Tag Archive | fun

And Then She Said. . .

We went to the doctor, grandest and I, a blip on the perfection of her lovely skin. Yesterday evening was the Christmas Pageant at her school. Grandest had the part of an angel. Hmm. A devil? No, an angel. A quick nap required on my couch and the she changed before daughter arrived. There stood a lanky beauty before me. No more little child. She’s blossomed into a girl of beautiful proportions, long legged, athletic with personality. Thank you dear God for letting me live to see her like this. Here is a picture in costume at the Pageant.

Grandest, my angel.

Enjoy every moment , Grandparents. I do.


Does Sleepover always mean Sleep?

“Mom, Please sleepover.”


“I need you. Purple Heart is coming tomorrow morning and our little one only goes to bed if you’re here to calm her down.”

“Okay.” I packed a minimal batch of stuff and hurried out into the darkening sky with rain beginning to fall. Peering through the wind shield, how I dislike driving at night!, I drove carefully the twenty minutes. Daughter opened the garage door beckoning me to park next to her car in the driveway. She grabbed my cane, bag and trusty pillow and we ran in. She said our little girl was in tears worried about me driving in the dark, in the rain. Sure enough, Grandest wrapped herself around me sobbing. and up the stairs wee went to the tune of dogs barking in the yard.

All too soon we laughed. Then suddenly she held her sweet hands over her ears. Thunder boomed. I said, “Do you know what makes that sound?” A shake of her blonde hair. “It’s God moving his couch.” “Yes and when the noise is really loud, God is trying to move a big television set and the couch at the same time.” Laughter cures fears. It’s like that all through life.

In ten minutes we were in our jams , teeth brushed, no fuss and off to sleep.  Here’s the proof.

1507180_10202793356811409_5132326820936536612_n-1When I wrote Instant Grandpa, I thought about “Write what you know and go from there.” As Granny to my my youngest of them all and a writer to boot, it’s a pleasure to incorporate the relationship that grows through the years. Grandest is six and a half. The love of my life and a pain in the butt very often but with humor, we overcome the sass and enjoy each others’ company.

If you believe “it isn’t over ’til it’s over,” do check out my series of long/short stories of mature romance. where grandparents ,small children and pets love life.

The Beginning…Not the End, Volume 1
Retail Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 45,890.
The first three stories in the series of Mature Romance combined in one volume. Instant Grandpa, Book 1; Young at Heart, Book 2; and Before the Final Curtain, Book 3. These Charmaine Gordon stories of love, passion, and suspense starring sexy seniors are also available as singles in ebook.





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)

12/22/14 WEWRIWA

Winter solstice, folks. One minute of daylight more each day and I’ll drink to that. Yippee!

This is the last snippet from Before the Final Curtain; favorites sentences from a show business dramedy. The first line is from the renowned costume designer, Selma Leon and her thoughts about the too young actor playing the part of daughter.

It’s going to age me dressing a twit like her who must’ve have used the casting couch to get the part. Randall Sloan, the randy old bastard’s gone through enough couches to keep a furniture store in business; he must get a discount.

Jimmy Corcoran, the director’s assistant and talented young writer, knows he’s being taken advantage of with the director stealing scenes he’s written.

What a mess and I’m the one to clean it up, the fixer, my words, my script, when will I ever get the credit? His writer’s mind churns and he writes a scene.

Jimmy speaks to Becca in private saying words she never expected to hear.

“I know your kids from high school, private school in New Hampshire, and it just hit me that my friend Charles looks just like Chris Williams and his twin sister Beth is the image of you.” Becca’s face lost all color and Jimmy knew he’d upset her. He put his hand over his heart and Becca thought, ” Oh no, he’s going to pledge allegiance.

for more snippets from talented writers:


The Beginning…Not the End

Book 3


Book 3 of Charmaine Gordon’s New Series!


Before the Final Curtain


Charmaine Gordon 

Once lovers, aging actors collide on stage as stars in a romantic comedy written and directed by a manipulative director. Add to the mix the talented assistant, a tough stage manager, one prominent costume designer, two young actors, secrets and gossip. Show business. There’s no business like it.

From the new Charmaine Gordon series The Beginning…Not the End.

Mature Love, Romance, Suspense.

All Electronic Formats



Smashwords for All Ebook Formats

Thanks for your comments and support, my friends.

And Then She Said. . .

“Granny, my tooth just fell out.” Grandest came running with her first tooth in her hand. Excited we found a baggie, she wrote FIRST TOOTH, and sealed it. When daughter came home, there was much ado made over the space and the tooth. I whispered, “Do you leave a quarter in the bag from the tooth fairy?”

Daughter laughed. “Mom, now kids get anywhere from five to ten dollars.”  1469804_10201197728281693_363961362_n

“What?” She nodded. “That’s the going rate.”

Why in the world has the price gone up, I ask you? It’s a natural happening, right? A tooth comes in and in a few years a permanent one takes it’s place. No biggie except for proof of growth and change and the fun worth maybe a quarter or possibly a buck, tops.

I’d rather play hopscotch with her in the driveway and read books and help her with homework the way I did with my kids in days long gone. We also make funny make believe sandwiches and she charges me 2 cents. Now that’s more like it!

A Moment with Telly Savalas. . .

The call came for Telly Savalas’s television series, Kojak One day, outdoors on the West side in summer. I was designated to play ball with a little girl who would be kidnapped. A mother’s nightmare; an actor’s dream. And HE strolled out, adored by all, crew and cast with his hat and lolly pop. Business with an air of friendliness. The assistant called 5,4,3,2 and at the gesture I threw the ball. The wind carried it away from the child. She cried. I almost joined her. Take two: 5,4,3,2 again I threw the ball. Take three: The assistant director stalked toward me. “This time roll the damn ball.” I could report him to the Union Rep. The kick worked. Everyone applauded. Telly bowed to me and presented a chocolate lolly, my fave. Sweating bullets, I sat before having my work sheet stamped. Acting is hard, you know.

Telly Savalas Kojak 1973.JPG

And Then She Said. . .

ImageMy grandest granddaughter buckled her  five year old, thirty four pound self into the booster seat behind me after school today. Cheeks rosy, laughing as always, she said, “Grans, I have something to tell you.” I couldn’t wait but what I heard took me by surprise. “I kissed Robert three times and he kissed me twice.” Pre school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What in the world. “Oh, that’s nice, honey. Did you have a good day?” I bet she did. “We worked on our C’s, upper and lower case. I got a star.” And two smooches from a guy named Robert.

She’s a rascal, a jock and full of fun. And she saved me two weeks ago. I’d still be lying under a large bush off the porch if it weren’t for her. What’s a couple of kisses when you’re five?”

Five Days With Al Pacino

Sea of Love (1989)

A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Richard Price

Stars: Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman

Thanks, Wikipedia.

In 1989, I had the pleasure of working as “background artist” in the film Sea of Love. Five glorious days in mid-town Manhattan watching Al Pacino work his magic, body guard surrounding him to protect him from adoring fans. After every scene, the director would huddle with the star making decisions. What a kick! And Ellen Barkin was hot in her tight clothes and heels. The scene where she meets him in the grocery store knocked everyone’s socks off. A bus pulled up at the stop near the corner and a woman handed out a bakery box for Al. It was dumped in the garbage for precaution.

What a week. If you look fast, you might catch the brunette walking along checking out the shops in several scenes. Ah show biz! The glamour of it all. At least it didn’t rain and the pay was good.

Charmaine Headshot for Author Central

And then she said. . .



394833_4375524422683_1936917097_nWe went to the New City Library where she played games on the little kids computers for and hour, checked out  books on tapes for me and said, “I’m hungry. Let’s go to Opa’s for grilled cheese, fries and chocolate milk.” And away we went for a five minute drive to Opa’s, the smallest diner I’ve ever seen. “Ola“, she said bursting through the door, and placed her order. Granny orders nothing. My pleasure is to enjoy her spirit, the way she takes charge, her friendly nature and to eat a french fry or two.

Here comes the special part: After she dumped the detritus in the containers saving the waiter work, she leaned forward over the table. “Granny, it takes a lot of work to own a restaurant. You have to clean the floors all the time, order food for people, cook, wash the windows. I don’t think I’ll own a restaurant when I grow up. Maybe I’ll write books like you or be a teacher like mommy.” We explored other careers, my grandest granddaughter and I, as I marveled at her thought processes at almost five. I’m sure when I was five I never had such an expanded horizon.                     Charmaine Headshot for Author Central

As a family oriented author my books have a sprinkling of children,pets, and somehow this mild mannered woman throws in suspense with bad guys who stand in the way of hero and heroine’s happiness. They have enough conflicts to worry about. See, it’s not easy, folks.

Starting Over: a few words to whet your appetite.

She ran as fast as she could on the hard packed sand this early morning in February, still cold in St. Augustine, Florida. Cold and beautiful with the tide out and no one around. Always surefooted, not as steady since Larry died eight months before, Emily Kendrick stumbled and caught her balance. There was a sense of someone watching her, close to her, yet she ran into no one on the deserted beach. It was almost an everyday occurrence. Tears spilled down her face just as the hurdles set for the track team came up. Easy leap over the first one, the second knocked over by a careless foot. Emily fell and didn’t get up.

A lone runner sprinted through foam at the water’s edge and hurried to aid the fallen woman.

 Binoculars slammed against the railing of the widow’s walk where two eyes had been watching the long-legged runner for months. From his well hidden perch high up on the mansion over-looking the Atlantic Ocean, under investigation the infamous Clifford Lansdale said, “She’s mine.” Fragments of the expensive binoculars lay at his feet.





Happy Birthday, Betty White!

America’s sweetheart, Betty White is 91. She doesn’t know that in the ‘seventies’ we became linked by a show biz set of circumstances. Bear with me, folks.

It began innocently enough. Called for an audition for a commercial film, not a commercial, I auditioned for a Betty White type of character. Sometimes a magical thing happens when an actor auditions. You “chew up the scenery”-giving it all you can and this time I got the part. Picked up in a limousine with three other actresses, we rehearsed. One said I sounded just like Betty White. Hmm. I always thought I sounded just like me.

A few weeks later an ad executive called frantic to find THE VOICE. Yes, she needed me because someone said I was the only one in the Tri-State area who sounded like Ms.White. They were doing a voice-over for what they called an anamatic trial. Who knew? In the city in a dark studio, I read the script into a microps. White never knew that across the country there was once a woman who sounded just like her. If you meet Ms. White, don’t tell. It’s our secret.

P.S. I no longer sound like her. On the flip side, she no longer sounds like me.

Thanks for stopping by.

Do you have a similar tale to tell?Image