Tag Archive | friendship

Where do stories come from?

Hi gang. This is a banner week for me. Bridging the Gap was released yesterday and I sent Spreading Her Wings to my publisher, Kimberlee Williams, Vanilla Heart Publishing. My fingers itch to begin a new story. One buzzes in my head. A novel about a woman, suddenly widowed, her comfortable life shattered; insurance covers needs and then. . .

Oh my. Should she fly to her son in a far away country to regain her sanity from. . . Hmm.

When I wrote Bridging the Gap, a young woman appeared. I named her Anna Youngblood. A native American who ran away from the tribe to prove herself worthy. The story grew from there. What did I know about Native Americans? Not much. That’s where research comes in. Just enough to give me the flavor I needed to flesh out a story with romance, a therapy dog for healing the man she loves. . .

Here’s the blurb:

Anna Youngblood and James Chandler have problems. His little daughter overheard his ex say she never wanted kids; Anna must make amends for breaking rules of her tribe; he has a serious concussion and she’s pregnant. Can this couple find happiness in River’s Edge?

CVR Bridging the Gap w beagleReviews are important to writers. I’d so appreciate if you read my book, please leave a review.

Thanks for your support, Charmaine




SMASHWORDS for All EReader Devices

including PC and Mac


10/12/14 WEWRIWA

And the days dwindle down to a precious few. . .No problem. We have our community of writers, WEWRIWA, to keep us going and write we must. Today I appeal to you, I’ve done this in the past, with a WIP, the sequel to Housebroken, Book 2 in the River’s Edge Series. Untitled, jump in at any time with full credit, I intended to select a character from Book One but Sally Atwood intruded saying , “Oh no you don’t. I’m about to blossom from homemaker to reporter.” I followed her lead and this is what came up. The story begins with her first interview at River’s Edge Community Cable Company. Sally’s fifty five. All the others in the waiting room are young. YIKES!

excerpt in eight:

“Sally Atwood.” Sally jumped when she heard the receptionist call her name.

She picked up the dropped briefcase and gathered spilled papers, embarrassed in front of all the young reporters waiting for an interview.

Jerald Adams had the reputation as high man on the totem pole of local news, also rumored to be a womanizer.
She entered the office, smelled cigars and wrinkled her nose.
“Well hello, Sally Atwood, have a seat and tell me why you don’t like the smell of cigars and had to wrinkle that pretty turned up nose?”
She sat deflated like a whipped pup knowing she’d gotten off to a bad start.
“I’m sorry it I offended you, Mr. Adams; I’m here to show you what I’ve accomplished so far and promise if, after you see my reporting ability, I’ll get, uh, used to the scent.”
He rose and came around the desk towering over the petite Sally, “Get me an interview with Grace Trumbull at the Pet Emporium with her doing the special dog communication thing she’s known for and you’re hired, little lady.”

for more snippets from talented writers:


I’m participating along with several authors in WEWRIWA in First Page Blog Hop. We welcome comments and critique, of course and would love to see more participants.

Thanks, everyone, for your loving and important weekly critique.

Where would we be without us?

As a new widow years ago, I met many nice men playing the “Getting to Know You Game.” At one point, I thought enough already. I’ll remain a widow and just be a grandmother and then fate stepped in and I met the man to become my second husband. No more just me and memorizing scripts working on the next play or auditioning for another job. I had a someone to keep me company and keep me warm. It took a lot of adjustment but we made it work because we wanted to be together.

Marriage is one long conversation. He learned to communicate. Not easy to change when you’re older but he managed. We’ve been through a lot of thick, a bit of thin to balance and here we are in our eighties. Grandest has two grandparents to pitch in when daughter calls and enjoy our six and a half year old’s antics.

I wrote a book titled Now What? Similar in some ways to my trying to be comfortable as a single in my doubles world. I cried a lot, laughed a lot, during the writing. If you know me, you’ll nod your head and say, “Yes, that’s what she does.” Enjoying every moment of every day is my motto and survive and thrive no matter what.  Did you ever notice how many time a day people say, “Now What? or What Now?” My first husband and I said that every time a change came into our lives. Thirty seven years married and five years best friends. . .a lot of Now What’s.

Now What?

“NOW WHAT?” begins with a scene so personal, never meant to be told, but it took charge as I cried, laughed and typed.
Because this is out of my comfort zone, I’m going to introduce Carly Evans. Yes, Carly is a fictional character, the protagonist of NOW WHAT? who comes alive in the story.

It was 2:30 a.m. when the phone rang. I fumbled for it, my heart starting a race toward bad news.
Our doctor’s voice urged me to hurry. I crammed into clothes as if I expected this call.
It is only a fever that won’t go down, isn’t it?

