Happy National Haiku Poetry Day!

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Haiku is a classical form of Japanese poetry containing a total of 17 syllables shared between three lines, arranged in a pattern of 5-7-5.

First Line – 5 syllables
Second Line – 7 syllables
Third Lines – 5 syllables

Using the theme of transformation, I have written the following Haiku poetry:

haikume

Do you have any Haiku poetry to share?


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Another Sneak Peek…

It’s official – The Wild Rose Press will release A Different Kind of Reunion on Monday, April 23, 2018. In the meantime, I will provide sneak peaks on several days leading up to the release.

In today’s excerpt, protagonist Gilda Greco meets two of her former students on the first evening of the reunion.

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I recognized Jake from his Facebook picture. As soon as he saw me, his smile widened, and he rushed forward to hug me. “Gilda! Is it possible you have de-aged? You look even lovelier than you did twenty years ago.”

What a charmer! In spite of myself, I smiled and gave him the once-over. Every hair in place and signs of a summer tan lingering. His blue eyes sparkled and crinkled a bit, but the final effect was a flattering one. Bradley Cooper came to mind. Jake Coburn would age well, of that I was certain.

I turned my attention to Adam who was standing behind his twin brother, waiting patiently for his turn. I tried not to show my shock as I took in the receding hairline and crow’s feet that had taken permanent residence around Adam’s eyes, still beautiful in color but there were tinges of sadness and suffering. He also appeared puffier in his face and overall body frame. While Jake could pass for late twenties, I would put Adam’s outer age well into the forties. Life had not been kind to Adam Coburn.

I hugged Adam and held him close. I hoped we would have time for a long chat. I wanted to find out more about his past suffering and try to help him. From what Cassandra had said, I gathered Adam had lived elsewhere for a while. What had gone wrong? And why had he returned to Parry Sound?

Available for Pre-Order

Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
The Wild Rose Press


Revisiting My Dream

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Iuliana Foos sharing her extraordinary journey across the ocean to North America and her debut novel, Bloodline Origins.

Here’s Iuliana!

Thank you so much for hosting me today.

Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, I had a childhood and upbringing different from what most people outside the country are accustomed to. Since an early age, I loved to read. Growing up in a communist country, where all information was closely supervised, I soon ran out of books to read.

I had to start, of course, with the literature mandatory in school, all Romanian authors, but soon, I started to borrow books from my parents’ collection. When most people hear ‘Black Market’ they think of illegal merchandise. For us, it was also books. Coming across translated international authors, wasn’t easy, but not impossible either.

It was when I fell in love with ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexander Dumas, the first romance book I ever read. I was only in my early teens, so extremely impressionable. Until today I still believe everyone should have at least one sword, even if only for decorative purposes.

When I attempted to read ‘War and Peace’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, I failed miserably, falling asleep before finishing a whole page. I still didn’t get the courage to go back and try to read what, at that time, for me, was the most boring book, so I never made it past the first chapter. It served as a good paperweight, and many times I used it to hide underneath another book, usually something frowned upon, like ‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell.

Around the same time, I managed to put my greedy hands on translated adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, whose themes are still successfully rehashed today.

One of my best finds has to be Greek Mythology Adaptations. Those gods are still inspiring.

By the time I was sixteen, I ran out of books to devour, and started to make up my own stories. In school and at home, I was busy creating worlds and characters in my head. The visit at Dracula’s Castle uncovered infinite possibilities. Our ordinary world had become that day less important than my fantasy one. You can only imagine the new level of commotion in my mind. It was the first time I knew what I wanted to do in my life: be an author.

With my first job, life started to interfere with my dreams of writing. Living though the revolution that ended the communism in Romania, brought hope. Unfortunately, the bitter taste of disappointment with the new life, convinced me to leave behind everything I knew. Only months before my twenty-ninth birthday, I emigrated to Canada, in a search of a better life.

As an immigrant, I had an allowance of two large travel bags, each no heavier than forty kilograms (or eighty pounds), so I packed my life in those and started anew. I still have my fifteen large notebooks, handwritten in Romanian with my first stories. They took up half of one of my allowed bags, my most precious possessions.

Year after year, I drifted further and further from my dreams. With bills to pay and life in general happening every minute of the day, I had to stay focused on my sales/marketing career.

When I thought life couldn’t surprise me anymore, it did. I divorced and years later, remarried. Following my husband meant yet another big move, this time to the United States of America, my new home. He encouraged me to revisit my dream, give writing a second chance, and so I did.

New challenges rose, but I was determined not to let anything stand between me and my dream this time. Not even writing in a language that is not my native tongue couldn’t stop me. It took me seventeen years to even dare consider it. English is not even my second language, but my fourth. I was fluent in Spanish at nineteen, and in French at thirty. With time I lost the ability to speak any of the two, but I still can understand some.

