3 Questions Wednesday with Robin E. Mason

Robin E Mason - 041115 - croppedToday we welcome author and fellow Crew member, Robin E. Mason, to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Hi, Robin! So glad you can share your thoughts with us today. First question.

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Robin: I have a confession to make. I don’t read non-fiction! GASP I know, I know, I’ve tried, really I have. And I do at least skim through and even highlight some good stuff. That said, I have a few good ones, but mostly I follow blogs and save posts and/or links to the posts to refer to. And, of course, reading other works of fiction. Every nuance or turn of phrase triggers my own creative sparks, and I see it transferring to my own writing.

Interesting way to look at it. Now…

What secret talents do you have?

Robin: I’m pretty transparent so not so many secrets, but this doesn’t come across so well online (with one notable exception, ahem ahem, I have thus far resisted video blogs…..) but I can ROCK a British accent. Irish, too, but Brit is my go-to. Once upon a time, when I was waiting table, a British family came in and (how I’ll never know) I got bold enough to wait on them in accent. They actually argued with me that I’m not from England! My favorite thing to say in accent is, “I’m born in Mississippi!”

I’ve heard you on Vimeo. You’re pretty good! Last question: 

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Robin: Well, whaddya like? I’m a good cook and I love to cook, so… Italian? I make a crazy stuffed pasta shells dish (mine own recipe, too). Chinese? I got the stir fry going on. Homestyle? I make a fanTAStic chicken pot pie. Dessert? I’ve just started playing with crepes, one of my favorites, and I’d love to whip up a batch with your choice of filling!

It all sounds good to me! Thanks, Robin, for dropping by!

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Cissy

cissy cover - teaserEvil words. Words that should never have been spoken. Words that she should not have heard.

But she did. And she believed them.

Everything changed when Cissy heard those words that day. She was five.

What torment is wrought when wicked words are spoken? Can Cissy’s ravaged life be redeemed? Or will she wreak havoc on all who love her?


Robin E Mason - 041115 - cropped“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!” Robin E. Mason

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.

Tessa and Clara Bess, books I and II in the unsavory heritage series, are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print, with the third book in the series, Cissy, coming out in September of this year.   I also have several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, http://maryblowers.com, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. I will also be working on a personal anthology of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.

http://robinemason.com

http://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S

https://twitter.com/amythyst212

http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason/blog

https://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com/

My Island Dream

waikiki-beach-1037073__340

 

By Betty Boyd

The island is lush, warm, and inviting. The beaches are pristine, the water is turquoise blue and makes you just want to jump in. Where is this island dream? It is Hawaii and my ultimate summer vacation.

I’ve never really thought much about going to an island until my best friend’s daughter started talking about visiting this chain of islands. I’ve been doing some exploring about costs, time, and what my commitment would be. I’m all in! I will be doing long term planning for this trip, but it will be worth it.
What’s so special about Hawaii, you wonder? Here are some amazing facts about our 50th state. It became a state in 1959 and is called the “Aloha State”. There are a total of eight main islands with the capital of Honolulu which is on Oahu. In fact, there are two national parks: Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui, featuring a dormant volcano and the park I’m most interested in seeing is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located on the Big Island of Hawaii. This park features an active volcano and you can take helicopter rides to see the volcano.

I like the idea the Hawaii’s climate is tropical, but the temperatures and humidity are less extreme because there are near-constant trade winds. This would make me want to stay on the beach and bring lots of sun screen. The temperature in the summer usually reaches 88 degrees during the day and 75 degrees at night. Winter days are around 83 degrees and do not dip below 65 degrees.sunset-1034525_960_720

Typically, you wouldn’t think there would be any reason to think about snow. On Mauna Kea, which is 13,800 feet above sea level, snow does fall. Hawaii has only two seasons: a dry season that runs from May to October and the wet season from October to April.
Some of the other places I want to visit are the Arizona Memorial, Waikiki beach, and Diamond Head. I want to be able to step back and just imagine that this was my own island paradise.
There are so many places to visit and see in these chain of islands, that it would take me the rest of my life to take it all in. Needless to say, I will be taking this trip in a couple of years and will be one I will remember for the rest of my life.

