Archive for March, 2014

AUTHOR Thanks to Tami Cox, author of Spirits of Gettysburg: Tales of a Ghost Tour Guide (as Tami Cox Rasel), for stopping by and sharing the inspiration for her new romance novel, Blue Moon Over Martinsburg. West Virginia holds a special place in my life (and heart), so I’ll be checking out this book.

Blue Moon Over Martinsburg by Tami Cox

“My family roots run deep in the Martinsburg, West Virginia area. Being an amateur genealogist, I’ve traced my ancestors as far back as the 17th century in that area. My mother was born and raised in Martinsburg, but came to Baltimore as a “Rosie the Riveter” during the war. However, a treasured memory of mine is summers spent in Martinsburg, West Virginia with extended family during the 1970’s. I’d give anything to go back in time to those summer nights—hanging out with dear friends, strolling down dirt roads barefoot and yes, even teen romance and heartache. It only seemed natural to use that area as the setting for my romance novel. I have an objective in writing this series, but if I tell you the objective, it will be a spoiler alert and give away the ending.

Large blue moon cover 1 Blue Moon Over Martinsburg –the first book in the trilogy, takes a couple through dramatic teen years into early adulthood—with heartbreaking obstacles keeping the couple apart. It’s the story of first love and first kiss (the best kiss, and you only get that kiss once in life, ladies). Boone’s drug addiction is apparent to the reader, but no one else at this time. However, his cocaine habit rears its ugly head in the 2nd novel.

I remember the 70’s as being a much more innocent time for young love and I wanted to bring that out in the novel. However, I think the story will appeal to both a younger audience and those of us who grew up at that time. As one reader wrote to me, “I fell in love with Boone the minute he walked into the setting.” I think most women will feel that way about Boone O’Toole. He is the quintessential country boy.
I think Blue Moon lets the reader fall in love for the first time, or fall in love all over again—with some southern charm along the journey.

I hope you will enjoy reading this sweet romance as much as I enjoyed writing it.”

Want to learn more about Tami and her books?
Visit her at https://www.facebook.com/tami.cox.5
View Blue Moon Over Martinsburg book trailer: http://youtu.be/B2Ky0H4KpGE
View Spirits of Gettysburg book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bUU6Wq2cnw
Buy Blue Moon over Martinsburg at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Buy Spirits of Gettysburg.

Thanks again to Tami Cox for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more Monday Guests, Quotable Wednesdays, blogs from me, and occasional weekend, Readers & Writers Recipes. Have a great day – Vonnie

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Everyone in Maryland will be just as happy as these cows to see green grass and feel the warm temperatures of spring after this year’s long, cold winter. Enjoy!
I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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Thanks to Sharon Buchbinder, author of Obsession, a 2014 EPIC eBOOK Awards Finalist, Romantic Suspense, for stopping by today. You can check out the award-winning cover for Obsession at You Gotta Read Reviews, and view Obsession’s award-winning video Here.

Now, without further delay, the Cover Reveal for Some Other Child by Sharon Buchbinder, available soon from Wild Rose Press. Romance, murder, family secrets… What’s not to like about this new book?


Some Other Child by Sharon Buchbinder

A stolen baby, a missing aunt, decades of secrets to unravel, and love lost and found.


Between taking on the responsibility for the care of her critically injured mother as well as straightening out her muddled finances, public health researcher Sarah Wright hasn’t a minute to herself, much less time to repair a fractured romance. After a much loved aunt goes missing, Sarah is convinced it’s a kidnapping but the police refuse to investigate. Former fiance Dan flies to Sarah’s side to help–and it looks like things might come back together for the two of them–until Sarah is arrested for her aunt’s murder. As evidence stacks up against her, Sarah must find the real culprits as well as unravel decades old family secrets along the way.

Intrigued? You can find Sharon at:





You can purchase Obsession on Amazon 

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Colette Best known for Gigi, French writer Colette (Sidonie Gabrielle Claudine) has many witty, and sometimes biting quotes to select from. One of my favorites: “You must not pity me because my sixtieth year finds me still astonished. To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.”

Since I turned 60 not so long ago, I’m happy to learn that others are still astonished in their sixth decade. As for me, I refuse to give up the wonder of childhood.

(As to where I got this photo and many more I’ll be using this year – I purchased a collection of author postcards many years ago. I used them as bookmarks! It was fascinating to look at the face of the writer as I read his or her work).

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Thanks to Jill Yesko, author of A Very Un-Kosher Mystery, for stopping by and sharing some background information about her new novel.

A Very Un-Kosher Mystery by Jill Yesko

Jill Yesko Headshot “Orthodox Jewish make up a large portion of Pikesville’s estimated 100,000 Jews. Pikesville is home to Seven Mile Market—the largest kosher supermarket in the U.S.

On Friday nights, the start of the Jewish Sabbath, the streets are filled with Orthodox men in black suits, many sporting Paul Bunyan beards and wide-brimmed fedoras. Some have payot—curly side burns that hang in front of their ears. Their modestly dressed spouses wear loose-fitting dresses that cover their necks and elbows and reach below their knees. Married women hide their hair under stylish wigs called sheitles.