If you ever look for a challenge to test your courage and drive, try it. Pick the best language you speak, other than your first, and write a novel. Let me know how that works out. No, really, let me know. If you think having an accent is bad, wait until you have to figure out grammar. Thank God, the accent doesn’t come through in writing.

Many people start new chapters at some point in their lives. For some, the change is major, for others not so much. For me, it was monumental. All three times.

So here I stand today, humbled and grateful for everything I went through. I carry the scars of my battles and the sweet memories of my victories. Every adventure and step I took brought me where I am today.

I’ve learned to never lose hope. It took me over thirty years to live the dream I had as a teenager. It is never too late to reach that dream you have. Hold on to it. Foster its growth, and above all else, never give up. Second chances happen when you least expect it.

Blurb

Determined to turn her fantasy into reality, Ana starts her journey to become a vampire. Along the way, she learns the truth about their secret society, discovers her prestigious bloodline, and falls in love.

Not all vampires are accepting of humans and war looms in the shadows. An ancient tome reveals the vampires’ alien descent and sparks war.

An army bent on eradicating her coven’s existence threatens her new world. Survival or annihilation will be in Ana’s hands.

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Where to find Iuliana

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Joanne here!

Iuliana, I’m in awe of your achievements. Writing in a first language is challenging enough. How impressive that you are able to write so beautifully using a fourth language. Best of luck with Bloodline Origins. It sounds intriguing.


Taking a Sneak Peek…

It’s official – The Wild Rose Press will release A Different Kind of Reunion on Monday, April 23, 2018. In the meantime, I will provide sneak peaks on several days leading up to the release.

In today’s excerpt, protagonist Gilda Greco learns of the tragic death of a former student.

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One missed email. While I couldn’t be one hundred percent certain it was the only one I had ever overlooked, I knew this omission would haunt me. And matters weren’t helped when the cantankerous constable on the telephone said, “If you had read that email, Sarah McHenry might still be alive.”

Leaning back in my recliner, I closed my eyes and tried to recall Sarah’s face. But all I could see were curtains of blond hair or, more precisely, three sets of curtains of blond hair. The Barbies—Mean Barbie, Mellow Barbie, Moody Barbie—came to mind. How I had detested those nicknames and some of the more cruel ones the students tossed about like puffs of cotton candy, oblivious to the pain and potential scarring that could linger for decades and even lifetimes. I spent the first two weeks of my teaching stint calling out the children whenever they used those nicknames and giving detentions to anyone who persisted.

Moody Barbie. That had been Sarah’s moniker. Prone to tears and bouts of the silent treatment, she often retreated into her own world. A budding artist, she would take out her sketch pad and draw whenever she finished her work or needed to separate herself from the others. Had she decided life was much too difficult and retreated even farther? That had been my first thought when Constable Mulligan read the infamous email: We need your help. But the use of the first person, plural pronoun conjured up another meaning, one even more sinister.

Who was in danger? Family members? The Barbies? Other classmates? Why reach out to me after over two decades of silence? And how did she find my workplace email address? All these questions swirled through my mind, and I longed to ask for details. But I didn’t want to anger the grief-stricken constable who was bemoaning the senseless way Sarah had died, alone and exposed to the cool autumn evening. A shocking occurrence, but even more so in Parry Sound.

Available for Pre-Order

Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
The Wild Rose Press


The Swan by Mary Oliver

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

This month, I’m sharing my favorite poems by Mary Oliver. Her creativity is stirred by nature, and her poems are filled with imagery from her daily walks near her home. In an interview, she commented. “I go off to my woods, my ponds, my sun-filled harbor, no more than a blue comma on the map of the world but, to me, the emblem of everything.”

The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds –
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?


Spotlight on Can’t Stand the Heat

I’m happy to welcome award-winning author Peggy Jaeger. Today, Peggy shares her new release, Can’t Stand the Heat.

Blurb

With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .

Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . .

Excerpt

This couldn’t be the new executive producer.

She looked like an intern, barely out of college, not the seasoned television producer Teddy Davis had emailed him about.

The one he’d emailed back saying he neither wanted nor needed.

Hair the color of champagne fell just below her shoulders in a soft cascade of waves and ripples. Even in the heat and humidity engulfing them it looked fresh. Her face was a perfect heart, a tiny dip in the center of the hairline bifurcating her brow into two perfectly aligned sections, her flawless chin falling into a delicate point. She had one hand out to shake his, the other shading her eyes from the strong and harsh afternoon sun, but underneath her fingers he was able to make out a pair of sloe-shaped eyes in a deep, forest green.

Taller than average but small boned, her legs took up most of the lissome body. With her lips held together in a tight line, she reached him.

“I’m Stacy Peters, Mr. Stamp.”

