose a sense of the things that are constantly going on because it doesn’t happen to us. It’s a mentality of, “if it doesn’t happen to me, I’m good.” Well...until it does and by that point it’s too late in addressing the constant issues that are going on in our communities daily. Gary is the good cop who’s caught in a lot of things he never thought he would be.

The community he grew up in and decided to serve and protect has become a city of turmoil. I felt I had to incorporate him having a child because there’s always someone looking up to you and this is the prime example of it. Gary, Jr. is an innocent child who doesn’t know the atrocities of the world until he starts watching the news at night and seeing his father at crime scenes and wanting answers.

There was a need to make Gary, Jr. the smart, intuitive child who is keen to what’s going on around him. That forces Gary to fess up to his wrongdoings and admit that he’s part of the cover ups, corruption and lies. It makes him realize he’s a hypocrite in teaching his child to being honest and doing the right things when he isn’t doing it himself.

The relationship between them is constant throughout the series with a plethora of letters written to each other. I thought of doing emails or phone calls but I wanted to go old school with their communication before technology engulfed and infiltrated our daily lives. It’s a relationship that becomes tumultuous and Gary ends up losing the two most important people in his life, his wife and his son because he’s so engulfed in a job that’s made its way into their home. 

The series takes a lot to write because I want to make sure I’m addressing the corruption while keeping Gary’s thoughts and feelings in it. It’s a hard battle and also writing it to where it’s believable, truthful and Gary is someone you can relate to. He’s a combination of a protagonist and antagonist and it’s something that isn’t done often in stories. This is to make you think about how many good cops who want to do the right thing, this is a job that want to do but you are forced into this brotherhood of keeping the lies, secrets and corruption among themselves. 

My goal with this series is to not only make you think and realize what’s going on in America daily, but to also put you in a police officer’s shoes as he/she pounds the pavement everyday. Are there good cops, definitely. But there’s also the bad ones and the biggest problem is the good ones aren’t exposing the bad ones, afraid of the backlash, losing their careers, their paychecks and pensions which is one of the first things I address in the beginning of Part 1.

Hopefully you all understand and realize that there’s a lot that has to be done to make society a better place. The battle is exposing it all from what goes on in the streets to inside of the precincts and corporate offices in America. It’s up to us to get things right and remember it all starts with the guys in suits and then it trickles down to the police departments. 

Code Blue 1-3 is available on all major bookstores (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Scribd). Parts 4 and 5 release December 2018 to finish the series. 

About the Author

Jamell Crouthers is a poet, author, blogger and podcaster who has taken on a journey of writing in the prime of his life. He has been writing poetry since the age of 13 but never thought he could utilize his talent to tell stories and write books. He is not the traditional author as he writes his books in poetry format with a focus on storylines and societal issues.

After publishing 11 books (so far), his goals and plans are to continue writing books on taboo subjects that aren't discussed enough in today's world and bringing those main subjects to the forefront. Jamell's blogs tackle societal issues, how he writes his books, his journey as an author and some motivational blogs that will get you to focus on your goals. His goal and moniker is, "to change the world, one book at a time."

Jamell’s Code Blue series can be purchased at Amazon.

Website Address:
Blog Address:
Facebook Address:

About the Series:

The Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun series chronicles a police officer named Gary who has been on the force for a few years. He soon is entrenched in a lot of lies, corruption, racism and agendas being pushed by his superiors. The question throughout this series is whether he as a good cop becomes part of the corruption or does he report it?

Part of this series features his son Gary, Jr who is a young teenager wanting to be like his father and go into the police force. He soon learns through the news daily that the police force is not what it really is. Gary ends up having to share the truths of what goes on at work and the relationship between him and his son changes because of it. Now it becomes up to Gary what he is going to do about what goes on at work.

Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 87
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 89
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 99
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Interview with Nancy Gray, Author of 'Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf'

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Ten Things You Might Not Know About Nancy Gray

By Nancy Gray

1. Nancy Gray has been writing for ten years. She has a young adult fantasy trilogy called Blood Rain. The series was inspired by a very strange but true story about a storm raining blood on North Carolina in the 1850s. After reading about this story she had a dream about a blood splattered lighthouse which also compelled her to write. The setting in the beginning of the book was also inspired by the video game Bethesda’s Morrowind.

2.     2. Nancy Gray has been married for thirteen years. She has two young children. She lives in South Carolina and is partial to cats. Her family comes first over her writing, but she writes whenever she can.

3.      3. Nancy is a big fan of Japanese animation, or “anime.” She also reads manga. Her favorite series right now is The Ancient Magus Bride because she loves the setting and characters. She is also a fan of Darling in the Franxx but enjoys many different styles, everything from Sailor Moon to Dragon Ball Super.

4.      4. Nancy is a gamer. She loves table top role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. She is both a game master and a player. She’s written many stories inspired by characters that she’s played, but none of these have been published. Writing character backgrounds is something she enjoys doing in between writing novels.

5.      5. Nancy Gray is a video game fan. Her favorites are Skyrim, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and many different Mario games. She also enjoys World of Warcraft and plays it casually whenever possible. (She plays a combination of Alliance and Horde.)

6.      6. Nancy Gray loves to read. She has read hundreds of books over the years. Her favorite genres are horror, gothic horror, fantasy, steampunk, and urban fantasy. These are also the genres that she prefers to write the most, but she has been known to occasionally try her hand at cyberpunk and the blending of cyberpunk with gothic horror.

7.      7. Nancy Gray got her start from writing short stories for anthologies. Her short horror story "Hemophobia" was published in 2006 in the short story anthology Courting Morpheus.  This story was written under the pen name "Angela Gray."  Her short horror story "Sleep Like the Dead" appeared in the New Bedlam Project Webzine under her current name “Nancy Gray.”  In 2012 it was put into a compilation of stories from the e-zine called New Bedlam: Town Archives Volume 2. In 2010 her short science fiction story "Marrow" appeared in the anthology Deep Space Terror.  This anthology is a smooth blending of the science fiction and horror genres. In 2014 her short fantasy story "Chosen" appeared in the anthology  Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap.  The anthology consists of the top 5 stories from the Dark Crystal Author Quest Contest.

8.      8. Nancy Gray went through many phases before she became a writer. She wanted to be an animator for Disney, a puppeteer for the Jim Henson Company, a veterinarian, a marine biologist, an artist, and finally a graphic designer. After much deliberation, she decided to go to the University of South Carolina and acquired a BA in Media Arts and a cognate in English. She got several jobs as a graphic designer but eventually decided to stay at home and pursue her writing career.

9     9. Halloween is Nancy Gray’s favorite holiday. She decorates her house thoroughly and dresses in costume every year and throws a very large Halloween Party. Horror movies are played in the living room and the game Rock Band is played in the back of the house. She has a large group of friends that she made in college and usually has a pretty large group of people who attend. (She does throw an annual pot luck Christmas Party as well, with Christmas movies and sometimes Rock Band, but that doesn’t tend to be as wild as it is a religious holiday for her.)

110.  Nancy Gray is an artist and enjoys painting, drawing, and making sculptures from clay. She doesn’t have as much time with her new writing career to pursue these things, but occasionally she still enjoys them. Her favorite place to go is the beach and she generally feels inspired to write, draw, and read when she’s there when isn’t playing in the sand or water with her girls.

About the Author

Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her middle grade series Spine Chillers. She also published her YA fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.

Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video games, anime, manga, and horror.
Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf.



About the Book:
Author: Nancy Gray
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 112
Genre: Middle Grade Horror

Jane is ecstatic when she gets the role of Red Riding Hood in her school play, but she didn’t realize that they’d be using the stuffed wolf prop as the Big Bad Wolf. That tattered old prop has always scared her and, lately, she has been having strange dreams about it that make it seem like it’s something more.
Jane will have to get help to save herself from the hungry spirit that has haunted her people and her nightmares before it consumes her, or worse, escapes the prison of the last creature it took to sate its horrible appetite.



