Category Archives: Uncategorized

You Need a Laugh

Don’t we all? Surprise below. Wait for it.  here’s some information on where to buy and follow the books if you like them. All three books are sequential in the Luna de la Mar Salon & Spa series, so it’s best if you read them in order but these are shown below, left to right as #3, #2, #1

If you do happen to read them out of sequence, I tried to keep each story mildly independent of the others. My recommendation? Read them in order.  Also follow this blog and my special Luna de la Mar page on Facebook 

As the Chair Turns is a location on Facebook where you can meet all the authors who will be joining the writing team thi coming year. be the first to hang out with us and stay up to date on the latest characters in our Fantasy town in Florida.

Click HERE to go to my author page on Amazon and if you follow me, they will update you when my next book is released.

This salon and spa is more than you bargained for. . . not to mention the town.

All my books are also at most online retail locations and in most formats. If you can’t find them, contact me and I’ll find a link for you.

Drumroll please . . .

Now . . .  A Holiday EXCLUSIVE excerpt:

Continue reading You Need a Laugh

Explode From the Depths of Undiscovered Treasures

I was reading spam today… Sometimes it sparks a thought. The company mentioned how authors spend so much time writing their books only to see them buried beneath tons of virtual books online.

New Release Notification

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https://www.books2read.com/u/bxZl8J

Frankly, I remember walking into libraries and bookstores experiencing the smell of the pulp and ink, and that overwhelming sensation of “so many books–so little time.” Where to begin…

I worked in a library in college and learned how to search and whittle down my preferences, yet still the numbers and varieties of books are vast and countless.

I love books… especially tangible books. But having a library or bookstore in the palm of my hand…think of it, the knowledge of lifetimes is available electronically to anyone with an e-reader… How does one choose from all those books?

Reviewers, you see how you matter, right? Search engine developers think of your responsibilities. Librarians listed books according to categories and the N.Y. Times best seller list depended on publishers and reviewers to promote the books. Well, money still talks. Darn it.

But hope springs eternal someone once said. Every once in awhile an unknown book or author will break through the millions of new titles and rise to the top of the lists. A miracle of discovery, a gift for readers of that genre.

You know the accidental yet totally deserved success stories I’m talking about. The books that explode out of nowhere by unknown authors who have struggled with invisibility, disinterested agents, editors, and publishers.

It’s about the money. You know that and I know that.

“That isn’t what readers want.”

“We aren’t publishing that now.”

“No money in that genre.”

“It may come back but not now.”

Self publishing solved the publishing issue but money seems to be the only other way to solve the invisibility issue…or is it?

When you find that gem of a read, the one that puts a smile on your lips at the very first page and grips you to the very last, share it. Rave about it to the world, please. Word of mouth is still the best way of advertising.

http://bit.ly/ElizaMarchBooks

When Social Media Isn’t Your Sole Purpose In Life

FB page, if you haven’t heard from me then it’s because I’m writing, which is what I’m supposed to do. Instagram, I love you but my productivity is gaged by words I write in a book not about what I’m eating. Twitter, hello did anyone notice when I stopped by? Nope… gone in a blink of an eye, right?

I blog when I have something to say or share because it’s so much more personal. You can read it whenever you want or not… Sometimes social media is entertainment and sometimes it’s connecting with the world because I’ve been writing alone in an empty house with no human contact. Not entirely true. My husband comes by and asks me where the bread is, my son wants to know where his keys are, the tv keeps telling me what’s going on in the world in spite of my reluctance to participate. I use social media to watch animals and comedy and happy stories about heroes and heroines who are kind to others. I write romance the ultimate escapism in books and movies.

Social media, you are adding too much realism into my fantasy life. Commercials, politics, news, weather, education, shopping… the list goes on. Too much everything!

If y’all don’t mind, I’m going to go write a book. Why don’t you go read one of mine and I won’t have to remind you on FB that I’ve just published the third book in my series. Many people are reading it and liking it. You too can escape into an unrealistic, impossibly funny, fantasy world for a few hours.

Mayhem, Magic, and Mistletoe by me, Eliza March.

You know where to find my books?

