Four years ago today I never once had it enter my mind that I was going to have written four going on five books. My first book – Friends of Choice – was just a pipe dream. Now I am able to say I am closing in on the first draft of Along Came Neil. I have a minimum of 14k words to go. I never even thought back then that I would consider writing a romance.
My book, Friends of Choice, it was written for me. I had fears living deep down inside me that needed to come out. This book banged around in my mind after my daughter left home unexpectedly when she turned 18. A friend of hers told her that now that she was 18 she could move out on her own and not finish school.
Things have a way of not turning out the way you plan. I had planned on going to my daughter’s graduation that never happened. She still has not passed her test for her GED either. I hear she is close but I don’t know how close she is to getting a high enough score.
You see, things didn’t turn out the way she had expected. She figured getting her GED would be easy Peasey. Not –
Then when I started writing Aaron & Keja, that book was just for fun. It was my way of toying with writing and publishing and just having plain old fun with my stories.
Witch Book came next. I enjoyed writing that book so much that I had the first draft written in sixty days. Almost a NaNo Wri Mo achievement, I just missed it by a month.
With Road Salt, my writing took on a more serious note. With this book I was on a mission after my son entered a residential drug rehab and had been in the program for almost six months.
He had been so proud to tell all the counselors that his mom wrote books he had me passing Friends of Choice around his rehab house. His counselor liked it so much she asked me what are you going to write next. I gave it some thought. There were topics in the news to choose from that dealt with substance abuse. The first one I thought of was snitching.
I presented the idea about snitching to his counselor – she didn’t like the idea. I didn’t give up. I was determined to come up with a new topic that she would approve of. It wasn’t like she was my publisher or editor. It was more about the beliefs of the program he was in. I wanted to write a book that his counselor would find acceptable.
Then I saw her – one Sunday morning on the local TV news station. She was talking about the dangers of Bath Salts – a new designer drug that was having devastating effects not just in the US but world wide. It was being sold globally in our own store fronts legally and online.
So the next time we met with her I told her what I came up with. I pitched it to her and she loved not just the idea of the book but also the name.
That is how Road Salt came to be.
I look back on that past year while I was struggling to come up with the next title and how my desire to write began to change.
Call it inspiration or desire – I now call it a need because each story has made me feel good when they have been completed.
How is your writing week going?
Tell me I’d love to hear from you.
What has inspired you to write the book you are working on? Is there a cause that is a driving force in your life?
Cheer on other ROW80 writers by visiting the Linkey List.
- Facts About the GED (adulteducation.answers.com)
- Helping a Family Member through Drug Rehab (casapalmera.com)
- Getting Your GED (adulteducation.answers.com)
This year I found the perfect Christmas gift for my mom.
You see, she had been having trouble reading for the past few years. She has tried using reading glasses. In fact she even has bifocals, but they really don’t help her when it comes to reading. She is in her mid-70s.
So I got her a Kindle.
No, not a Fire, not a Touch, and not a Keyboard. It is just the simple plain Jane version.
At first I was not sure she was going to like it. She has never really been much into electronics. But the more I heard her fuss over the fact that she couldn’t see the words on the pages of the books she was trying to read the more I got thinking. Why not get her an eReader? Then she will be able to make the font larger and make it easier on her eyes.
I was a little leery at first. There was the possibility that she wouldn’t even give the device a chance.
What could I do to entice her to give it a try?
Well, first off, I put some books on it. Since I didn’t know if she was going to use it or not I put some free Kindle Thrillers and Suspense books I found in the top 100 free list.
Then I added for a bit of measure Steven King’s, 11-22-63.
Boy was I surprised when she turned on the device and began to read.
Now that it is over 2 weeks after Christmas she is 74% done reading that Steven King book.
She loves her Kindle.
So if you are having a hard time figuring out what to get Grandma or Grandpa for their birthday, why not get them an eReader?
Just make sure it is the simplest to use device you can find and they will be in their glory with the door reopened to the world of books.
- What better way to read a book than with a kindle! (gadgetgimmicks.wordpress.com)
Announcing… Linda Kepner and Linda Nelson will be visiting The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, NH on October 6, 2012 to discuss and sign their newly released books.
That’s right, my friend and I will be doing a local book signing next weekend. We will be at the bookstore at 11am until – I’m not sure when – I think maybe noonish.
This is a pretty exciting time for me. I have never done a book signing before. My good friend Linda Kepner talked me into it. She said, “How about we do this together? What do you think about Linda’s in stereo.”
We laughed about it and I had to agree. She had a great idea.
I’m the shy type and I have never done public speaking before, so I am of nervous.
This is my friend Linda Kepner – she has a new historical romance out called Second Chance, which is published with Crimson Romance. It is set in the 60’s time period. I already read this book and it was great. The story is about a graduate student, Bishou Howard, who is to tutor a very controversial wealthy tobacco widower during a time period when women were not known to be college professors. The two characters take more than a liking to each other but is it just loneliness for him or is it real love. You will need to read the book to find out.
The book I will be promoting is my newest release, Witch Book. It is the second book in my Orgarlan Saga. This book is a stand-alone sequel so it will not really matter if you read book one or book two first. Book one was Aaron & Keja. Both books were published with CreateSpace.
I’m not sure which book is my favorite out of the two of them. I kind of really like them both. This is my dream world and I had fun creating it. In this series you will find the roles of the fantasy races switched. I made the Orcs civilized and the good guys while I made the Elves the bad guys. The humans in this world are the minorities and they are not treated very well by the other races.
Also in Aaron and Keja, the main character – Aaron can talk to animals. She is known in the world of Orgarlan as a beast master.
In Witch Book, we have three human cousins who are living with and learning magic from their Aunt Grecha. Monica just wants to learn magic and be very good at it. She is the aunt’s favorite pupil. Wenda was happy to learn the magic that she has learned from their aunt. She is leaning towards becoming a beast master just like Aaron. Then there is Darmin. She is a wicked, wicked girl who can’t understand why Aunt Grecha doesn’t like her. Her goal in life is to be as strong as if not better than Lord Ky’debaul and sets out to try to become his bride.
Darmin’s biggest problem with Ky’debaul – he hates humans with a passion.
So if you are in the area of Peterborough, NH come by and see us. We will be giving out little tokens representing our books as mementos.
Who knows maybe this will be the beginning of a New England book tour in the works. Only time will tell….00
- The Board Game of DeathThe Rest of Chapter ~ 2“Who did you get this from anyways?” Jordan asked.“Mrs. Krendall, she said it was her son’s. He must have moved or something. I haven’t seen him in a while. In fact he has not been around since Carley died.”“Oh, Brian?” Jordan held the necklace closer to her face for further inspection. “Yeah…I haven’t seen him around either. Didn’t know he was into this sort of stuff.” She then set it down on the game board.“Isn’t he one of Lucas’s friends?” Shawna asked.“Yeah…I think he is.” Alexus shifted herself, crossing her legs in front of her, sitting Indian style.“So you want to give this thing a try?” Shawna asked.“Yeah…I do. Who wants to go first?” Alexus held out the necklace. “You have to wear this.”Jordan chuckled, “I’ll go first…I’m not scared.” She took the necklace and placed it over her head.The necklace was made up of small white stones with green stones in between them. A larger yellow stone marked the front of the necklace. The stones were strung on some type of thin cord.“You know, that would look better on you if you were wearing your other top.” Shawna commented.Jordan usually dressed in the same Gothic dress style as both Alexus and Shawna. But her parents were totally against the style. She would have to smuggle the clothes out of her house in her backpack. Which she had in her bag now.“I guess you are right.” Jordan removed the necklace. “Hang on while I change.”Jordan reached for her bag and pulled her change of clothes out of it. She took off her dark blue tee shirt and put on a black top with a spider web pictured on the front. Her jeans were next, these were replaced with black chino’s. The finishing touches were a pair of black boots and a black headband with a green bat depicted on it.“There!” Jordan felt better. She shoved her discarded clothes into her bag and took the necklace form Shawna and put it back around her neck. “Look better? I’ll do the make up later.”“Yeah…much better.” Alexus agreed. “Okay…how do we do this? Do we need to hold hands or something?”Shawna moved over to make room for Alexus. “You need to sit over here while Jordan sits on that side. And then we hold hands while Jordan does what ever with the game piece.”Alexus took her place beside Shawna and joined hands with her.Jordan took her spot and placed her fingertips lightly on top of the game piece. She closed her eyes. She asked, “Carley, are you there?”They waited a minute. The game piece did not move. Shawna let out a chuckle.“Maybe she did not hear you,” Alexus said.“Carley, where are you?” Jordan asked again.Another minute went by, but there was still no movement from the game piece.Shawna broke the silence. “Well at least you only paid a buck for this.”The game piece moved slowly to the top of the board and over to the left corner to rest on the word Yes. Startled, Jordan removed her fingers from touching the game piece.“I didn’t do that.” Jordan said with bewilderment. “It moved all on its own.”“Yeah…right!” Shawna said with disbelief. She stood up. “Let me try.”Jordan and Shawna exchanged places and they started again after Shawna put the necklace on. She waited until Jordan joined hands with Alexus.“Carley, how did you die?” Shawna asked. She placed her fingertips on top of the game piece just like she saw Jordan do. She waited.There was no response.“Try again,” Alexus instructed. “Maybe you have to ask more than once.”Shawna was about to take her fingertips from the piece when it began to move. It went to the letter B and stopped there.“B?” Jordan asked puzzled.Alexus giggled. “Maybe she can’t remember how to spell.”The game piece started to move again. This time it moved to the W on the board.“Okay…so maybe spirits can’t spell,” Shawna agreed. She took her fingers off the game piece.Alexus remembered the book she found at the flea market last weekend. It was tattered but readable. It had a lot of info in it about occult stuff. She reached for the book, it was on a shelf above where they sat. Opening it up, she began to look for some information on Ouija Boards.Alexus was puzzled. “Hey the page on Ouija Boards is missing from this book. Like someone tore it out.”Shawna held her hand out to receive the book. “Let me see.”She too opened the book to where the page was supposed to be. It was gone. “Well that’s weird. I thought all the pages were here.” She looked around on the floor below the shelf. “Maybe it fell out somewhere.”They all got up and began to search for the missing page. They couldn’t find it anywhere. After giving up their search, they returned their attention back to the game board. The game piece was no longer on the W. It was now resting on the letter A.“Jordan, did you bump the board?” Alexus asked.Jordan looked down at the board. “I didn’t touch the board. Why?”“Shawna you did not move the game piece…did you?” Alexus asked. She knelt beside the board studying it.Shawna turned to look at the board. “I left it on the W…Why?”Alexus pointed to the board. “Look where the piece is now!” She motioned for Shawna to come closer to the board.The three of them studied the board.“It’s on the letter A now.” Alexus pointed again to the board.The game piece began to move on its own. Stopping next to the letter R.Shawna moved away from the board. “Oh my God! Did you see that? It moved all on its own.” Her voice became a bit shaky.Jordan reached down and lifted the game piece off the board for better inspection. A cricket ran off the board. Jordan laughed, “It’s nothing but a bug.”Shawna laughed too nervously.“Hey, does anyone know what time it is?” Alexus asked. “It must be getting close to supper time. We should go check in with my mom. We can leave this here for now…put it away later.”“Sound good to me,” Shawna agreed eagerly.“Alright…” Jordan brushed off her pants and followed them down the ladder and out of the barn.The sun was not so high in the sky now. Alexus believe it had to be close to 4 o’clock. She found her mom in the kitchen preparing supper.Alexus stood and while Jordan and Shawna took a seat at the small table in the kitchen.“Wha cha making, Mom?”“Oh, we’re having chicken pot pies tonight.”“Do you need any help?”“Naw…I’m all set,” her Mom replied. “Dinner will be ready in about an hour…’Kay?”“Alright…” Alexus moved toward the hallway, “we are gonna be up in my room then.”“’Kay…”The three girls went to Alexus’s room. It was up at the top of the stairs off to the left of the hallway. There was a guest room up here along with her parents bed room, a bathroom, and a room that was being used for storage.Alexus’s brother was off to college, so her parents made his room into a guest room for now.“What do you want to do for an hour?” Alexus asked as she took a seat on her bedroom floor.Jordan took a seat in the tiger striped bean bag chair, while Shawna took a spot on the floor near Alexus.The walls of her room were scattered with posters. The one above her bed was that of a pentagram while the others were of dark angels, gargoyles, and some sort of tree of life. A few posters of grunge bands were amongst the mix.Her bedroom window gave a perfect view of the barn in the back yard. Small glass red bead curtains covered her window. They filtered the sunlight coming in the window, changing the hue of the light to an odd reddish color.“Wanna try using that board again?” Shawna asked.“I think we should go get it.” Jordan agreed.“Let’s do that after supper. We need to find out how to use the thing.” Alexus replied.She got up and went over to her book shelf and let her black fingertips drag along the spines of the books on the shelf until they came to rest on a certain book. A book by Margaist himself. She hoped he could shine some light on the subject.She opened the book to the table of contents and found a section on the board. The first passage she found she read out loud. “It says here…what not to do…hmm…I wonder what he means when he says to make sure you close the board when you are done with your session….Also says…the board is not to be used as a toy, but a tool.”She sat back down on the floor with the book still open in her hands.Alexus said bewildered,“says…this thing is supposed to work…no matter who made it…Wow!”“You mean…that thing really lets you talk to the dead?” Shawna asked.“Yeah…says it works better if we use candles and incense to set the mood,” Alexus explained. “It’s got a whole chapter on dangers…we can read that later…after we try it again…I wanna see if we can talk to Carley…it can’t be that dangerous to talk to a dead kid.” Alexus handed the book to Jordan, she had her hand out to receive it.Shawna peeked over Jordan’s shoulder so she could see the pages of the book too. “I don’t know…there seems to be an awfully lot of stuff written about the board being dangerous.” Shawna replied nervously.Jordan looked over the pages of the chapter a bit more before saying, “says most of the dangerous stuff comes with extended use. We haven’t used it long enough to worry about getting into trouble with it. I don’t see any harm in contacting Carley. She was our friend anyways, she wouldn’t hurt us.” Jordan closed the book and handed it back to Alexus to put away.“After supper I will see if I can find some candles. I think I know where mom keeps them.”All the while time had passed while they sat looking for answers in the book about how to use the board. Alexus’s mom called them to dinner. They decided to tell Alexus mom nothing about the strange feature of the board, if she asked about it.The pot pies were good. But Alexus’s mom always made great chicken pot pies. They were small homemade ones. Her mom would buy the little pie plates and make her own. She said she liked her own crust better than the store bought crust.During dinner, Alexus’s mom asked Shawna and Jordan about their families. She asked how they were and if any special events were coming up, like weddings or family additions. But, neither girl had anything spectacular to report.The town of Ashland is a small town. Small enough for all of its residents to know each other. It was common for most of the residents to show up for each others weddings or christenings.After dinner, the girls excused themselves from the table. Mrs. Bordaine allowed Alexus to take the night off from doing the dishes.Shawna and Jordan ran off to the barn to collect the game. They packed it up to bring it to Alexus’s room.Mean while Alexus went in search of candles and some sort of incense. She planned on asking her mom tomorrow, if she would take them to the New Age Store in Mirtle Bay tomorrow. She could buy some incense there along with some real candles.She looked under the bathroom sink. She remembered seeing some sort of candle being stored there. The were kept for when the power went out.There they were in the back, large candles in jars. One smelled like pine cones and the other smelled like lavender.She took them to her room and set them up on her desk. She placed her fake skull head in between the two candles.In the hall closet she found a jar of potpourri and the little pot to put it in. It used a small tea light candle under the little pot. She took a couple extra tea lights to use for more candle light.
Alexus had to walk around the garage to get to the barn. Tall grass grew in the field behind the house. Cows had not grazed here in years. Her grandparents were the last ones to keep cows. The barn was now only used for storage.
Inside the barn, Shawna had set them up in the upper loft. The barn had three stories. The ground level held an antique car, a mustang to be exact and an old tractor. The second level was where things were kept that would not fit in their attic.
There was a set of stairs leading up to the second level. After that there was nothing but an old rickety ladder. Two of the rungs had been replaced about a year ago by her dad.
It was kind of dark in the barn. Some sunlight seeped through the old barn wall boards. Alexus knew her way up to the top loft. She could even make the trip in the dark.
She climbed over the top of the ladder. Shawna was against the far wall. An old blanket was spread on the floor for them to sit on. She had the box open and the board was sitting in front of her.
“Did you figure it out yet?” Alexus asked. “Does it seem hard to play?”
“Um…It’s weird.” Shawna replied. “There’s no dice or anything. Just this weird shaped board piece.”
“Let me see…” Alexus took the box from Shawna. The instructions were written on the inside of the box. “Talk to the dead?” She read out loud. “Yeah…right!” she said in disbelief.
She sat down on the floor across from Shawna and the game board, setting the box top beside her. She picked up the game piece to examine it.
It was made of some sort of wood that was funny shaped. But game pieces tend to be funny shaped. This one was pointy at the top and round at the bottom.
“It says you set that on the game board and hold your hands like and inch above it,” Shawna instructed.
“Then what?” Alexus asked. She picked up the box again.
“Let me see.” Shawna took the box from her.
“Says…with out touching the game piece…ask a question and concentrate on the game piece. It is suppose to move around the board. What? It spells out words? I don’t know….I doubt it works.” Shawna handed back the box.
“Maybe we should wait for Jordan to get here. I called her…she said she would be over in a bit…she was mowing the lawn.” Alexus set the box back down on the floor beside her and began to study the board.
It was covered with the letters of the alphabet and three words were at the bottom. They were yes, no, and maybe.
“Maybe this game is like the eight ball.” Alexus pushed the game piece around on the board. It slid around pretty easily.
Shawna picked up the box again. “It says you use it to hold seances. Cool. Do you think it could really work?”
“No way…really? Let me see…” Alexus looked at the box again. “It says we can talk to dead relatives and friends.”
“Who would we contact first?”
“I don’t know…how ’bout Carley? She hasn’t been dead that long. In fact I miss her.”
Shawna turned her attention to her sandwich and soda. Alexus set the box top back down beside her and decided to eat her lunch too while they waited for Jordan to show up.
After eating in silence for a few minutes, Shawna spoke up. “You know, her brother won’t even talk to me or any one since the accident.”
“I know. I saw him the other day, and when I said hi…he just looked at me and walked away. It’s not like anyone blames him for the accident. An accident is an accident. He did not mean to drive the car into that tree.”
“I heard he swerved to miss some cat.” Shawna ate the last piece of her sandwich.
“Yeah…now mom makes me wear my seat belt even when we are just going two houses down to Mrs. Hamworth’s house.” Alexus complained.
Footsteps sounded, someone was climbing the ladder. It was Jordan. “Hey!” she said as she poked her head above the floor. She pulled herself up the rest of the way and stepped onto the floor.
“Hey Jordan!” Shawna and Alexus chorused.
“What are you guys doing?” Jordan pulled her backpack off her shoulder and set it down off to the side of the room out of the way. “Mom said I can sleep over.” she said with a smile.
“Awesome!” Alexus scooted over making room for Jordan to sit with them.
“What’s that? You guys got a Oujia Board?” Jordan picked up the box top to check out the outside of the box. “Hmm…it’s not made by Milton Bradley? Where did you guys get this? I thought this game was only made by Milton Bradley.”
“Oh we were at a yard sale this morning. That’s where we got it.” Shawna put her hand on the necklace she remembered in her pocket. “It came with this too.” She pulled the necklace out of her pocket and held it up for Jordan to see.
“You have seen these before?” Alexus asked Jordan.
“Yeah…I’ve seen them in the store…but mom would not let me get one. She wouldn’t say why,” Jordan answered. She flipped the box over to read the instructions. “Oh cool, we can contact the dead!”
“Yeah…we were thinking of contacting Carley.” Alexus handed Jordan the extra can of soda she had brought with her.
“It doesn’t say anything about wearing a necklace.” Jordan handed the box to Shawna to reread.
Alexus held out her hand. “Let me see the necklace.” After inspecting it she handed it to Jordan so she could check it out.
Copyright © 2010 by Linda Nelson