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

10 things You Might Not Know About Our Secret Powers by Terje Gerotti Simonsen

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Terje Gerotti Simonsen
Terje G. Simonsen is an author with a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas. He has increasingly focused his attention on the esoteric and occult traditions and on paranormal phenomena, as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, healing etc. Recently he published the highly acclaimed Our Secret Powers, based on his extraordinary knowledge within this field. Elegantly and with great personal wit and insight, he discusses parapsychological phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. Several of the world’s most renowned experts on the paranormal has praised Simonsen’s work: The bestselling parapsychologist, Dean Radin, PhD, chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, says: ‘As an encyclopedic introduction to the psychic side of the fascinating but puzzling domain known as the paranormal, there is no better choice than Our Secret Powers.” And Stanley Krippner, PhD, expert on hypnosis, shamanism and altered states of consciousness, former leader of two departments in the American Psychological Association, says: “This is an outstanding book and it deserves all the attention it can get. Not only is Our Secret Powers a book for all seasons, it is a book for all reasons!’”

10 things You Might Not Know About Our Secret Powers

1)  That Our Secret Powers not only describes the abilities of others but may also (cannot be guaranteed, though!) help you getting in touch with your own psychic powers?

2) That the book could give you new and liberating perspectives by giving you a series of gentle nudges and hints on who you, and we all, really are?

3) That it will tell you how Cleopatra’s sunken palace was discovered (spoiler alert: with the help of clairvoyance!)

4) That it will give you the essential facts about the American military’s program for developing psychic spies? (and that this is by no means yesterday’s fake news or conspiracy-theories!)

5) That the book is written for all you beautiful folks with an inquiring mind, irrespective of religious and philosophical orientation, bridging the divide between believers and skeptics. (The Norwegian editor advising the author on his way is herself a ‘moderate skeptic.’)

6) That it is one of the most versatile introductions to paranormal phenomena ever written, applying perspectives from history, archaeology, anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, pop-culture. Still it is an easy-going good-read! (a combination which is close to paranormal…)

7) That it is the first Norwegian book ever on the subject to be published internationally

8) That it was released in English by Pari Publishing, a small indie-house co-founded by quantum-physicist F. David Peat, the closest colleague of the great David Bohm, a colleague of Albert Einstein. Peat also worked together with Roger Penrose, a colleague of Stephen Hawking. (The author is both humble and proud to have been allowed faintly to touch the garment of so much genius…)

9) That it is endorsed by 6 of the world’s greatest experts on the paranormal: Stanley Krippner, Dean Radin, Stephan A. Schwartz, Etzel Cardeña, Adrian Parker and Jeffrey Kripal.

10) That the notorious bestselling parapsychologist, Dean Radin, explicitly has said that as an intro to psychic abilities ‘there is no better choice than Our Secret Powers.’

About the Book:

Author: Terje Gerotti Simonsen
Publisher: Pari Publishing
Pages: 528
Genre: Nonfiction/Spiritual/Consciousness/Paranormal

Is the paranormal normal?
Many readers will be surprised when learning that reputable scientists, among them several Nobel laureates, have claimed that telepathy is a reality. Their curiosity will increase when reading that both Cleopatra’s lost palace and Richard III’s burial place were recovered by means of clairvoyance. And some will think it to be sheer science fiction when finding out about Stargate––the espionage program where the American military and CIA for 20 years engaged in the development of psychic spies!
Simonsen, a Norwegian historian of ideas, introduces an array of entertaining paranormal tales from history, archaeology, anthropology and psychology, and presents scientific research that has provided fascinating results. He argues that the stories we hear about telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition ought not to be dismissed as superstition
In step with spiritual and occult traditions, the author suggests that consciousness is not limited to our own head. Rather he thinks that all humans (and perhaps all living beings) are linked together in a “Mental Internet.’ Via this network we may exchange ‘telepathic emails’ with friends and family and make clairvoyant ‘downloads’ of information.  Thus perhaps what we usually call ‘supernatural’ is completely natural but little understood communications via this Mental Internet?