Right! On Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Apple Book, just about anywhere you want.

The Draft2Digital universal link below will take you there.

https://www.books2read.com/u/bxZl8J

This will help you find my recent book.

My Quick Stuffed Peppers

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

After working all my life with five children and a husband who liked to eat but had no imagination for cooking I came up with necessary ways around tedious meal preps without skimping on taste or appeal.

This is one of those meals.

Ingredients:

  • 6 sweet peppers (red, green, or yellow…or all or any combination thereof)
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce (Italian style)
  • 3 clove minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 lb package of mozzarella cheese cut into 1 inch squares
  • Chinese cooked white rice
  • 1 lb. chopped meat
  • 2 eggs

I don’t know  about you but I don’t eat the Chinese white rice I get with my Chinese food order. I love fried rice so I usually order that. What can you do with the white rice? I began freezing it.  One day I was out of rice when I thought to make stuffed peppers, then I remembered my stash in the freezer. I defrosted it and mixed it with my chopped meat,  added two eggs, seasonings (oregano, basil, pepper, sauteed onions and garlic), four ounces of the canned tomato sauce, and a little parmesan cheese…blending well.  Wash and cut the peppers in half, lengthwise, and clean out the seeds then stuff them with the meat mixture. Put them in a glass casserole dish and press a chunk or two of mozzarella cheese into the middle of the meat and rice mixture. Finally, pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top of them., cover with aluminum foil and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for forty-five minutes.  Between prep and cook time this one dish meal is ready to eat with a red or white wine in under an hour.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

About Writing Dialogue

Dialogue Tags

I have a love/hate relationship with dialogue in general: I love reading it when it’s written well.

When I’m writing it, I don’t want to pause during the mental conversations that my characters are engaged in long enough to add tags or description. Hey, the conversation is in progress–no interruptions allowed, except from the characters. But without narrative something is lacking. Long dialogue passages frustrate and leave me unsatisfied. I’m frustrated reading scenes when I can’t figure out who is speaking, or being unable to identify where or when the dialogue is taking place.

When I’m reading scenes, including dialogue, I want to be in the moment, but it takes precise design to create clarity.  Who is speaking? What sort of words do the characters use? How high pitched or deep is the character’s voice? Where are the characters? What does the location feel like? Look like? Smell like? Sound like? How are the characters moving? Acting? Gesturing? What is the point of view character thinking?  When a scene can draw all that together…now that is a dialogue scene I want to read.

Things to check:

He saids/she saids may be necessary to keep from confusing the reader, especially when there are more than two characters. Name them or characterize them. Characterizing is a way of defining a character with an accent, favorite movement, affectation, or phrase. Always read through your dialogue to ensure the flow is clear, readable, understandable, and that it makes sense. Make certain a response isn’t too far from the original question or comment.

Mixing narrative with dialogue? Wonderful. Be careful not to interrupt too much of the interactive dialogue. Keep narrative limited to short descriptive actions until there is a natural breaking point to add more detailed narrative or deep point of view. Then when appropriate, begin interactive dialogue again.

Beyond the Halfway Mark

So August is well established and I need to make a mark to claim 2018! This could be it…

I’m looking at houses while waiting for a buyer for my place. God help me, yesterday I wanted to establish a buyer application. Title it: Are you qualified to buy this home?

Will you appreciate the trees.? Allow the frogs and lizards and bunnies to live unmolested?

The concerns go on and on. At what point did my relationship with this property turn from being a landowner to being the caretaker? A steward?

Can you risk selling your memories to a stranger who may not appreciate them? A tree you planted in memory of a birth? A bush to commemorate an anniversary? The house you can change but the living things here on this land depend on me to protect them. I respect their lives and independence so much that when we added on to the house, I moved the trees. They are thirty years older and much larger than they once were but they are my friends. I hope I find a buyer who will appreciate their cooling shade and constant presence.

Selling Our House and Downsizing Part 1

Those of you who have been reading my blog probably know I’ve been talking about this for several years. One of my daughters is a realtor in CO so thankfully I can get tips from her.

The big question everyone asks is where we plan to go. We have no plans, just ideas.

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Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

Plagued with the maladies of aging, my husband and I quickly discovered we weren’t capable of doing what we used to.  That’s a mind-blowing, daunting realization if you haven’t experienced it yet. Nevertheless, there were repairs and changes we wanted to make, but the house had ideas of its own, too. The  old grand dame needed sprucing up. She needed to shed some bloat: ie yard and attic cleanup. Thirty years of accumulated “stuff” ended up being packed away or in storage, dumped or donated.

woman in grey shirt holding brown cardboard box
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

The old gal needed updating so we started with ” lipstick and make-up” in the kitchen. I wanted to make certain to keep the asking price within a realistic range so everything had to be in working order and in a livable condition with room to add personal touches of their own. I didn’t want to make expensive additions or decisions for the next family, but I thought it should have upgraded carpet and new granite counters in the kitchen. The appliances worked: the dishwasher and microwave were new, the stovetop would last a few more years, and the double oven is self-cleaning and in excellent shape. Both central AC units have been replaced within the last couple of years. The roof is brand new.  So the bones of the house are good, sturdy, reliable.

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What next? The next family have options to make it theirs and room to do it in. The one acre private lot in the heart of the county is accessible to the best schools and medical services. It’s not in the incorporated city and not in a gated community with HOA rules and fees. The layout is large and the rooms flexible. The place is comfortable, roomy, and, best of all, light, yet it still bursts with more untapped potential.

I originally took a 2K square foot ranch style home and designed it into a 4K square foot modern style, multi-level, open plan, and yet I can still visualize so many other options. After thirty years of maintenance, makeovers, and makeup, the right family will be pleased to liven up the once popular neighborhood gathering place again. The walls miss the sound of kids and teens and dogs barking. The pool misses the splashing and music. The yard misses the soccer balls and wedding tents, baby swings and tree forts. It’s time for someone to build that wooden walk among the tress along the creek and a gazebo in the front by the pond.

Even after purging the attic and closets twice there are boxes built up in the garage. Until we decide where and what we will live in, it’s impossible to know what we’ll keep and what we’ll give away.

I’m checking out RV living but where will I store all the stuff?

I’ve shown the house twice but it will take just the right family to be the perfect fit.

Next installment RVing after seventy!

Dear Diary Post – The Day After

The day after a book release we sit and count the comments and bite our nails hoping this experiment works. It’s not about the money (Though who wouldn’t be excited about that?) It’s about the approval.

Writing is like giving someone a gift. You hope it’s a good choice. That they like it. That they can use it. That it’s exactly what they need at that particular moment.

I read Nora Roberts Whiskey Creek recently and gave out a sigh on the first page remembering why I enjoy reading her writing so much. It felt like coming home.

That’s why I enjoy writing. I want to give someone that experience of melting into my book. Escape from the moment.

I next turned to JR Ward’s The Chosen. Again, different author, different style, different genre…still that wonderful moment of escape. Relaxation. My drug of choice is reading.

This weekend, try something I wrote just for you. You can find something to take you away on my Amazon Author page.

 

Hand up or Hand out

I’ve been noticeably absent from my blog and the truth is I missed posting here. This is where my mind spills random thoughts I have had over night. Sorry, sometimes they’re worthwhile and sometimes not. Thi15894339_10207439635621634_2405261231259284669_ns week I hope I can provide you with something useful. Everyone either has a job, a child, a sport, or an interest they can write about. I thank the brilliant people who share how to’s on YouTube. We look up everything there. I could probably do open heart surgery following a heart surgeon video.

SO I’m thinking about adding my how to #selfedit lessons to YouTube. SO now there’s a whole new learning curve for me and another social media nut to crack. I write fiction and I love doing it. But if I spend all my down time researching, it will reduce my productivity.

Last weekend I attended a social media workshop I found extremely helpful. I think this is the second time I’ve gone to this one and just one of many Each time I learn something new. Each time I discover how many things have changed since the last time I attended a class on the subject. And within a few days I practice what I’m comfortable with and avoid branching out. I can tweak what I know without the hours of R&D I’ll need for a new venture.

I have a very old Twitter account. This week I had a better idea of what and why I was doing some things. I have an old Pinterest account that I like because I saved all the pretty pictures, and occasionally check out hot guys for inspiration. I am Eliza March and I like hot men. There you know my weak spot. I do not know squat about how Pinterest can be used for promotional purposes. I get the idea at first…but when I try to visualize what to do…poof…nadda.

Facebook is a bain on my peace of mind, sanity, and my ability to control my opinions… and I believe on most of their users too. I’ve been on it so long…I get it. Then I don’t. Then I do, then I don’t. If you’re anything like me, you don’t like being played. I could give you an arm’s length list of companies I deal with daily that are playing with my mind and my life. How do you trust any corporation in this day and time? I’m beginning to suffer from borderline #conspiracy theorist issues. Should I accept my $29.00 (not a real figure) royalty check and keep my mouth shut? I want more. I’m tired of being invisible, suffocated beneath other books, and authors buying reviews, promoters with money, algorithms and bots.

How can I help you? Apparently, those of us who band to together, and share information with each other, and help each other, and inspire each other can pull ourselves up the ladder and drag a few others with us. The stronger you are the more you should pull up with you. Never forget that someone helped you up too. We need each other more than you can ever imagine until that day come when you put your hand up and there’s no one there to rescue you.

Whatever goes around, comes around.

Author Tips for Writing Detail

Detail has a purpose. It should provide something to the story. It should do something to the reader. The picture I used for my page has that romantic couple in a sexy pose. But in describing it, can you as an writer describe the scene accurately to draw a reader response? It makes me think of a sandy beach (yet it’s a wooden floor, reminiscent of Dirty Dancing) perhaps because of the way the light strikes the two characters. I think heat.

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I remember the way the sun feels against my skin as it soaks in, the way it also heats me from the inside without the need for a kiss. Has he just finished kissing her or is he about to kiss her? The sensations before and after are different, and depending on expectation and circumstance, so are the emotions and response.  In describing this moment, an author will know which words to choose to evoke the exact reaction intended from the reader.

Can you imagine the moment leading up to this point? Can you begin to imagine what comes next? Everything depends on story. Characters react to story. Having a plot in mind puts the characters in the story, then knowing your characters well determines how they will react. They have options if they’re three dimensional characters, so they may surprise you, and also the reader, with their reaction. How will he touch her? Where? What does he want? What keeps him from taking what he wants? Maybe he will. maybe he won’t. Details like background noises may define the moment. Maybe an interruption sends them into hiding…everything depends on what’s in the author’s head…and where the story has been as well as where the plot is going.

Think about this when you add detail. What he’s wearing or not wearing can set a scene for what comes next. With both of them scantily clad, sexual tension can elevate quickly, especially if they are forced into close proximity. Does he hear her breathing heavily? Does she notice perspiration form on his forehead? “Showing” these details makes “telling” the reader the obvious unnecessary, but it does put the reader in the scene and  into the story.

Remember the books that frightened you? I had to take breaks while reading The Shining by Stephen King, I could “not” breathe. Normally, writers give the readers time to breathe between scary scenes. Not King.

Remember the books that turned you on? The one that comes to mind for me wasn’t an erotic book; it was a suspense…All the Queen’s Men by Linda Howard. I was on a plane and deep into the dangerous scene of the book, when the sensual tension began to build. OMG danger and suspense and sex! I was seated in an aisle seat in business class surrounded by men. Lost in the story, I must have been holding my breath because when I finally exhaled, the man across the aisle turned around, winked, and asked, “That good huh?” I flushed to the roots of my hair. But “yes” it was that good, and I immediately bought one of those paperback book covers to hide my choice of titles in the future. (Although that cover had had nothing on it but chess pieces, I wasn’t ready to get teased over something like Fabio’s chest. It’s nothing to laugh at!) Getting lost in the details is a reader’s pleasure and the author’s job. Authors must draw the picture, set the scene, create the mood, string the reader out until they want to scream in pleasure or fear, or cry or laugh, or clap and cheer. Emotion is key. If an author can make you feel something…the job is done. Details create sensations that develop the emotions. Make certain the details you choose move the story forward. Set the stage for the scene.

Happy writing makes happy reading!