Our doctor shook his head. “. . .Carly, I’m so sorry.”

He lay on the hospital bed where I’d kissed him goodbye not so many hours before. I’d said, “See you tomorrow.” My husband of thirty years replied with words I hadn’t heard in a long time. “I love you.” Not since the heart attack two years before when he began listening to his heart beat and forgot about me. Maybe we both sensed the crossroads ahead, the impending doom.
Settling in beside my Bob, I held his cooling hand and asked the two words spoken many times during our years together. “Now what?” This time there was no response. I was on my own for the first time.

When my fingers touched his wedding ring, I slipped it off and held it in my fist. The gold band was warm.
“Come back to me, dearest.”

Sometimes what you wish for is more than possible.                   Now What newstyle 3D
Now What? by Charmaine Gordon



“Making Your Bones. ..”

All moviegoers have seen the Godfather and maybe the wonderful Prizzi’s Honor. We’ve seen, read, or heard about mobsters’ who “make their bones” with the first kill. But, and here comes the big Butt as I like to say, we have a four and a half pound kitten named Lily. Funny, fast, and adorable, Lily surprised me with a little gift a few days ago. She made her bones, our kitty while the ten year old big mamoo Tabby named Tony sat and watched her play rough and tough with a super small mouse. Then, while I wrote a chapter in my new book, Lily shoved the deceased under the door making funny sounds of kitten delight.

After the husband tended to  burial of said deceased, Lily decided she needed many hugs and kisses and climbed up on the desk to snuggle. I didn’t agree and patted her little back until the rascal fell asleep. Who needed kisses knowing where her mouth and paws had been moments before.

Our home is a small cat kingdom right now. Amusing, tiresome and a lot of work for this author. If you have pet stories you’d like to share, please jump in. As for me, I do love writing about pets. They add warmth, humor and love to every story I write.

If you enjoy stories about lots of pets and humans, do check out She Didn’t Say No, a mature romance with an unusual twist.Say No CVR ARe


She Didn’t Say No
Series: The Beginning, Not the End. Retail Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,320.
Grace didn’t say no to the Big Man On Campus, Scott Dwyer. And then her life changed… Years later, a too-close encounter of an unpleasant kind with a skunk and Scott’s German Shepherd reunites the former lovers. What happens in between are their stories of beginnings and endings and love lost, then found.




Where did summer go? August, usually the hottest month, was on the chilly side. But we survived cancer, day to day crises and I’m writing Book 2 of the Housebroken series. You know me so well. Laughing and crying as I always do, page after page having the best time in my writing career. Welcome WEWRIWA to another Sunday. I promise to behave. Let me know if I’m doing okay and I’ll do the the same for you. That’s what we do in this community of writers.

Last week, Sally Atwood complained, and rightly so, about the old house falling apart. After Steve went to sleep, she checked out listings for mature communities in other towns and watched as a stream of them rushed out of the printer. Her Mother always said the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach so Sally made a plan. She’d bake apple dumplings for breakfast, seduce him with the aroma plus waffles and then show him the listings. Should work. Had to work. Let’s read the eight to see what happens next.

excerpt in eight:

As if baked apples were part of the usual Sunday fare, Sally said, “Good morning, sleepy head, get out of my way or the dumplings will burn and the waffle iron just beeped so breakfast is officially ready.”
“ Not that I don’t appreciate waffles and you know how I love your dumplings, sweetheart, but we always have scrambled eggs and bacon.”
She unfolded a cloth napkin with a spring motif of birds and butterflies and spread it across her lap. “There’s nothing but the best for you, and for us.”
After breakfast ended, Steve patted his middle, cocked his head toward the open windows and said, “Listen to the great sound of silence.“
Suddenly, a baby nearby began to cry loud, a dog barked and didn’t stop and from next door, the new neighbor yelled “Jimmy, stop torturing the dog, Mona, pick up the baby.”
Steve exchanged glances with Sally; “Are there any listings for mature adults only?”
“It just so happens. . .”

for more snippets from talented writers. . .


Housebroken CVR front

SMASHWORDS for All EReader Devices
including PC and Mac





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)

Introducing Tamara Phillip, a dynamic new author. . .

