Tuesday, December 31, 2013

@rosalindatweets........by Joyce Oroz

I just finished reading Rosalinda Randall's new book, "@rosalindatweets," inspiring conversation and spreading civility one tweet at a time. Lovely book, frank messages.

We think of ourselves as civil, sane and just people, but there is always room for improvement or at least a reminder of the values and manners our mothers and fathers taught us.
Rosalinda says that most of her tweets were inspired by her daily experiences. I say, she had an excellent up-bringing. This is a smart, savvy gal who knows her way around the work place, the home and school. Here are a few example tweets from her book of 300 tweets.

"An excuse is worse than and more terrible than a lie; for an excuse is a guarded lie." Alexander Pope

Please don't pick your teeth with your raffle ticket.

"He who knows how to be poor knows everything." Jules Michelet

No need to extend your pinky; it is considered pretentious.

Now, move over Emily Post because Rosalinda Randall knows how to say what you mean without being mean. She is spreading civility one tweet at a time. Dive into the conversation with a copy of "@rosalindatweets" available from Amazon.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Okinawa Moon.....by Arthur Oroz

A surge of pure joy zaps everyone in the room, Laura, Diane, Michelle and Gina. The women hold tight the preview copies of a novel written by their father Arthur Oroz. They are fixated on the back cover picture where their dad and his dog relax at the beach. They will remember the ham, the cookies, the music and the Christmas joy, but they will never forget the day Art surprised them completely with a book called "Okinawa Moon."  
I have inside information that the book, written several years ago, is about a group of GI's dealing with the Korean War plus a tragic incident near their base. The main characters are ground crewmen who repair and maintain the B-29s which are sent out
on endless bombing missions. Young GI, Montez and his best friends deal with fellow GIs who have a condescending, disdainful and imperious attitude toward the Okinawan people. These attitudes lead to serious trouble and Montez must make things right.
Stay tuned for news on when
"Okinawa Moon" will be available to the public. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Andrea Currie Crafts.......by Joyce Oroz

Today I want to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a crafty new year.

To help make all your crafty wishes come true, I have a book--the book for the new or used crafter person. I happened onto THE CRAFTER'S BOOK OF CLEVER IDEAS by Andrea and Cliff Currie because I went to the doughnut shop to see my friends and while I was salivating over a plate of doughnut holes, a friend gave me a Christmas present. By the feel of the package I knew it was a book, but a crafter's book? OMG it is the neatest book full of awesome craft techniques for handmade projects. Believe me, the stuff in this book is nothing like the old days when the Brownie troop glued glitter to pine cones and Ms. Woolsey to her chair. Andrea and Cliff Currie actually know what they are doing and pass it on to you with clear instructions and great pictures. She shows you how to make resin eggs for your key chain--he makes resin bacon. She makes a tie-dye and glitter party hat--he makes a 32-bit party hat. He makes a color wash lazy Susan--she makes a bubbly serving tray. And so it goes. 
How would you like to make and then decorate a solar phone charger that hangs on the wall?
Andrea and Cliff Currie give you 25 fun projects with his and hers variations for a total of 50 unique gift giving and craft party ideas. Try clever techniques with a wide range of materials, including glitter, glass, felt and glue gun resin. Create everything from a cactus pal that'll hide your personal items to a magnetic dino board for holding all your messages. Pick projects to make at parties or throw your own shindig with the mosaic partyware, confetti popper and booby-trapped gifts! There's something for every occasion with plenty left over for crafting fun at home.

Look for Andrea on 
Craft-Tastic LIVE and her newest creative lifestyle blog Hand MAKE My Day. 

The Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas can be found on Amazon.

The end to this story is, I did not eat one single doughnut hole--but I did lust for them.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Interview With Author Nanci Rathbun.........by Joyce Oroz

Nanci Rathbun's sassy, spunky writing style is sure to tickle your funny-bone, pull you in and keep your attention until the mystery is solved. She knows what she wants to say and makes no bones about it. Now, lets celebrate Author Nanci Rathbun and her wonderful mystery, Truth Kills

Nanci, was there someone, something or an event in your life that set you on the road to being an author?

I’ve always been a voracious reader and was fascinated as a child with the Nancy Drew mysteries.  In my teens, I read Mary Stewart and other romantic suspense writers.  In adulthood, I moved into the mystery genre: Dorothy L. Sayers, Elizabeth Peters, Caleb Carr and Charlaine Harris are among my favorites.  As you can see, I’m an eclectic reader!  I’ve also read a lot of average and just plain bad fiction.  No need to mention those by name, but I always thought, when reading a clunker: This could be good if …  I always itched to try it myself.
But I was a single mom and full-time employee, falling asleep with a book on my chest at night.  There was no time or energy for writing.  After my kids were grown, with high anxiety but a real inner sense of determination, I registered for a writing class at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.  It was led by a woman who later became my writing coach, mentor and friend – Kathie Giorgio.  Without Kathie and her studio, AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop, I’d probably still be reading others’ work and thinking, I could do that!

What do you like about writing and what bugs you about it?

