My Daddy – Things I remember


It’s been just over five years since my dad left us, and as Father’s Day approaches (and I am feeling the hole in my heart grow just a little) I have been thinking about the past. Those days filled with laughter and adventure, and I remember how lucky I was that for over forty years, I got to have him with me. That I got to have Michael A. Dearing as my father.

I remember him teaching us to play football, how to box. I remember 4th of July sitting on the roof and watching fireworks. I remember being tossed into the deep end of the pool, then swimming back to his arms and begging to be thrown again. And he did it again and again. Backyard Bear hunts and Big Foot Adventures in the park. Running from the Goose on the Westlake Gold Course. I hated that goose!

I remember being tickled and dog piled on. I remember watching TV, eating popcorn, stealing Cheetos from his plate, which was met with total disdain. I remember seeing him couched on the floor hugging and kissing my dog when he thought no one was watching. The Dearing Roll, weeding, BBQs in the backyard. RV shows and Greek Festivals.

I remember eating at new restaurants, driving around Ensenada, watching USC football. making new friends, taking my friends to visit every summer. I remember him walking through a room and everyone watching him. He could hold everyone’s attention and mesmerize people. I know I got my ability to tell stories from him. he was a Great storyteller.

I remember all the times he took care of me, and that one time I got to return the favor and take of him. Even when the power went out for 4 days after that huge storm in Cantu. I read to him from the Chronicles of Crime by candlelight, and we laughed (don’t judge until you’ve read it yourself – Magic!) and we would watch a few episodes of Harper’s Island on the laptop.  And he got better for a little while. But you can only hold off the inevitable for so long.

And that beautiful soul left us a year later. Your exit was peaceful and everything we hope for it to be. But you’re gone and we are left with a piece of us missing. That’s was true love does. It takes a piece of you with it when it leaves.

Life is short. Don’t waste it. Tell the people you love, how much you love them. Don’t hesitate to share stories, and see your family and friends. Tomorrow is never promised. And for those of you who still have your daddies, please hug them, and tell them you love them, and laugh and make memories, so that you can remember all the glorious days you’ve spent together.

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Shuttered Affections by Rene Folsom – Release, Review and Interview


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Title: Shuttered Affections
Author: Rene Folsom
Series: Cornerstone #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 15, 2013

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Purchase Links

NOTE: Purchase links will be available on my website the day of release. Visit http://renefolsom.com/shuttered on or after October 15th.

Synopsis

After escaping to a college town, Juliana Petersen was determined to put her troubled past behind her and make the most of life. She was satisfied with her current situation, or so she thought. It wasn’t until the day her new photography professor stole her parking spot that she realized there was such thing as lust at first sight. Now, she must struggle with the decision to break the rules and fall in love, or step back and let the chance of a lifetime pass her by—all while her past relationships come back to haunt her.

How many men will it take to break Julia’s hold on reality?

Warning: This novel contains sexual situations and is meant for adult readers ages 18 and up.

Review

Well, Rene Folsom does it again!  She has created hot, sexy characters with an undeniable chemistry that has the reader clamoring for more.  Folsom is the indisputable (in my humble opinion) Queen of the Tease.  If erotica were burlesque, she would be the Gypsy Rose Lee.

The immediate chemistry between Julia and Aiden permeates through the book like pounding sound waves as Folsom deftly builds the tension.  The characters are fantasy characters, but like any great writer, they are flawed and have had experiences that have brought them to where they are now.  I obviously enjoyed the romantic and erotic aspects of Shuttered Affections, but I also enjoyed the alternative plot line that involves Julia’s past.  Folsom has also developed serious subject matter in an acceptable and realistic fashion.

In addition, she has realistically painted a portrait of a fairly independent, yet insecure girl in her early twenties dealing with a new passion and an excruciating past that are about to collide.

I for one am looking forward to her second book in The Cornerstone series…. I need answers.  And I need more of Julia and Aiden… and whatever Rene Folsom is dishing up in the sequel to Shuttered Affections.

Excerpt

The electricity in the air told me he was coming closer. Footsteps, barely audible, whispered along the floor behind me.

My hands fumbled for the canister. I needed to pop the top off and carefully remove the film.

I could feel him close behind me. He was really close. As I successfully removed the film from its canister, I could feel him move even nearer. I felt his breath by my ear and heard him gasp slightly as a curl fell forward and must have brushed against his face.

I was just about done putting the film around the reel when I felt his finger slowly push the tendril of hair back behind my ear.

I deftly finished coiling the film and placed it in the developing tank. Once the lid was in place, effectively protecting my film from light exposure, I spoke.

“Okay. I’m good.” My voice was barely a whisper. I didn’t seem to have the strength to muster any more volume.

“Mmhmm…” he moaned in my ear. “Your hair smells divine, Angel.”

I felt his hand brush against the back of my ear and push my hair to the side, exposing my neck to his touch. I felt his breath on me and, suddenly, it was as if all the oxygen in the room had been used up completely. I couldn’t breathe.

“You’re so beautiful, even in darkness,” he said adoringly and I felt the tickle of his breath on my neck.

Warmth sizzled through my abdomen, my clit pulsed, and my nipples hardened. His words whispered through my ears, seductive and alluring.

His body pressed against my back and he wrapped his hands around my waist, sticking his thumbs into the waistband of my jeans. His fingers gently touched my hipbones. His touch made me arch my back and tilt my head to rest on his shoulder.

His lips, hot as fire, brushed along the column of my neck. I wanted to turn my body and wrap myself around him, but he held me in place.

“Aiden, I thought we were going to try and behave ourselves,” I said breathlessly as he continued his assault on my neck.

“I don’t care,” he mumbled, clearly aware he was melting me to the bone.

Animalistic lust took us over. Grabbing my shoulders, he quickly turned me so my chest pressed against his and shoved my back up against the wall with just enough force to tell me he was turned on as much as I was.

As if attempting to control his urges, he let go of me and I felt his hands press against the wall on either side of my head, just above my shoulders.

“Oh, God. I want to touch you,” he said hoarsely. “I want to touch every inch of you.”

I could tell his lips were so close. The tip of his nose brushed against mine, causing me to involuntarily tilt my head upward, attempting to close the gap between our lips. As if he sensed me pouncing, he turned his chin up, causing me to meet the scruffy facial hair on his jaw.

Unable to see my prey, I reached out and dug my nails into his strong back, pulling him closer to me and lightly sinking my teeth into his jaw. If he wasn’t going to offer his lips to me, I was going to take whatever part of him I could get between my teeth.

As if on cue, a rumble echoed from his throat. His hands snaked down my body, grabbing my ass and pulling me against him.

The move was so bold; I thought for sure he was going to kiss me. Instead, he tilted his head up, exposing his neck to my nibbling assault.

His body, hot and hard, pressed me against the cold, concrete wall. His hands, still on my ass, lifted me slightly so I was forced to the tips of my toes.

I felt his mouth on my neck again and couldn’t help voicing my pleasure.

“Oh, Aiden. Kiss me now,” I begged. I didn’t know why I had to beg this man to press his lips against mine. I only knew I needed more. So much more.

“Tell me, Juliana. Do you want me?” he asked softly, caressing my ear with his lips.

“Christ, yes!” My answer left my mouth before I even had time to process what I was saying. I was quite simply speechless.

“Then you shall have me… eventually.” With that, he let go, opened the door, and walked out.

I was left standing there, completely overwhelmed, and aching with desire.

About the Author

Rene Folsom, author of paranormal romance and erotica, lives in Florida with her husband and three kids. She has officially diagnosed herself with creative ADD and, if it weren’t for her day job as a web programmer, she would have a million and one writing projects going at once. In addition to web design, she is also a graphic artist who loves to create custom book cover designs for indie authors. She is definitely an artist at heart and would love nothing more than to be elbow deep in clay during her waking hours.

Rene believes that all fiction is based on some form of reality—otherwise we would never have the inspiration or knowledge to dream up the realistic situations we portray with our words. She is proud to say that her personal experiences have been inspirational, though perhaps not always identical to that of her fictional characters. Where reality and fantasy diverge, however, must remain her little secret…

AN INTERVIEW WITH RENE FOLSOM

Hi, Rene!! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.  I loved Shuttered Affections, and I know that you have said several times that most of what you writehas been influenced by “real life”.  What in Shuttered Affections was influenced by Real Life experiences (that you’re comfortable sharing with us, of course)?