Our Secret Powers gives us a thoughtful and engaging presentation of a controversial subject and would make an excellent travel companion.

Watch the Trailer!



Friday, September 28, 2018

Interview with Traci Highland, Author of Miss Behave @tracihighland

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“Dear Miss Behave,
Last weekend I was at the pool with the children, and there was a woman naked and walking around the locker room. 
I hate to be prissy, but to be naked around young children like that just isn’t right.  She comes to the pool regularly and I am not the only one who has happened upon her strolling around the locker room without clothes.  Now I know there are showers and that people change in locker rooms, but showers should be taken while wearing bathing suits and there are private changing rooms that are clearly marked. 
How can I convey to her the accepted rules of decency before any of our children become hopelessly corrupted?
-Agape at the AquaPark”

--From Traci Highland’s Miss Behave

Traci Highland writes funny books for sassy ladies.  She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has a Master’s from Quinnipiac University.  She uses this education to write books, bake cakes, garden and make homemade jams.  Her children say she’s bossy, her husband says she’s high-maintenance, but the dog thinks she’s perfect.

She's great at giving advice, too bad she never takes it…

Anderson wants to be a serious journalist at a serious paper covering serious news. Instead, she’s stuck at the Pendleton Falls Herald, where her massive investigative skills are wasted penning the paper’s advice column, Miss Behave.

Her shot at a meaty story comes when she’s assigned to write up a profile of a local business, Brookes Jewelers. She is determined to write the piece so she can use the article to impress a real paper.

Unfortunately Hunter Brookes, co-owner of Brookes Jewelers and the Pendleton Falls Herald, is rather persistent, in his own hot little way, that the piece should be nothing more than a glorified sales pitch.

But when diamonds disappear, Piper may get the chance to do a real investigation, leading her to confront family secrets and worst of all, turn to her mother for help.

Piper soon realizes that there is more to Mr. Brookes than a tight ass and a ridiculous fascination with name tags. Together they deal with roasted pigs, crazy cat ladies, and gun-toting fashionistas.

In all the chaos, they just might find the one thing that neither one was looking for: true love.


Hi Traci! Romantic Comedy has to be at the top of my must read list and your new book, Miss Behave (The Anderson Family Series Book 1), sounds exciting! What was it while writing this book that set your fingers on fire?

Traci: Oh darling!  Romantic Comedy is absolutely my favorite as well!  I think the part of this book that really got my fingers flying has to be the Miss Behave columns.  I just adored Dear Abbey as a kid and wondered what would happen if her column was taken over by some snarky body-double that said horrible, terrible, no-good things in that column.

Can you tell us a little about your main character, Piper Anderson? She sounds like a fun character!

Traci: She is a rather delightful, if somewhat cheeky, young lady. She is a journalist that wants more than her small town assignment and her task as the local advice columnist, so she is desperately trying to write the worst advice column ever so that she gets taken off the assignment.  But in Piper’s world, things never go as planned.

What about the rest of the Anderson family to which you base your new series? Who are they?

Traci: It starts with Ann, Piper’s mother, who is a bit too proper for Piper’s tastes, and Piper’s Aunt Elise, a gun-toting, hard-stomping, wrestling obsessed family matriarch.  Then there are the four Anderson sisters, Mags, who has a terrible temper and somewhat unhealthy habit of speaking her mind, Betty, the beautiful, career-obsessed producer, and Stacy, the artist.

There is a love interest for Piper. Can you give us a little glimpse of who that might be?

Traci:  He is everything that Piper is not.  He is always put-together and a tad bit uptight.  Hating disorder, he and Piper are on something of a collision course.

Where does your book take place and why did you choose that location?

Traci:  It takes place in the fictional town of Pendelton Falls, CT.  Small, in the quiet corner of the state, the central focus of the town is on the lovely lake at the center and the charming local shops that attract weekending New Yorkers.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Traci:  The scene in the hotel at the end.  You will see!!

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Traci:  The scene with the scarf.  Scarves can cause a surprising amount of trouble, darling.

Have you started on book 2 yet?

Traci:  Book two, Mags’ book, is completely written and will be released very soon!  Here is a wee bit of a blurb:

Mags has gotten herself in a ton of trouble: she's lost her job, any hope for references, and she's going to run out of money.... fast.

Yeah, sure, it may be her fault for punching her boss, but the jerk totally had it coming. 

Nobody listens to her until she reaches her boiling point, and by then, well, she’ll admit that there’s no stopping Mr. Fist To The Face.

Now her years of hard work as a speech therapist are about to go down the drain unless she can find some way to salvage her career.  So when her Aunt Elise calls to say that she has a job for her, it’s not like she can say no, even if the job is up in the wilds of Vermont. 

Between stuffed moose, sloppy dogs and sexy men, Vermont proves to be a lot more interesting than she expected.  But when she uncovers a scheme that would put her new employers’ livelihood in jeopardy, more than just hydrangea bushes are about to get squashed.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Traci:  So many favorites!  I think the scene towards the end with the she-cult, or maybe the scene with the gun-happy fashionista.  Both were incredibly fun to write.  (My dog prefers the scene with the hero’s dog, but she’s completely biased).

Is there a genre you haven’t written but would love to?

Traci:  I have not yet written a true cozy mystery, and I think I would enjoy it!

What’s next for you?

Traci:  Well, this interview wore me out, so I think a margarita is in order.  After that, I’m writing Betty’s book.  I’m having so much fun with this series and the Anderson girls!

I hope you enjoy the reads and thank you so much for having me on your site!

Love and Margaritas,

Monday, September 24, 2018

Interview with Morgan Malone, Author of Taking Control: Rick's Story @mmaloneauthor

12:00 AM 0 Comments

Rick eased toward the open doors of his living room, thinking to disappear into the shadows. He just didn’t feel like an early morning encounter with anyone, certainly not the mermaid with those incredible legs who was ambling slowly in his general direction. He stopped suddenly when something caught the corner of his eye. A glint of sunlight on metal. He reached for his pistol, but his waistband was empty. Damn. What is that woman doing with a diving knife strapped to her right bicep? Who the hell is she?”

From Taking Control: Rick’s Story by Morgan Malone

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

She fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.

Book Description:

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?


Welcome Morgan! I find it interesting that you write sexy contemporary romance novels and focusing on independent women. What sparked the interest of writing this genre and independent heroines?

Morgan: I'm so happy to be here to talk about "Seasoned Romance." I have children older than the heroes and heroines of most contemporary romances. Also, after becoming a widow the age of 35, I started dating again in my 50's. Finally, I retired ten years ago from a thirty-year career as an Administrative Law Judge and Counsel. I was looking for romances that featured characters older than my kids, celebrated the notion that woman who were Baby Boomers could have an active romantic life and were about women who were not just looking for a man to support them, rescue them and make decisions for them. Ten years ago, I began writing romantic memoir and racy romance that featured women like me, my friends and colleagues. Along the way, I discovered many other authors and hundreds of readers who were looking for the same thing. We have some great groups on Facebook, like Seasoned Romance and Romance In Her Prime.

Are you a detail freak when it comes to writing your novels?

Morgan: I am a pantster-I write by the seat of my pants. That being said, as a former lawyer and judge, I am detail-oriented. For Taking Control: Rick's Story, I spent time reading about military ranks, pay grades and retirement benefits to make sure my heroine could afford to live on the Jersey Shore. I looked into how dogs the troops adopt in Afghanistan can be brought back to the States. I even checked out local bars and diners near Surf City, New Jersey. My next project involves office has stacks of pirate books that threaten to topple over every time my grandson comes toddling into the room.

How hard for you was it to sit down and start writing your novel? Did you have all these ideas swirling around your head or did it take some time before you were actually ready to sit down and begin?

Morgan: I write most of my novels in my head before I ever sit down at my computer. Rick, the hero of Taking Control, was a character in my first romance novel, Out of Control: Kat's Story. As they say, he didn't get the girl in that book and many readers have approached me over the last few years asking if Rick was ever going to have his own HEA. I knew that he was, but I couldn't get the feel for who would be the perfect woman for him. A passing conversation with my son, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, gave me the idea for Britt, the heroine of Taking Control. Once I sat down to write the story of Rick and Britt, the characters took over and the story went in a direction that I had not planned, but I think is a much better romance than the one I originally envisioned.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies. Is there any truth to that?

Morgan: I'm not a loner by nature...except when I'm writing. I don't do well in a writing group or at a writer's retreat when I am actually trying to get the words out. Before and after, I'm pretty much a people person, but I like to write in solitude. Until last month, my only company was my beloved chocolate Labrador Retriever, Marley. Sadly, Marley passed away in July at the age of 13. I've been having some difficulty coming up with words for my next project since then, so I have been editing and researching. I've just started on my new book and I am missing my furry brown muse a lot.

I am so excited about your novel, Taking Control: Rick’s Story. Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters?

Morgan: Rick is 51. He is a former Marine, who acts asa consultant on motion pictures but is also often sent out to hot spots by Uncle Sam because of his years in active combat and clandestine operations. He has returned to his cottage on the Jersey Shore in time for his Fourth of July birthday. All he wants is some peace and quiet. Then he spots a woman emerging from the surf in the early morning light-a striking woman with scars, a nasty diving knife strapped to her arm and a rambunctious yellow Labrador Retriever. He discovers she is staying in the cottage next door. Britt is in her forties, an Army veteran, who was badly wounded and betrayed in Afghanistan. She, too, seeks peace at the beach with her beloved dog, Alex. But, this is a romance novel so sparks fly upon their first meeting. Rick and Britt are wounded warriors who dance around each other, neither willing to let their guard down and make the first move. Once they are in each other's arms, barriers start to disintegrate and their feelings begin to emerge. But, there are ghosts from their pasts that they both have to put to rest before they can find their happy ever after. I love that Britt and Rick explore some of the serious issues facing our veterans of past and recent wars. Also, the book is set on the Jersey Shore, one of my favorite beach locations so it is a great summer read. Finally, a character emerges in this story who I had not planned: Mick, who is Rick's former comrade-in-arms and a widower living on the Shore. I already have Mick's book outlined; I just fell in love with him.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in Taking Control: Rick’s Story?

Morgan: Rick has control issues. He was into a lot of control, domination, really, ostensibly to protect himself and the women with whom he became involved. Because of his control issues, he left Kat, the heroine of Out of Control, before he could fall in love with her. I wanted to find a way for Rick to lose some of his need to dominate and open himself up for love. In Taking Control. Rick lays out his need to control their intimacies in a pivotal scene with Britt. Britt then shares with Rick an experience that changed her life, with the unspoken inference that maybe the same experience could help Rick. Britt participated in a program for veterans that was created by Saratoga WarHorse Foundation in Saratoga Springs, NY. The program matches vets suffering from PTSD with retired thoroughbred race horses in such a way that the vets experience a repair of the emotional short circuit they suffered when they experienced their traumatic event during their military service. This is a program that is local to me and is near and dear to my heart. I did research with Saratoga WarHorse and pledged to donate 25% of my profits from the sale of Taking Control: Rick's Story to the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation. What I learned from them changed the outcome of Taking Control: Rick's Story in ways I could not imagine when I started writing this book. The story is more than I ever imagined.

What’s next for you?

Morgan: I'm in final edits for The Dance, a memoir about my late husband. I'm also writing Treasure, a novella featuring a couple in their fifties, which is the present-day prologue to my long-planned Pirate trilogy. And, of course, Losing Control: Mick's Story, the final installment of the Love In Control series, is just waiting for me to let the words out of my head. So many stories, so little time. I'll just have to learn to get by with no sleep at all.

Thank you for this opportunity to chat with you.

Remember: Love, like wine, gets better with age


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