I love the way that a world comes alive in my imagination and moves onto a page where others can read it and share it.  But I have to be honest – it’s hard work!  There are days when the words flow and days when it takes me two hours to write ten sentences.  Sometimes the characters take on a life of their own and do things I didn’t imagine, and sometimes I sit and stare and think: what’s next?  what’s Angie gonna do now?  The process is a lot like pregnancy and birth: there’s pain and dedication needed to bring a manuscript to the point of delivery.  But when you hold it in your hands and send it out into the world, it’s just an amazing sense of accomplishment and joy.

I get frustrated with writers who don’t discipline themselves to learn the tools of their trade: grammar, punctuation, spelling, plot and character development – these are not optional!  Too many writers rush to self-publish without adequate editing.  It’s very hard for me to read a story – even a good story – when it’s riddled with mistakes. 

Please tell us how long have you been writing books and what other writing you do?

I took classes at AllWriters’ for almost a decade and started my recently published mystery novel, Truth Kills, about seven years ago.  (The date is a bit nebulous, because every time I get a new computer, it changes all the file dates.)  I had a very short one-page romance published in Woman’s World magazine some years ago.  While my novel has a romance undertone, straight romance is really not my genre.

Nanci, tell us about your protagonist. Is she a lot like you, other than your beautiful white hair? What are her assets and weaknesses?

Private investigator Angie Bonaparte (boe-nah-par-tay, please – she’s Sicilian-American and doesn’t appreciate the Napoleonic pronunciation) lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She’s a fifty-something woman, divorced, fit, stylish and a bit of a hottie – under her professional outfits, she’s wearing sexy lingerie.  Angie has a degree in library science and loves to dig for the facts.  She’s not very trusting, due to her philandering ex-husband’s betrayals.  Her son and daughter are grown, with kids of their own.  Almost every Sunday, the whole family gathers at Angie’s papa’s house for a meal.  Papa had Mafia connections, which makes Angie’s new relationship with an MPD homicide detective a bit problematic.  Angie is a bulldog when it comes to ferreting out the truth.

She and I do have things in common, but no one would ever accuse me of being a clotheshorse or stylish, nor am I as dedicated to fitness as Angie.  As for the underwear … no comment.  We both broke away from careers to follow another dream.  Angie went from librarian to private investigator.  I went from IT project manager to seminary and am an ordained minister who writes mysteries.  Angie is ambivalent about religion; I had that same experience as a young woman in my thirties.  There are moments in Truth Kills when Angie or others make spiritual observations, but the novel is not Christian fiction.  Friends who’ve read the novel tell me that my voice comes through in Angie.  I guess we’re both a bit sassy.  I like to think we’re both compassionate.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I moved from Wisconsin to Tennessee in January of 2013, to be closer to my granddaughters, Lydia and Lucy – oh, and my son Matt and his wife Sarah, too!  I love spending time with the girls, reading to Lydia, who is almost two, and cuddling Lucy who is almost five months.

I also love the interaction of working with other writers.  The Murfreesboro Writers Group is a source of good critical interchange, fun and laughter.  I’m not currently serving as a pastor in Tennessee, but I enjoy worship and engaging in church activities with others at Murfreesboro’s Central Christian Church (CCDC), which stretches my theological thinking as we grapple with current trends and writers together.  I sometimes go back to Wisconsin to visit family and friends, and there I have the joy of preaching at Fox River Congregational Church in Pewaukee.

Please tell us where we can find your books---and anything else you would like to say--such as a website or blog.

Truth Kills is currently available in both paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon.  It will be on Barnes and Noble starting in November, and other venues such as GoodReads as soon as I find the time to build my profile. 

The second Angie mystery, Cash Kills, will be out in 2014.  I’m nearly finished with the first draft and hope to finalize it by next April.

My website is nancirathbun.com.  Readers can find the latest on my books and appearances there.  They can also send me email from the web site.  I’m on Facebook – look for “author nanci rathbun.”  I tweet very irregularly, but feel free to follow me at @nancirathbun.

Thank you, Nanci for letting us share your busy world of writing, preaching and family. We love our CCP writers!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Refreshingly Eclectic........by Joyce Oroz

What does "the little shop around the corner" mean to you? A little store you went to when you were a child, and the grocer gave you a free malt ball candy every time you shopped the narrow aisles with your mother? Was it a music shop where you saw the perfect instrument you dreamed of playing, or the pet shop with a two dollar live bunny in the window that you were saving for? Was the store charming and loaded with cute little collectibles, stationary and art supplies?

Yes, I'm leading up to something. There is a shop/gallery in my town, Aromas, where anything goes.
 A huge skeleton of a steer's head hangs on the wall alongside an acrylic painting of a raspberry colored flower. Painted gourds share space with an antique vase, metal boxes from India, collage place mats and a large assortment of knitted caps. A treadle sewing machine has stuffed animals and knitted scarves piled on it. Flower arrangements sit next to Christmas decorations and jewelry of every kind. Hand carved Santas share space with pinch pots, greeting cards and books by local authors. 

Here is a clue to identifying this colorful shop. Five colors of tee shirts in all sizes are decorated with a picture of the Dragonfly Gallery on the back. Who would have guessed?
Tomorrow, December 14th the Dragonfly Gallery will come alive with Christmas music and the smell of hot cider. Folks will have the opportunity to buy handmade earrings for $5.00 a pair--ready made or pick the beads you want and watch the jewelry take shape before your eyes. Grace Laurin will have her pliers ready.
From beads to books, the gallery has it all.

 Local author, Giselle Rocha will be signing her new book, A Dark Sky. It is a fantastic teen book--well written with a lovely cover that Giselle designed and produced herself. A great Christmas present!
Don't forget to stop by the Dragonfly gallery, 380 Blohm in Aromas Saturday from 2:00 to 4:00 for music, refreshments and conversation. See you there!  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

California Heads North......by Joyce Oroz

Checked my garden today. Dead and dying plants everywhere. They cry out to me to give them warmth, they say I lied when I said it's never cold in California. Their little buds have shriveled, their leaves grey and glassy. My heart goes out to them, but what more can I do? I went through every tablecloth I own, covering their delicate leaves and rotting flowers. Most of the cloths are red. Now there is color in my garden, lumpy drapey red checkered cloths everywhere. So this is what it's like to live up north or in the northeast. I wonder if Santa has to go through all this trouble just to have a few bright little geraniums around. Shame on me. I was California callused. I didn't understand real weather until it came to my flowerbeds. 
15 degrees! Twice!

This morning was better--a cheery 22. I wonder how Josephine's marigolds are doing.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Day Before Christmas.....by Joyce Riley

Among my family and friends 
my cousin Joyce never pretends.
She writes poems from her heart
every one true and smart.
If her Christmas poem makes you smile
maybe she ditched the truth for awhile.
          After all.........
It's fun to know the turkey's view
of hungry people like me and you.

The Day Before Christmas
                                       By Joyce Riley
‘Twas the day before Christmas.  
Momma was fretting 
About the tom turkey 
our Poppa was getting.  
Poppa had told us, 
“It’s a bonus, you see.”
“The biggest and freshest is promised to me.”
The oven was hot and the dressing prepared.
Christmas Eve was the night we gathered and shared.
And, Grandpa, with checkers, and Grandma with shawl
Had arrived at the house with presents for all.
Our sweet aunt, Loretta and fat Uncle Neil
Were delivering pies to add to the meal.
More aunts and uncles and cousins, galore,
Hugged us and kissed us as they streamed through the door.
But, Momma was fading. Her smile was contrived.
For, Poppa and turkey had not yet arrived.
Then, out in the front yard there arose such a roar,
Momma threw off her apron and ran to the door.
Poppa was standing with a slight, tipsy wobble
Holding a turkey, which still had its gobble.
Momma fainted and so, we took her inside.
Poppa just followed with his bonus and pride.
Momma awoke, ‘though her head was still rocking,
In time to see Tom eating candy from stockings.
Poppa asked her forgiveness.  Momma heeded his plea.
“At least, my dear husband, the turkey was free.”
That night, when we ate, Grandpa offered this blessing:
We thank you, dear Lord, for hot dog’s and dressing.”
Said Tom, as he left with his wings in full flight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Thank you, dear cousin Joyce Riley

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sharon Rose Mierke......by Joyce Oroz


Author Sharon Rose Mierke lives in a small community in Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband have four children and four grandchildren. They spend some of the winter in Galveston, Texas, which has become their second home. Ms. Rose writes the Parson's Cove Cozy Mystery series. The four books include Slip and Go DiePerplexity on P 1/2Calamity @ the Carwash, and her latest, Save as Murder, published
by cozycatpress.comHer book, Virtual Enemies is also a mystery. The very talented Ms. Mierke has written a very successful historical fiction book, Sarah's Valley, published under the name Sharon Mierke.
It gives me goose bumps to interview such an accomplished writer.  
Here is wonderful Sharon in her own words.

Sharon, what made you decide to be a writer?
My mother was a writer and poet so it seemed the natural course for me to take. As a child, I remember the excitement she experienced when she had a story or poem published. I always thought that some day, when I found the time, I would become a writer.
What do you like about writing and what bugs you?
I love creating characters! Your imagination knows no bounds. What bugs me? - Not being able to type fast enough to keep up with that imagination.
Do you write anything other than novels?
As most writers, I started out with short stories. After having several published, I decided to launch into novels. I have never really enjoyed reading short stories so I found it quite frustrating to write them. I guess I have too much to say!

Is your protagonist anything like you?
I definitely hope not; however, I am sure we are somewhat alike. Mabel Wickles tends to be outspoken and can be quite judgmental. She does have some endearing qualities though - she has a soft spot for cats (as do I) and if she makes a friend, she keeps that friend for a lifetime.
 What do you do when you are not writing?
We are blessed with four wonderful grandchildren and we have a large back yard - need I say more? I also do volunteer work every week, spending time with two amazing women. One is 98 years old and as sharp as a whip; the other, is a young woman just over from China. I read the Bible to my elderly friend and teach English to the other. She is definitely learning English faster than I am learning Chinese!

Where can we find your wonderful books?
You can find my books on amazon.com or check out my Sharon Rose page at: