Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ride the Ghost Train with Regan #coffinhop

The journey began on the Dime Store Novel blog at the Black Cat, a little joint near the train station. Regan Worth and Hanover Fist are waiting there for you. Well, at least they should be waiting. Sometimes Regan runs a little late so we might as well take a few moments to talk about some business before you go. (If you're already on the train, you can pick up the story as they get on the train or after the champagne shows up.)

Black Cat
First, the free stuff. We are going back in time. Today and Halloween, we giving away the Kindle edition of our first short story collection, Bones of the Woods.

Next, the contest. We have a trick-or-treat bag full of goodies. Each day, we'll reveal one of the goodies. At the end of the coffin hop, there will be one goodie that will be a surprise. And it will stay a surprise because on the last day, we'll announce the winner.  How do you win? By entering as many times as you can. To enter, leave a comment with your email address on this blog and/or on the Dime Store Novel blog. You can enter each day of the tour, on both blogs.

And the first prize in the trick-or-treat bag is.....
a signed copy of Rips in the Weave. You can read where it all began...in the swamps.

Prize number 2 - A pair of six-sided dice. If you've read High Rollers, you'll know their significance. Just hope they don't roll snake-eyes too often.

Prize number 3 - a tube of lipstick. Yes, it's another plot item from our latest book, High Rollers. But warning-- if you put it on, we are not responsible for what happens.

Prize number 4 - an ebook coupon for Mind of a Mad Man. Some of the stories in it will make your blood curdle. Others are just plain ghostly.

Prize number 5 - a rock. But not just any rock -- a genuine piece of Missouri tiff, as featured in the "The Bones in the Forest", the first story in Bones in the Woods. Hey...at least we're not giving away a bone.

Prize number 6 - a handmade mojo bag to keep the evil spirits away. But remember, it only works if you keep the herbs in it fresh. After all these years, Hanover still hasn't learned that.


My story The Big Hill is in America's Next Author contest. I'd really appreciate if you'd read, review, and vote for it.

There are a lot of fabulous writers on the Coffin Hop...and lots of treats to be had. So make sure to visit as many stops as you can.

And most importantly, have a SCREAMING FUN (but safe) HALLOWEEN!

Now, head on over to the Black Cat. I'm sure Regan and Hanover are getting anxious to get going.


Monday, October 22, 2012

High Rollers - Released for Kindle

To celebrate Halloween, we are releasing High Rollers, the first book in the Dime Store Novel series to feature Regan Worth, the daughter of Jazz pianist and bootlegger, Blazing Fingers Worth.
Regan Worth
Halloween is an apt time to release a book about Regan because she has the ability to see and talk to ghosts. Regan is a wild party girl, so some people think the ghosts she sees are drug-induced. But Regan knows better -- she's been seeing ghosts since she was 5.

When High Rollers begins, Regan is an adult -- still living with Daddy, but then he pays the bills. He also lays down the rules and he tells her she can only attend the christening of a new riverboat casino if Hanover Fist accompanies her. Regan is not happy, but she pays Hanover to accompany. On the riverboat, strange events occur and Regan runs into a gangster who has a keen romantic interest in her. When a jazz singer is murdered, Regan finds herself in need of Hanover's help once again.

Although High Rollers is the 6th Dime Store Novel, it is a story in its own right. Therefore, you can pick up the series here and go back and read about the rest of the characters. We hope you will. In fact, if you review High Rollers, we will send you a coupon for one of the earlier Dime Store Novel ebooks.
To celebrate the release of High Rollers, Regan will be leading a ghostly tour through some haunted areas during Coffin Hop. Coffin Hop runs from 10/24 through 10/31. During this time, we will be giving away all sorts of goodies. We'll also have a drawing for a trick-or-treat bag filled with fun prizes.
And don't forget -- you can still read and vote for The Big Hill in America's Next Author contest.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful for Frost

I know what you're saying...thankful for FROST?  Can't you just enjoy this nice autumn weather and leave frost out if it for a month or so?

Actually, we had our first frost here in Southeastern Missouri about a week ago. It was a light frost and most of the tender plants survived it. A few days later, our cow Pierrot gave birth to a calf. She is lavender with a white face, just like her mama.

Frost and Pierrot
We tossed around a few names -- Snowball, Snowflake, Lavender Girl -- but we decided on Frost. She's a strong, playful calf and we are thankful for that.

Of course, I AM enjoying the fall colors. And I am thankful these high winds have not blown them away. Here's a picture of one of my favorite fall colors.
And here's kind of an impressionistic view of the our hillside this morning.
Here's a picture of the cows waiting for breakfast. The trees behind them are brilliant in the morning sun. But I'm not sure the cows care. One thing for sure though...they were thankful to see John open the bag of grain. Cows are always thankful for breakfast. By the way...that's Princess in the foregound. She's Frost's grandmother and one of our oldest cows.
I'm also thankful for everyone who has read, voted for, tweeted about, and shared my story The Big Hill, which is entered in the America's Next Author contest. Please read the story, if you haven't.  And remember...coffin hop starts NEXT WEEK! We have lots of  hauntingly fun blogs, prizes, and freebies planned, so stop by. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Inspiration - The Big Hill

A lot of readers ask what inspires a story, a scene, a character. For me, inspiration comes from a lot of different places -- usually something totally random. Not all the inspirations make it into stories right away. But sometimes they do. Such is the case with The Big Hill, the story that is currently entered in the America's Next Author's contest.

I got the inspiration for The Big Hill after a day of sledding down the hill we coincidentally call The Big Hill. There's a reason we call it that -- it's big and it's fast. Here's a clip from one such sled ride. John is standing midway down the hill. That's our dog Hooch trying to outrun the sled.

After a few hours of going down The Big Hill, John and I walked back to the house -- exhausted, but exhilirated. He said, "I hope we're still doing this when we're ninety."

We held hands and walked the rest of the way home, laughing about our ride, the idea for The Big Hill already blossoming in my mind.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thankful for Autumn Mornings

It's Thankful Thursday. What a great idea -- a reason in the middle of the week to stop and express thanks. Today I'm thankful for so many things.  Mickey's bloodtest came out great. His remission is stable. All our pets and farm animals are healthy and happy -- I give thanks for that every day. And autumn is here at last. I'm also thankful that my story "The Big Hill" was accepted into the America's Next Author contest. This is especially exciting because you can read my short story for free and comment on it. I love to hear what readers think.  I'll be talking a little more about my inspiration for The Big Hill in a later blog. But since it's Thankful Thursday, I want to talk about how thankful I am that I get to take a walk each morning in this beautiful world and I want to share a part of that walk with you.

As we walked up the dirt road this morning to the farm, the sun was beginning to peak through the trees. The leaves are just starting to turn here, so there are hints of yellow, red, and a touch of orange. The sun rays made the leaves glow even more, especially when in burst through in all its glory.
I hear those rays are called God Rays by videographers and photographers and I can see why because they brush a bit of magic onto everything they touch.
After we fed the cows, we were ready to head into the woods.

 Some trees are further along in their autumn journey than others. Here's a bit of nice red.

Part way down the trail, the sun joined us once again to light up the gorgeous autumn colors.
I hope you enjoyed taking a walk with me this fine autumn morning. What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mickey's Celebration Lunch

Those who have been following the Dime Store Novel blog  or @RagabashGirl on Twitter know that one of our dogs, Mickey, has been fighting lymphoma.  Today Mickey celebrated his 2nd cancer-free month. He went to the local vet for his monthly check-up and bloodwork. We decided to treat him to lunch at Famiglia's, a Farmington restaurant that has outdoor seating and welcomes canine guests. It was a beautiful day for lunch al fresco.

Steve made Mickey some fettucini with a little hamburger. Mickey sat on my lap and slurped it down. He even shared a bit of our spinach-artichoke dip with crostini.
As you can see, Mickey enjoyed it immensely. 

Of course, we enjoyed our lunch too. John had the Italian Truffle Ravioli, a new item on the menu, and I had today's special -- a grilled chicken sandwich with carmelized onions, bacon, and smoked gouda. It was tasty. We are thankful for each day of Mickey's remission. Read what other pals and people are thankful for. What are you thankful for this week? Join the Thankful Thursday blog hop.