He stopped and planted his feet, his gaze shifting to her outstretched hand and then back up to her face without taking it. Her eyes narrowed into a determined glare and it looked as if she wasn’t going to back down until he shook it. With reluctance, he did.

Like the rest of her, her fingers were narrow and thin as they coiled around his.

A blast of heat instantly warmed and calmed his entire body like a few shots of his favorite Irish whiskey did after a rough and painful day. The subtle aroma of vanilla floated to him, filling his senses with the sweet fragrance. The persistent, throbbing ache in his left leg the liquor helped chase away was momentarily forgotten with his hand rooted in hers.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the previous two books in the Will Cook for Love series, I looked forward to reading this latest installment. An evening or two with Ms. Jaeger’s delightfully flawed characters and well-plotted storyline can be compared to a perfectly brewed cup of tea. Hot and sweet enough to satisfy the most discerning of tastes. After reading Can’t Stand the Heat, I would go one step further and add a delicious scone to the mix. Ms. Jaeger has surpassed all expectations and presented us with her best work to date.

I was captivated from the start and found myself rooting for both Stacy and Nikko as they struggled with their personal and professional challenges during a two-month television shoot on a hot, sweltering ranch in Montana. A seasoned health professional, Ms. Jaeger includes expert advice on dealing with excruciating pain, eating disorders, and lingering grief. And, with a nod to her foodie self, four mouth-watering recipes.

My only complaint…The series has ended.

Author Bio

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Links

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger

Giveaway Information and Rafflecopter

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Peggy on the rest of her tour. Find out more here.


Spotlight on Linda Tillis

I”m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Linda Tillis. Today, Linda shares her intriguing writing journey and latest release, A Heart for All Time.

Here’s Linda!

Many thanks to Joanne for hosting me today! My writing journey has been short, but I hope to continue to write for many years to come.

It never crossed my mind that one day I might become a published author. I’ve held three jobs in my life. I worked in a sewing factory for eighteen years, and then I went to work for the local police department. I started as a dispatcher, then applied for the position of non-sworn Crime Scene Investigator. I spent the next twenty years becoming old friends with death, mayhem and brutality. I then took a year off to acclimate myself to a “normal” life. During that time. I did some photography and sold a couple of articles, with photos, to the Florida Wildlife Magazine.

I was too young to fully retire, so I went back to work at the local sheriff offices as a 911 dispatcher. When I approached full retirement, my husband thought I should write a book. I thought the poor man was crazy. Imagine my surprise, when I sat at the computer and a book just started pouring out. I found it was easier to re-live some of the awful things I’d seen, if I placed them in a historical context. And the next thing I knew, I was joining a local writers group, signing up for RWA, and sending out synopses!

Since I still have a difficult time thinking of myself as an author, I would only give one piece of advice to anyone considering a career in writing. Do it now! Don’t wait for “someday”. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that life is fleeting, at best, and should never be wasted.

Blurb

Sarah Haskins’ last family member died months ago, and since then she’s put in way too much overtime at her job as a 911 dispatcher. Looking forward to a much-needed vacation ad some peace of mind, she has no way of knowing that buying a piece of antique Cherokee Indian jewelry will forever change her life.

When Aaron Kramer wakes on a beautiful August morning in 1890, there is nothing to warn him he is going to be hanged that day—hanged and them saved from death by a very confused woman. Beautiful but not quite right in the head, poor thing, she thinks she’s from the future.

While FBI Agent Frank Kramer investigates Sarah’s disappearance from the present, she must adjust to the farm life of a century earlier—and to the man who makes her skin tingle and her heart beat faster. If she returns to her own time, can she be happy there, longing for the only family she has left?

Excerpt

When she got to that part, she stuck her hand in her shirt, and drew out the rawhide ribbon. She held the piece out for Aaron to see. She was not prepared for what happened next.

Aaron’s eyes widened in shock. His knuckles whitened, as he gripped the edge of the bench. He slowly raised a hand to his throat and removed a rawhide ribbon from his shirt. There, on the end of the leather strip, hung an arrowhead, carved from a piece of Tennessee Paint Rock agate.

“Well, imagine that,” Sarah said sarcastically. “Where did you get yours? No, don’t tell me. Anna gave it to you, right?”

“Just before I left to go to Wilmington.”

Sarah had no words left. The whole set of circumstances was so bizarre; she was beginning to believe they were both crazy.

“Aaron, last night, when I asked you what the date was, you told me the year of our Lord, eighteen ninety, right?”

He still looked pale, when he nodded yes.

“Well, when I fell asleep night-before-last, it was the year of our Lord, two thousand sixteen. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”

“Somehow, in a way that neither one of us can explain, I left my home, in my time, and arrived here to save you, in yours. Only one hundred twenty-six years lies somewhere between us.”

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Where to find Linda…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon