Tag Archive | Chicago

8/30/15 WEWRIWA

Ocean City, MD almost gobbled me up with  pounding waves and low and high tides at any given moment. We had a fine time , the three of us, I wrote many chapters longhand on the beach, worked out in a gym at our digs and grandest made some super new friends from Long Island. And now back to real life with bags unpacked, cats purring and so is my hubs now that the laundry is finished.

The Alfred’s, Eleanor and Stuart plus their manservant, Edgar arrive in Salt Lake City to step out into the dry heat. They look up and see an eagle dive for prey to remind them of the evil sister Elizabeth.


Edgar stepped out to open the back door of the streamlined limousine and
Eleanor, resplendent in a flower garden silk dress, floated out in her graceful way into the dry air where the sun created a halo around her.
Her sister dismounted from a black stallion better groomed than she was with weathered wrinkled skin and waved away the young rent a hunk cowboys.
Stuart and Edgar remained at Eleanor’s side; like a desert tableau with a light wind blowing sand at their city feet, no one spoke.
When Elizabeth opened her mouth to break the silence, Stuart warned her by holding up his hand.

Stuart had his court face on, confident, facts lined up and proof. “ Regarding the investigation into the death of your first husband, it was apparent to the police that you had erased someone’s prints from the tire iron to replace them with your own.”
“I’m calling the police,” and Elizabeth pulled a cell phone from her jacket and waved it at Stuart.
“ You’re under suspicion regarding the disappearance of Max Calhoun; his grown children think you had something to do with him not calling the past few months.”
.Eleanor spoke, her voice sweet and clear, “I‘m the mother your children never had before now let’s get out of this place of misery.”
The little sister she once knew and loved began to scream and stamp her cowboy boots in the sand just the way she’d done years before.

for more snippets from talented writers:

http://www.wewriwa.comwhendoublebecomessingle at Amazon and B&N available in all eformats and paperbacks

A Very Happy Birthday Interview with Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Please join me in wishing Vanilla Heart Publishing’s newest addition, Neva Squires-Rodriguez a very Happy Birthday as we all celebrate the release of her debut contemporary romantic suspense, Liliana!

Neva Birthday 1


Neva and I both hail from Chicago, where she resides with her family, and that makes for some fun chat between us. Find out a little bit more about this enchanting author in her interview, and if you would like a chance to win an ebook copy of Liliana, just comment or ask Neva a question below. Two random winners will be selected; please check back on this page for winners’ names on Saturday, the 23rd of August.


Neva Author Pic 1

Neva Squires-Rodrigues

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one else knows… please! I won’t tell.

I wore a nice pair of sandals to my Master’s degree graduation ceremony. When my aisle was called to walk up to the stage, the strap on one of my sandals broke. I didn’t know what to do. I managed to scuffle up to the stage and while I was waiting to be called, I literally almost cried. The woman who was ushering us to the stage asked if I wanted to borrow hers, but at the last minute I leaned over and took them both off and walked across the stage barefoot, sandals in hand. I think this is just a minor example of how we manage to get through difficult things in our life, no matter how devastating they may be at the time.

Have you always dreamed of writing a book, seeing your name on the cover?

Yes of course. I think that every author dreams of seeing their name on the cover of a book. It makes you feel like you’re on top of the world and no one can ever take that feeling away from you. Your words are written in history and will be read for generations to come.


Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

Liliana is definitely my favorite character. I think that readers will be left on edge and surprised with what happens next. Liliana allows readers to see how she struggles to find her strength from within. Readers will witness her growth and will be amazed with the many twists and turns in this book.


What is the hardest part of writing your books?

The hardest part of writing my books, is putting my laptop down for the night. I get so involved in the story, that I don’t want to lose my focus. I wish that there was a way to write throughout the night, but alas I need to sleep so that I can get up and go to my other job, the one that is paying the bills for now.


What do your significant other and family think of your writing career?

For the most part they are all very supportive of my writing, more so now that I am actually being published. My best advice to anyone wanting to become a writer, you can ask for support, but don’t count on it. Learn to find the drive within yourself because there are going to be many people that try to convince you that you can’t do it. There is an overwhelming possibility that your work will get rejected. Keep that drive going and  take any criticism you get along the way as positive feedback.


What was the scariest moment of your life?

My car was once hit by a drunk driver. It was New Years Eve and I was heading home with my family and my car was hit from behind. That year we had a heavy snowfall and my car began to spin and eventually hit a median. I am thankful that because of the snow, everyone was driving that much slower, including a semi-truck that was driving in the lane next to mine and managed to avoid hitting me and to the fact that my car spun away from the car that hit me, otherwise my children may have been crushed. The drunk driver kept going and the police did catch him, but were unable to charge him with a DUI because he abandoned his vehicle and started walking. To kind of give you an idea of how fast he was going and how much snow there was. He made it 2 miles down the road even though he had knocked two wheels off his car.


What do you do to unwind and relax?

I go to sleep. I love to sleep. I wish that I could do more of it. I have four children and work full time, so there is no unwinding and relaxing for me.


What question do you wish was on the list? Your answer?

 ‘What is your favorite quote?’ Mine is “Set your goals so high that everyone around you thinks you’re crazy.”

-Wilfredo “Pastor Choco” De Jesus





Liliana ereader graphic


Book 1, The Liliana Series

by Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Now Available in All Electronic Editions!

Coming Soon in Print and Audiobook!

Boom! That deafening sound changed Liliana’s life forever.

Her mother sits dead besides her, shot to death on the streets of Chicago.

Within weeks, Liliana is sent to live with a father she doesn’t know in Colombia – a foreign land filled with challenges for Liliana. While working to pay off her father’s debt, she meets the love of her life, who frees her from her father’s illusory home, only to bring her into a new world of twisted surprises, dangers, and deceit.

 Liliana front CVR full sized

Liliana Links








Smashwords Direct for all ereader devices





Liliana CVR vid clip 1

Liliana Sneak Peek Video




ATO CVR Liliana

A Taste of… Neva Squires-Rodriguez

free download first four chapters

This Neva Squires-Rodriguez sampler is free for your enjoyment. All of Neva’s novels will be published in both print and ebook editions for every reading device, through all online retailers and in select bookstores around the world. Audiobook editions are being produced by professional audiobook narrators and production houses and will be released as they complete production. Audiobooks available at Amazon, iTunes, and Audible.

Where to find Neva Squires-Rodriguez online

Website: http://NevaSquiresRodriguez.com

Twitter: @NevaRodriguez22

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Neva-Squires-Rodriguez/1497271613835645

Blog: http://NevaSquiresRodriguez.com

Happy Birthday, Madame Author!

Psssst… Her birthday is Friday, August 22nd (wink)

3/30/14 WEWRIWA

Hi, my friends. Thanks for the perfect critique last week of my WIP. Just what I needed to move along on this end of March. YIKES! Purple crocus abound in the front near the house where it’s warm. So sweet and pretty.

She Never Said Yes continues. Last week, Joy made a plan to ask the most popular boy, a senior in high school, to her club dance. She’s 15, a sophomore. He’s eighteen, a senior. The year is 1948. The Korean War is two years away from drafting young Americans into the conflict.

“Okay,”he said, and just like that I had a date with Danny Wilson for my club’s dinner dance in two weeks. Handing him an invitation with my name, phone number and address, I said, “Pick me up at seven.” Our hands touched just for second; his hazel eyes locked on mine and I had a thought that maybe we were meant to be together. Heart pounding with excitement, I said ‘bye and raced downstairs to the third floor gym just before the bell rang.

My good friend Liz shared a locker with me and as we changed into the ugly green gym suits, she asked why my face was red and how come I almost missed the bell. Jumping up and down I squeezed her hand and shouted, “I have a date for the dance with Danny Wilson.”

Her jaw dropped and she almost shrieked his name but Miss Clemens blew a whistle and calisthenics began so we followed her commands to her commands and I worked off some of the excitement, not all, just a little bit.

If I knew how to do cartwheels I’d be doing them all over the gym but just wait ’til the dance, Danny Wilson, ’cause that’s where this jitterbuggin’ girl could show off her stuff.

for more snippets from talented writers:



12/29/13 WEWRIWA

Reconstructing Charlie new eyesAlmost Happy New Year, folks and this week I’m posting a snippet from Reconstructing Charlie, a young woman determined to be one of the rare creatures who still retains her virginity, unheard of at a time when THE PILL  freed sexuality from the dark ages. Hmm. Or so history proclaims.