So what is your favorite summer vacation?

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Can you write a story with these four words?
• Island
• Trade winds
• Tropical
• Beaches

Favorite Summer Vacation

Once upon a time, and thanks to the magic of the single-mom tax return, I was able to make a dream come true for my kids. I don’t say children, because they weren’t little kids anymore; they were teens. But truly, if you’re going to go to DISNEY WORLD, it’s so much easier when they’re older!

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I didn’t get to take my kids on vacations when they were little. We visited my family, and I took them to their paternal grandparents until we left Colorado, and we took day trips. But no actual vacations, no hotel stays, and definitely no resorts like Disney. So the year I was able to make this happen, it was pretty magical.

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I booked a package deal that included Busch Gardens, Sea World, and Water Mania, plus four day World Hopper passes at Disney. We could go back and forth from one Disney theme park to any other during those four days—and we sure did!

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We paired off, the boys (15 & 17) and the girls (13 & me), relying on pagers (remember those!) to communicate. I had a debit card for the first time and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time!

 

Our favorite ride was the Tower of Terror. All of us kept going back, riding it over and over. For the uninformed, it’s a basic drop. Housed in an old haunted hotel, you ride an elevator to the top, then switch cars to one of the ride cars (seated, of course) and hover ere so briefly before you plummet back to the ground. My fav pic was snapped just at the moment the mechanism opened to take the souvenir shot. And yes, we purchased souvenir copies. That’s what vacations are for, right?

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There were ruby slippers, Ace Venture, and dragons…

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… and T-I-double G-ER.

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There were whales…

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… and there were roller coasters (did I mention I love roller coasters!!!) The Kumba at Busch Gardens but only got to ride it oncet, on account of it started raining!

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And there were water slides.

 

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But best of all, there were smiles! And yes, even from the teenager with attitude.

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WRITING PROMPT:  We arrived at our hotel and it was more than we could have imagined! Kid units had squabbled over who got which bed, but that was quickly settled. We had our dinner and settled in for the night. Tomorrow our adventure would begin…..

 

 

 

ME - 041115“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. Besides Tessa, she has Clara Bess, book two in her unsavory heritage series. She is currently working on Cissy, the third and final book in the series. It will be released in September of this year.

 

Come visit me at:

http://www.robinemason.com

http://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S

https://twitter.com/amythyst212

 

Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas, Favorite Summer Vacation, Disney World, Magical, Ruby Slippers, Tigger, Roller Coasters, Busch Gardens, Water Slides, Smiles

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3 Questions Wednesday with Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep

3 Questions Wednesday welcomes author, Michelle Griep. Don’t miss the opportunity to win a copy of her book, The Courageous Brides Collection. You’ll find the details below. But first, find out her answers to our 3 questions…

Welcome, Michelle! First, can you tell us…

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Brown and Dave King

This is one of favorite craft books because it was my first. This one explained the basics in terms I understood. It also includes exercises for the over-achievers.

Plot vs Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction by Jeff Gerke

If you’ve never had the privilege to attend one of Jeff’s writing workshops, don’t panic. You can glean some great writerly nuggets from his book. You’re either strong with plot or character, so whichever one is your weakest link, this book will help you strengthen that skill.

GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon

Before I write a new story, I use what I learned in this book to enhance my characters. Heroes, heroines, even villains need to know what they’re after . . . and so does your reader.

All great selections! Next, we were wondering…

What secret talents do you have?

I just laid 23 rolls of sod today. Does that count? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I can dance a mean polka, drink you under the table with espresso shots, and I’m an amateur photographer. HERE’s my Instagram portfolio to prove it.

Wow, I’d say you are one very talented lady! Here is your final question…

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Actually, I could make you pretty much anything because I love to cook. But if you dropped in tonight you’d be served spring rolls, spicy peanut penne pasta, iced mango tea and brownies for dessert.

All favorites of mine too … just let me know what time. Sounds delicious! And thanks so much for visiting with us today.:)

Michelle is offering a copy of her book, The Courageous Brides Collection. Please leave a comment to be entered to win…


Courageous Brides Cover (1)
THE COURAGEOUS BRIDES COLLECTION is an action-packed romantic visit to the past. My story is THE DOCTOR’S WOMAN. Here’s a blurb:

EMMALINE LARSON is no stranger to loss. Living in a land as wild as the natives who roam it, she’s lost her father, her betrothed, and when DR. JAMES CLARK crashes into her world, she loses the last thing left to her — her heart.


Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of THE CAPTIVE HEART, BRENTWOOD’S WARD, A HEART DECEIVED, UNDERCURRENT and GALLIMORE. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 

Vacationing in the Caribbean? Check This Out!

By Karen Jurgens

Cayman Islands Sea

Seven-Mile Beach

Pearl-white sands … azure skies … crystal blue waters … tropical breezes … a golden-hot sun. Welcome to the Cayman Islands.

Upon arrival at our Seven-Mile Beach hotel, an Islander dressed in uniform offered guests pink lemonade in champagne glasses. Through the lobby reggae music danced, its drums beating out Caribbean tunes, leading straight out to the pools and the beach beyond an avenue of palm trees. Just about anything we could wish for was at our fingertips—from thatched huts housing beach towels and beach rental equipment to food and drinks for guests to enjoy on their lounges under umbrellas or shaded lanais.  We enjoyed floating peacefully on rafts, swimming in the calm, aqua waters and taking long walks on the seashore. Laying aside stress and worries for an entire week guaranteed a peaceful and relaxing vacation for my daughter Cait and me.

Most people love to go on parasailing excursions, flying high above the water under colorful sails. Others enjoy submarine expeditions to view the huge turtles in the underwater world for which the island is famous.(I couldn’t bring myself to try the turtle soup, however.) Those who enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving can examine coral, exotic fish and more turtles.

Georgetown, the capital city, offers shopping for island clothing and mementos. Rambling in the shops also turns up rum at Tortuga’s, famous in the Caymans. Rum-soaked candy and rum-flavored coffee are among some of its most popular souvenirs.

Since our hotel’s gourmet restaurant happened to be closed for renovations, we explored the island for other dining experiences. One of our favorites was at the hotel next door, the Ritz-Carlton. The first night there we feasted on fresh seafood at Five.

One of their outdoor restaurants was a pizzeria named Andiamo. The sauce was so delicious with tomatoes, spices, and garlic–I can still taste those amazing flavors.

Another night we hopped in a cab and ventured out to an eaterie called The Wharf which juts over the water. Our table gave us a front row seat to a magnificent sunset with bubbling clouds playing hide-and-seek with the setting sun.

And an Italian steakhouse, Eduardo’s, came highly recommended. The steak smothered in a pepper sauce made its appearance looking like a lobster on my plate.

A fancy steak at an Italian restaurant

Seven-Mile Beach

The best food we had on the island was our last night at The Calypso Bar and Grill. We sat outside next to a dock with rows of yachts and enjoyed the sunset along with their fantastic crab cakes. These literally melted in your mouth.

 

The snapper with cream sauce was divine, and the toffee pudding we had been in search of (apparently an island specialty) didn’t disappoint.

That meal was a wonderful conclusion to our lovely vacation in the Cayman Islands.

Please enjoy a snapper recipe from the Caymans!

Whole Snapper Baked in a Salt Crust Recipe

Seven-Mile Beach

Writing Prompt: Describe an island vacation. What were your favorite things to do? Where did you dine? Can you share a recipe?

An Alaskan Cruise

By Ginger Solomon

Last summer, my husband and I took an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We did it a few months early because they don’t do Alaskan cruises in December.:)

The views were spectacular. We did a few excursions. On one, we toured three separate glaciers. You might be surprised to learn that not only are these particular glaciers not shrinking due to “global warming” but many of them continue to grow.

glacier

Just before we arrived at the first stop, a mama seal had just given birth. It was a bit gruesome, but our guide was quite excited. Mama seal watched our boat closely. A whole colony of seals lounged about on the glacial ice that had fallen into the water.

seals

In addition to the seals, we saw a whale breach and a bald eagle.

small eagle whale collage

 

 

 

 

 

I happen to enjoy sunsets and sunrises a great deal, so I took a lot of pictures of those. Here are a few:

sunrise sunrise1

 

 

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On our return trip, we stopped in Canada and visited the Butchart Gardens. The original owners created a flowering oasis out of a rock quarry. I’ve added so many pictures; I’ll only include one of this, though it only scratches the surface of the beauty of this place. If you ever have a chance, I suggest visiting.

Butchart Gardens

When we returned to Seattle, we had a day to hang out. We visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum. It was so cool, but again, after posting so many other photos, I’ll only post one. Again, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of the wonder of this artist. glass sculpture

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska.

Writing Prompt: Camille looked out the plane’s window, but saw only white. The mountains, the water, the valleys—all covered with snow and ice. How could her father have sent her to this remote location to…

sunset1


IMG_9205Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly). She writes or reads inspirational romance of any genre, and if she’s busy homeschooling, doing laundry, or fixing dinner, it’s on her mind. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and blogs regularly for InspyRomance.com and at gingersolomon.com. She has two full-length novels and three novellas published. In addition she has several manuscripts scheduled to release in 2016.

Website

Inspy Romance Blog

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Twitter @GingerS219

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Amazon Author Page


Broken Freedom coverBroken Freedom

Bondage comes in many forms. Freedom can be found in only One. Broken Freedom is a story of love and finding freedom from fear by trusting the One who came to “set the captives free.”

Payton Du Pont lives in a prison not of her own making, but one she’s too frightened to step away from. Five years after a brutal attack by her then fiancé, she still lives in fear of crowds and men in particular, except when she’s working as a temporary nurse for the doctors of Meadowsville, VA.

James Hamilton III, M.D. stepped away from the Hamilton business of plastic surgery to make his own way as a family physician. Left at the altar by his fiancée nurse, so she could marry higher in the doctor hierarchy, he’s sworn off dating nurses forever.

God brings them together, but they have to fight their fears to find a future full of freedom.

3 Questions Wednesday with Lisa Worthey Smith

headshot3 Questions Wednesday welcomes  Alabama author, Lisa Worthey Smith. Don’t miss the opportunity to win a print copy of her book, Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird: And Other Tales From Life In My Fathers World . You’ll find the details below. But first, find out her answers to our 3 questions…

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Lisa: Certain authors-rather than particular books–who have influenced my writing include Joel Rosenberg and Oliver North for weaving prophecy into plausible contemporary scenarios to help people see how it could take place in our time. Kay Arthur for helping me learn how to study Scripture for myself. Each of these people effectively point others to know God personally and that is my goal as well.

That’s a great goal to have.:) Now…

What secret talents do you have?

Lisa: For several years, I made stained glass windows, panels, and a couple of lamps. It was great fun and highly addictive!

I love stained glass windows! Last question:

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Lisa: If I know you are coming, I will dig out the fine china, silverware and cloth napkins. We will feast on slow-cooked chuck roast, with roasted potatoes, asparagus, carrots and onions. I will have homemade yeast rolls hot out of the oven, slathered with butter. Served with sweet tea, of course! Dessert will be a three layer chocolate cake with peanut butter fudge frosting.

If you show up unexpectedly, scrambled eggs and grits on paper plates and I’ll toss you a peppermint after we eat!

😉 I’ll make sure to give you a call before I come over. Thanks, Lisa, for stopping in!

Lisa is offering a print copy of her book, Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird. Please leave a comment to be entered to win…


9781490882178_COVER.inddOscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird: And Other Tales From Life In My Fathers World

Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird is an inspirational nonfiction about a severely injured hummingbird and an unlikely friendship with his new best friend. Their adventures and the author’s own health issues speak to a loving God and His provision. Oscar was recently named in the top 100 indie books to read for 2016! 

You can read the first chapter at http://lifeinmyfathersworld.blogspot.com/2015/06/introducing-oscar-extraordinary.html

Oscar is available at

Amazon

Barnes and Noble  


headshotLong-time Bible student, Lisa Worthey Smith has been called the parable teacher. Finding truths in everyday events and nature itself, she uses those truths to point to the hand of God all around us. She, her husband, and their 21 pound of cuteness wrapped in a Schnauzer suit, live in north Alabama where she teaches an in-depth Bible study class and spends time in her garden.

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