In Shuttered Affections, most of the classes Juliatakes and the locations she talks about were based on real life experiences.  I did go to college and majored in fine arts.  Maddy is also a real friend of mine I met in photography class and I still keep in touch with her to this day (although, her name isn’t Maddy).  However, the hot teacher situation is completely fabricated along with the club Julia works in.

This series has been several years in the making.  Do you feel as though you’ve changed as a writer or artist since you first started writing The Cornerstone Series?

Most definitely.  I learn new things each time I receive edits back from my editor and I learn something new from each reader who has valuable feedback for me.

I have dubbed thee the Queen of the Tease, because in my humble opinion, you are just that.  You excel at building tension and electricity between your characters and I think that permeates to the reader.  Is that something you do for story pacing or just to torture all of us reading your work?  It’s lovely torture, but still torture all the same.

The only way I can describe it is, it’s what I would want to read.  I don’t want a character who doesn’t feel.  I want to read, and write, something that makes my stomach flutter.

What is the hardest part about being a writer for you?

The time involved in meeting writing deadlines—that, and, the nerve-wracking days after releasing a new book.

Do you have any rituals when you’re writing?

Not really.  I just need quiet.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people in your life?

In Shuttered Affections, only a few characters are inspired by real people.

You mainly write romance and erotica, but do you have any aspirations to write any other genres, or mash-ups genres?

Shuttered Affections is considered romantic suspense, so I guess you could say I mashed up a few genres with that.  But, as far as venturing away from romance, I don’t plan on it.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today.  Before you go, is there anything else you’d like to let anyone know?  Maybe when the next Cornerstone book is due out or any other upcoming releases?

The tentative release for the second Cornerstone novel, Exposed Affections, is mid-November.  I have several other projects in the works at the moment and unsure exactly which I will be working on next.

Thanks again, Rene and much success!

Thank you, Shannon!  ❤

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Flash by Barbara Morgenroth – REVIEW and GIVEAWAY- Around the Universe Book Tour


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BOOK SYNOPSIS:
She’s been pretending to be 18 for so long, it feels like the truth.
When the only way for 15 year old photographer, Kip Chanin, to earn a living is as paparazzi, she can’t say no. Kip’s first photo is of Alex Milne, the handsome and volatile young actor. That one photo changes both their lives. Kip finds herself challenged to be a better photographer, a better daughter and to be a better friend. For someone used to getting by on her own, this could be Kip’s biggest lesson. The second biggest–You do what you have to in Hollywood to survive
Book Link:

REVIEW:

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I received it, but then again, this is why I love doing reviews.  There are a lot of books I would never think of reading, but then they are handed to me and I have to read them to do a review.  This is one of those books that makes be grateful to be able to do this.  The characters are multi-dimensional, smart, funny, sharp, damaged, flawed and believable.  The book takes place in my home town, Los Angeles, and Barbara Morgenroth knows her geography.  She also knows her industry.

I was so engaged by the relationships in this story, I read it in one sitting, then immediately bought the second book… which I read last night.  And I hope there’s a third book coming out, because Barbara does like cliff hangers.  Having said that, I don’t mind cliff hangers and I LOVED this book!!  Kip is an independent, smart, talented girl and although at times she seems much older than she is, we understand why, but then the author shows us this glimpse of a  young girl and we are reminded, she’s not a gown up yet.  The agents are all totally accurate, the actors as well.  The book is like an onion that has layers and layers of story.  I guess i could go on, but this story is truly phenomenal and it is an unbelievable ride.  Hurry with Book 3 please!!

5 pink stars

AUTHOR BIO:
Barbara was born in New York City and but now lives somewhere else.  Starting her career by writing tweens and YA books, she wound up in television writing soap operas for some years.  Barbara then wrote a couple cookbooks and a nonfiction book on knitting.  She returned to fiction and wrote romantic comedies.
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When digital publishing became a possibility, Barbara leaped at the opportunity and has never looked back.  In addition to the 15 traditionally published books she wrote, in digital format Barbara has something to appeal to almost every reader from Mature YAs like the Bad Apple series and the Flash series, to contemporary romances like Love in the Air published by Amazon/Montlake, and Unspeakably Desirable, Nothing Serious and Almost Breathing.
flash121312Flash will be available for $.99 for Kindle during the duration of the tour.  Go grab a copy you won’t be disappointed!!!
There is also a GIVEAWAY.  Enter for the chance to win an
eBook of Flash or a camera charm (shown below).  camerapendant
To enter the GIVEAWAY, please click on the link below:
Please follow the links below to follow the entire tour:

TWIST Reviews – One Story at a Time – Bloodlines by S.L. Dearing


Disclaimer: These reviews pertain to stories in the anthology – Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST.  I have a story in this book (Bloodlines – I won’t be reviewing my story ;), so many feel that I cannot objectively review other stories in the same book I am also featured in… that being said, to each their own, I know my own level of integrity.  Thus, people can choose to believe me or not.  I want to review them and give my opinion… so I am.

Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST

Synopsis: When two children witness the abduction of their mother by the Gestapo, they are whisked away to France, where in the safety of the forest, they discover who they really are…

Review: Nope!! This is my story, the one I won’t review… well, because it’s mine and I already know how I feel about it.  I love it, but I’m biased.  So instead, I have put an Excerpt below.  Hope you enjoy… and maybe want to know how it ends 😉

Bloodlines

“I didn’t ask you to find just any children, Lieutenant Henke! I want those children! Idiot!”

The SS officer bowed his head, clicking the heels of his black boots together.

“My apologies, General. I was led to believe these children would be taken to Birkenau at Doctor Mengele’s request… for the Twins project.”

The SS General looked at the young lieutenant with disdain. The fair-haired Aryan youth was rising in the ranks of the SS due only to his fanatical obsession with the Fuhrer and the influence of his father. The lines around General Heinrich Muller’s mouth deepened. Idiots…everywhere.

“It is not your concern why I want these children… just find them! These specific children! And when you do, you will come and tell me and I will retrieve them! Do you remember the names I gave you?”

“Yes, General! Sascha and Eduard Engel!”

“Good… then locate them immediately and return to me and me only. Now Go!”

The lieutenant nodded and raised his arm.

“Sieg Heil!”

Muller raised his arm and clicked his heels together.

“Sieg Heil!”

Lt. Fritz Henke lowered his arm and turned, promptly walking towards the giant, black oak doors. He opened them and exited, then spun around and closed them behind him.

Muller pushed his chair away from his desk and stood up. He walked over to the window and looked out at the dark streets of Berlin, watching the rain fall hard and fast on the unhappy passersby. The Master’s plan was almost complete. The Chosen were being eradicated from the planet and the sheep were following the puppet. The only thing left to do was to find the children. His face twisted into a grimace, his blood pumping furiously to his brain as he clenched his hand into a fist. He had been so close before, but that bitch wouldn’t tell him anything. They had somehow gotten the children to a new location. He began to sneer. He would find them… and when he did, no one would be able to save them.

The bright light of the moon shone through the little window above the bed of Sascha and Eduard Engel, illuminating the tiny room where they slept. Eduard breathed deeply, lost in the world of sleep as his sister lay quietly next to him. She stared at the sky through the glass, the tiny flakes of snow gently falling from heaven. She twirled an oval, bronze pendant in her fingers and smiled. She remembered her mother. Her mama had always told her that snow was God’s way of sending little pieces of heaven to his people on earth so they would remember Him. Sascha missed her. ~~~

Well, there you have a snippet of my story… unfortunately, if you want more (which I hope you do – Please…) you have to get the book. 🙂  If you’re interested in any of my other writings, they are below.  Nothing like a little shameless plug, right?  Thanks… one more TWIST review to go!!!

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S. L. Dearing was raised in California and grew up in Arizona. Shannon attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying biology, then moved to Los Angeles where she spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College’s renowned Television/ Film program. She has worked on several film projects in many capacities, like First A.D. and Producer. She is a book reviewer for the Big Blend Magazine and has her own blog where she posts about life and books. Shannon has been writing since grade school, but over the years she has written several screenplays, poems and short stories. The Gathering is her first novel. Shannon currently lives in the No Ho Arts District of the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.

Follow Shannon Website: http://www.sldearing.com

Amazon Autor Page: http://www.amazon.com/S.-L.-Dearing/e/B00AWIC4JK

TWIST Reviews – One Story at a Time – Voices of the Soul by Rene Folsom


Disclaimer: These reviews pertain to stories in the anthology – Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST.  I have a story in this book (Bloodlines – I won’t be reviewing my story ;), so many feel that I cannot objectively review other stories in the same book I am also featured in… that being said, to each their own, I know my own level of integrity.  Thus, people can choose to believe me or not.  I want to review them and give my opinion… so I am.

Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST

Synopsis: 

Throughout her entire life, Ella has heard voices.  Voices inside her head.  She’s never given much thought as to why she has this gift… or this curse, depending on which way you look at it.  It’s not until she meets the mysterious Jonah that she begins to question her inherited abilities as a Soul Seer.

Learning to deal with loss and love, Ella manages to live a seemingly normal life… or so she thought.

Review:

I was blown away by this story.  Rene Folsom is an amazing writer and her style flows beautifully.  Her imagery is devastatingly vivid and her characters believable and enchanting.  As each story in this anthology has a TWIST, I am looking for them.  I didn’t see it coming in this one… COMPLETE surprise!! It is my understanding that Ms. Folsom is creating a series of short stories based on this story (The Soul Seers Series) and I look forward to finding out what happens to Ella and Jonah.

5 pink stars

This story is also available for individual purchase on Amazon and other retail outlets.  Rene Folsom also has a novella available called Heart You, also available at online retailers.


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Being a mother of three and wife of one, Rene has had to juggle career, kids, family, grocery shopping, and stain removal. Years of experience have provided her plenty of creative material to work with. While her artistic side as a graphic designer will always be a source of inspiration, using both words and design to take these very different experiences was just the next step in her journey. Residing on the beaches of sunny Central Florida, Rene is now branching out into the literary world, combining her love of art and reading by providing contemporary and paranormal romance stories to her readers.

Follow Rene Website: http://www.renefolsom.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ renefolsom

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/ author/ renefolsom

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ author/ show/ 6949037

 

Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST – It’s LIVE!!!


Paranormal Anthology with a TWISTThe second book brought to us by Editor and Book Reviewer, Cynthia Shepp, is now available.  This time she has partnered with author and designer, Rene Folsom, to bring us a collection of multi-genred tales, all containing a unique and unexpected TWIST.  This isn’t a review, just a notice of release .

What began as an idea soon set into motion a chain of events that would lead to heart-stopping action, amazing suspense, and stories that will stick with you way after you are done.

Unique, unexpected, beyond imagining…shocking TWISTS that will have you frantically turning back the pages to see what clues you overlooked to have missed what was coming.

Paranormal stories that span across the genre and will wow you, shock you, and leave you gasping for more.

11 different authors, one main idea, and worlds that will TWIST your imagination…

Featured Stories:

“Voices of the Soul” by Rene Folsom
“Number 18” by Michael Loring
“Sweet Lenora” by Bart Hopkins
“Truth or Dare” by Jon Messenger
“Suburban Zombie” by Anthony Lance
“All I Want for Christmas” by Jason Brant
“In the Eyes of the Beholder” by Penelope Bartotto
“Little Tchotchkes” by Nicki Scalise
“I am Serna” by Magen McMinimy
“Bloodlines” by S. L. Dearing
“Metronome” by Eaton Thomas Palmer

Edited and Compiled by Cynthia Shepp & Rene Folsom

Head on over to Amazon and grab a copy… you won’t regret it!!

Herding Cats by Christopher JF Gibson (Book Review)


I recently finished Herding Cats by Christopher JF Gibson and I loved it. A collection of short stories that either contain or come from the perspective of our feline friends, deftly written and full of depth and emotion.

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect, but these stories are lovely. Some sweet, some sad, but all of them are definitely written from the heart. Mr. Gibson shares his intimate moments with us. These are beautifully written tales and I found myself looking forward to the next tale when the previous had ended.  I loved that some of the stories were from the perspective of the cat and some from the human.

The story based on the title is about an older cat, with two siblings, who are much younger and make his life quite difficult, but as we read, we realize this “wise-old cat” may not be so wise or so old, engaging in his own “tom-foolery”. It is beautifully written and intriguing.  The Missing Cat was a wonderful story of loss and love, the ending took me completely by surprise.

I haven’t read “animal” tales since I was a little girl, my mom had me reading Albert Payson Terhune (on of her faves – which also became mine), but these aren’t just for children. They are about what we all think about and dream about, just from a different perspective. If you are looking for a series of engaging tales full of emotion and depth, look no further. Herding Cats is simply lovely.