Charlie is at a New Year’s Eve party with her first boyfriend, captain of the football team at Northwestern U where she’s a star athlete in cross country. Even though she’s explained to Tom she intends to remain a virgin, he has other plans. No one ever says no to him. They’re outside on this cold night before the stroke of midnight.

excerpt in eight:

He began with little kisses all over my face, neck, ears and my mouth reached for his, lips parted. Somewhere deep inside I warned myself to know when to say no because he must have majored in making out while I majored in survival skills. His hardness against my thigh told me what he had in mind but so far he didn’t try to go under my dress for easy access where I tingled and my belly hurt with desire.I prayed he wouldn’t go there on his own or at best ask my permission. Oh Tom, I caught my breath with the yearning for him. Don’t spoil us before we’ve begun.

The porch door banged open and his brother Pat and my best friend Shelley handed over two glasses of champagne saying, “Happy New Year, you two.”

Saved by the ball.

for more snippets from talented writers:


Reconstructing Charlie by Charmaine Gordon




Charlie Costigan has a secret. Home life gone from bad to the worst when she protects her mother from another vicious attack by her drunken father. Midnight. Clothes thrown into an old suitcase, she races for the bus with a letter to an unknown aunt and uncle. “This is my daughter. Embrace her as if she were your own.” Determined, Charlie begins again. Alone with her secret.

Sandra Z. Pesmen’s listed in Who’s Who; I’m in Who’s This?

Introducing my dear pal from Chicago Sandra Z. Pesmen; a well known journalist in Who’s Who while I’m in Who’s This?

Sandra Pesmen 2012

In 1945 I met 14-year-old Sandy Zuckerman , who today, at 81, is Sandra Z. Pesmen, author, journalist, career columnist, speaker and Website host. We were in high school, where dating, dancing, partying and simply having fun were main goals. But the two of us, with our other special friend, Nancy Greenberg (now famous Chicago Artist Nancy Greenberg Plotkin) also were among the few girls in that class interested in art and literature-and making good grades so we could go on to college.  I went to Purdue while Nancy and Sandy went on to room together at the University of Illinois,

As often happens, we lost track of each other for many years. Then I wrote my first book, To Be Continued, a few years ago and contacted Nancy to tell her about it. She said Sandy could help me market it.To Be Continued newstyle 3D (2)

During the years we were apart, life changed. I married my pilot and moved all over the U.S.; Sandy and Nancy found their special loves and married to remain in the Chicago area; we all multiplied with children.

But during that same time, Sandy managed a full-time professional career downtown, as: three-time author and motivational speaker; report/feature writer for a leading Chicago daily newspaper,and features editor for Crain’s Chicago Business newspaper. She was inducted into both the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and the University of Illinois Media Hall of Fame.

After her husband Hal died in 1979, Sandy developed a Website to help other widows also “strive and thrive alone.” It covers financial, emotional and every day practical challenges facing wives left without a husband. http://.www.widowslist.com

She also began to give slideshow presentations about famous people she interviewed during her career called “Celebrities I Have Known,” then wrote a companion memoir “Stairway to the Stars: John Travolta, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers…and Me.”  (www.Bocomedia.com $10) .An amazing story, not just about the celebrities but how Sandy worked her way up in the male dominated newspaper business back then.

Sandy’s long-time career gave her media contacts throughout the city, so she “called in some chips” and set up interviews about my book, and convinced me to fly to Chicago for a whirlwind-and pretty crazy-promotional weekend. She met me at the airport and we drove downtown to sleep at Nancy’s city home so we could be at WGN studio for a radio interview with Rick Kogan for his Sunday Papers show at 7 a.m. The next day we all went back to sleep at Sandy and Hal’s home in the burbs, so I could give a reading in the Chestnut Street Bookstore in Winnetka.She also managed to place column items about me and my book:” Chicago Native Charmaine Gordon writes first romance novel at 76.” Give or take a few years, who cares?

Charmaine Headshot for Author Central

What fun we had remembering old fun days—and living some new ones! Three days of of laughing with my dear friends. Great memories.



To Be Continued: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7283 – the first ibookbuzz book club selectionhttp://bit.ly/pfjmjs