But not everything is kosher in Pikesville.

Like all insular religious communities—Amish, fundamentalist Mormons, Hari Krishnas— Pikesville’s Orthodox have their secrets. Airing the community’s dirty laundry to outsiders is a sin. Which is why I chose ‘Westwood’ (the fictitious name I gave to Pikesville) as the setting for my second novel, Dog Spelled Backwards: An Unholy Mystery.

DogSpelledBackwards Dog was inspired by real-life events in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. In 2011, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum became the first person in the U.S. convicted of organ trafficking when he pleaded guilty to selling black market kidneys at a huge mark up. Rosenbaum claimed he was providing a public service, and that he was simply an altruistic matchmaker saving lives.

If black market kidneys were being brokered in Brooklyn, surely something similar must be occurring in Pikesville, I thought.

I wrote my anti-heroine Jane Ronson into the middle of a black market organ operation run by a Jewish doctor who may or may not be being blackmailed by a rabbi of dubious provenance.

As Jane is drawn deeper into the mystery (she must dress and act the part of a pious Jewish woman to infiltrate the Orthodox community), she tries to make sense of arcane rules and ways of the Orthodox.

I wanted Jane to initially see the Orthodox community through the eyes of an outsider, much like Harrison Ford’s character views the Amish in the movie Witness.

Shayna, the rabbi’s seemingly subservient wife, was created as a foil for Jane. At first Jane thinks Shayna is a pushover and mocks her for doing nothing in her life except having children and agreeing to her husband’s every whim. But once Jane and Shayna join forces—think Thelma and Louise—Jane sees a side of Shayna that scares the hell out of her.

‘A bubbled in my brain. Maybe it was the Percocet distorting my judgment, or maybe I’d finally figured out why Shayna got under my skin: Shayna was like me—she was a living, breathing version of my id.

Now I had to make sure my id didn’t plug me in the other shoulder.’

In the end, Jane comes away with begrudging respect for the Orthodox, though not before nearly getting killed by the Russian mob.

I hope you enjoy Dog Spelled Backwards and its prequel Murder in the Dog Park.”

Want to learn more about Jill and her books?
Visit her at www.murderinthedogpark.com , follow her on Twitter @jillyesko, join her Murder in the Dog Park Facebook page, and look for her books on Amazon and elsewhere.

Thanks again to Jill Yesko for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more Monday Guests, Quotable Wednesdays, blogs from me, and occassional weekend, Readers & Writers Recipes. Have a magical day – Vonnie

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Rudyard Kipling English author, Rudyard Kipling, was England’s first Nobel Prize winner in literature (1907). He was best-known for his children’s books, Just So Stories and The Jungle Book. One of my favorite quotes from him: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

Since I believe in the power of story to not only preserve the past and enrich the present, but to change the future – to me, this is a wonderful quote.


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I love photos of space. The Hubble Telescope and other new technologies give us such spectacular images upon which to gaze. I suspect, like me, other writers of science fiction study these pictures (or ones like them) and use the images for inspiration.

I’ve always dreamed of exploring another world, but I think my age and the lack of space travel opportunities have made that dream unobtainable – except in my imagination. And so, I shall continue to paint images of distant worlds and write science fiction stories where treading upon the soil of a planet in another galaxy is not only possible, but a common experience.

Below is a link to a gallery titled, “Cosmos” NASA Images of  a Space-Time Odyssey. From this link, you can get to other fabulous photos.


I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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Ernest Hemingway American author and Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Ernest Hemingway, wrote The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. One of my favorite Hemingway quotes: “All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.”

I love this comment on the difference between “truth” and “facts” for in the hands of a good writer, even the most outrageous fantasy can ring truer than a factual account.

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I’ve read the PDF version of the new Morpheus Tales presents The Ethereal Tales Special Issue – featuring my story “Black Bear.” It’s a good speculative read, and I encourage you to check out this edgy UK magazine. For a FREE preview of the magazine issue with my story:


A few of the other writers who’ve contributed stories are Amy J. Benesch, Alan Loewen, Peter Simon, Christine Morgan, and J.S. Watt.( And lots more). By the way, I intend to order a hard copy. Yes – I like it enough to buy!

For writers, the magazine is currently closed to submissions, but I know I’ll be watching for when I can again submit to Morpheus Tales.

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For those who’ve never viewed it, here’s the link to a video filmed aboard the international space station. It’s candid, fun, and fascinating. And the pleasant interactions between the Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are nice to see.

For writers, viewing this should give you a better idea what weightlessness is like. I also jotted notes on space restrictions in the station, exercise, equipment, food, etc. Science fiction writers especially should pay attention to the real thing rather than how things are portrayed on television and in the movies.

And, yes, I’ve got this link posted on my website, too. But I think it’s worth seeing twice! What do you think of the video?


And Happy International Women’s Day!

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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