Welcome, Tamara. Tell us a little about yourself.  How did you start writing?
     I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I loved reading. I read everything under the sun and that helped boost my imagination. So I started telling my 3 little sisters stories which turned into writing them.
 I can’t imagine having three sisters. I had brothers. Yikes! What drew you to this particular genre?
     I’m a sucker for romance. Maybe it’s deep down inside I still feel like a 15 year old girl with way too many crushes.
We have that in common.  Have you ever considered another genre?  And if so which one?
       YA, for the same reason I stated above.
     Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
            I start at the outline. I get the plot for the story, then the characters start working their way into my pysche and then I can’t stop writing until I’ve outlined at least half of the story.
   What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far that’s improved your writing from this  first book to now?
         Check and recheck, and when you think you’ve made sure to cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s then check all over  again. Nothing is worse than seeing an obvious error when you manuscript has been submitted.
 An organized woman. I do admire that.
   How many hours a day to you spend writing? Do you have a routine?
          I really wish I had a routine but life usually gets in the way of that. When I do get the time to just sit and write, I do so for at least 2 hours off and on.
I call it Lifeus Interferus. Latin, I do believe. Writers are afflicted with same.
   If you could give a new writer or even a younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
           Don’t give up. You might feel like giving up sometimes, but don’t; just keep plodding along and you’ll get where you need to be.
  What’s your favorite “non-writing” activity?
           Going to book stores and attempting to buy all the books I can carry without assistance.
What’s next for you in terms of writing?
         I’m working on a Young Adult novel. It should be fun!
If I can remember that far back, young adults have way too much fun and lots of angst. I’ll be interested in reading your new book.
 List a couple of your favorite authors we would find you reading
when taking a break from your own writing?
         Neil Gaiman, Dianna Wynne Jones, Cynthia Heimel, Stephen King. I could go on for days.
Ah, Stephen King, one of my faves. I just finished Mr. Mercedes.
  Where can we find you over the next little while?
             I’m always up for a chat on my blog www.tamaraphilipwrites.wordpress.com
  List  fun facts about yourself.
     um Let’s see, I love music and I swear I can sing but I can’t. I’m addicted to the cleaning supplies aisle anywhere. I love collecting recipes and quotes. I’m obsessed with my 6 year old niece. I’m dying to go on a cruise. I love trying new foods and I don’t trust robots!
17.  Answer the following:
a.      Favorite Drink: Blue Hawaiian
b.      Favorite Food: Breakfast for dinner
c.       Favorite Movie: Lost in Translation
d.      Favorite Summer Activity? Long walks 
e.      Favorite Winter Activity? Short walks, haha. Actually love making hot chocolate with my Fiancee after going      Christmas shopping.
f.        Favorite Vacation Spot (somewhere you’ve actually been): Seaside/ Boardwalk areas.
g.      Dream Vacation Spot (you haven’t been there yet): Tokyo
h.      Dream TV/Movie Character you’d love to interview: Queen Guinevere from BBC’s Merlin
i.        What’s the one question you’d love to ask them: Who is your dressmaker?
j.        If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Paris
  Tell us a bit about your current release.  What inspired it?
        The Trouble with Playing Cupid is my first completed book. The idea came about when I was having a fun chat with a friend about gorgeous celebrities and we wondered what would it be like if we could date one. That conversation went on for hours, it was great.
  What is your favorite part of this particular story.

  I love the part when Tom and December first talk on the phone and they shyly flirt with one another even though they didn’t think that would ever happen.

Title & Genre of Book: The Trouble with Playing Cupid is a contemporary romance.
“Since you don’t remember that text message, I’ll have to remind you. Who wants to see December’s drunk text?” Trace asked grandly, to an already foaming at the mouth crowd. “Don’t you want to see it too, Tom?”
  “Not if she doesn’t want us to, Trace.” Tom said, kindly and December fell in love all over again. She might as well enjoy the feeling while it lasted because once Tom saw it, things would become very awkward. She hid her face in her hands and squeezed her eyes really tight, hoping for a power shortage.”
Now available on all Kindle devices
And NonKindle devices
 niceoneThanks for stopping by today, and I wish you the very best with your writing career.

Announcing New Charmaine Gordon Series! River’s Edge, Book 1 – Housebroken


 River's Edhe logo 2


 Charmaine Gordon’s Newest Series

River’s Edge


River’s Edge, where the town motto is Kindness to Strangers, is a small town with big heart, and stories to tell that will warm your heart, make you smile, and turn a dreary day into a day of hope for the Kindness of Strangers…


Housebroken CVR

Book 1


by Charmaine Gordon

Sally and Steve Atwood must make a big adjustment – a fair number of them, actually – when after thirty-five years, three grown children, and a lifetime of memories, they are alone, together, at last… And, then they found River’s Edge.

 ereader graphic with hands Housebroken


SMASHWORDS for All EReader Devices

including PC and Mac






 Housebroken Video CVR clip

Housebroken Sneak Peek Video





7/20/14 WEWRIWA

Oh no, July is flying by and I’m not ready. One day at a time so calm day and enjoy every moment, I tell myself.

Welcome to WEWRIWA where we believe constructive critique helps us to grow as writers.

Thanks to Teresa Cypher’s’ comment last week, today’s eight is about the flame lit by Maverick, the pool guy. His kind attention to my heroine helps  her believe she is special again after husband Frank threw her under the bus by leaving.  The pool enclosure is heated, decorated like a tropical paradise inside and Beth swims every day and night. Maverick shows the plans to a wealthy perspective buyer and excited, stops by one night to tell her. To her annoyance, he knocks on the enclosure door.

excerpt in eight:

Opening the door enough for him to enter, she locked it again and said, “What in the world are you doing here?”
He shuffled around in his boots looking ashamed for disturbing her and then picked a towel off the rack and patted water from Beth’s arms. “ I uh, was passing by, saw the lights on in the pool house and wanted to tell you about, uh, to make sure you were okay.”
Beth noticed once again the age lines around his eyes and figured he was about late thirties —early forties and she was definitely fifty eight and she wondered  how many times does forty go into fifty eight?
He kissed her; stopped with the pats, pulled her wet self closer and kissed the hell out of her.

The climate controlled air upped a notch, bare toes left the puddled surface and steam came from Beth’s lycra swim suit that suddenly felt a size too small.
“Whoa,” Beth said but he didn’t whoa; instead she heard him say I want to make love to you right now, if that’s okay.
Once she said okay, her soon-to-be-lover peeled off tight jeans and stood up, literally, in the smallest underwear she’d ever seen.

for more snippets from talented authors:



buy links for To Be Continued:

PRINT – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-Charmaine-Gordon/dp/1935407430

Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-ebook/dp/B0030IM65G

AllRomance Ebooks – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tobecontinued-395548-149.html

Smashwords for All Ereaders – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7283

6/29/14 WEWRIWA

Today I begin with the dedication in my latest release Farewell, Hello, formerly titled She never Said yes. A few months ago, the story was my WIP and you all helped me coax half the story into shape, especially when I ran into a major snag. When Kimberlee Williams, Vanilla Heart Publishing, asked for the dedication, I wrote the following:

Farewell, Hello is dedicated to Weekend Writer Warriors, an amazing supportive online group of writers begun a year ago by Teresa Cypher, Marcia Kuma and Dana Renelt. When I sent out a cry for help one Sunday, that my WIP-work in progress- needed comments, support streamed through and my mind sorted out the problem.
A huge thanks to WEWRIWA. http://www.wewriwa.com

I’ll be gone until later in the Sunday afternoon and then leave comments. Don’t think I’m neglecting you, my friends.

Today I move along with Beth Malone in To Be Continued. Last week she met and paid the pool guy, Maverick. The phone rings as he leaves and she hears her husband’s voice on the message. Beth never learned to program the phone but she knew Frank’s voice didn’t belong there anymore so she runs out to catch Maverick and ask him to help.

Excerpt in eight:  “I’m basically a techno-dummy and machines have always been my mortal enemy,” Beth fidgeted thinking don’t suck your thumb, nitwit. She rattled on, “I know it’s an imposition and you have a busy schedule but
no one’s here to help me and I must change the message on my answer machine or I will lose my mind and kill myself if I hear his voice in my home again.”
He packed his equipment in the van, locked the doors and said,“Okay, it’s easy to change the message, I’ll show you.” They walked along the garden path where Maverick commented on the forsythia bushes in full bloom as daffodils and tulips Beth nurtured over the years competed in a beauty contest and they entered the house.
A few buttons pressed, Frank’s voice deleted forever and Maverick said, “Okay, time for you to record your message.”

“My name is Elizabeth; Frank called me Lizzie but I like Beth and now I don’t know who I am.”af06a-tbc_flat_front_to_work_with_copy

Maverick said, “My name was John and one day I thought to myself I had enough of John so I became Maverick and I’ve been feelin’ good ever since so Miz Malone, if Beth is what you want, be Beth.”
She watched the white van with the whimsical logo painted on the side, drive off; a large calf, head looking over the shoulder, no brand to be seen, a maverick separate from the herd and realized Frank had separated her from the herd when he fargin’ left her without warning.

for more snippets from talented authors:



buy links for To Be Continued:

PRINT – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-Charmaine-Gordon/dp/1935407430

Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-ebook/dp/B0030IM65G

AllRomance Ebooks – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tobecontinued-395548-149.html

Smashwords for All Ereaders – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7283


Buy Links: Farewell, Hello: