Category Archives: Photography

Ranchers, Rustlers, and Romance: “A Photograph of Love” is Live

This past few weeks have been crazy trying to keep up with all the social media for other author’s books that have been released in the various series or collectives I’m part of. Some days I don’t know if I’m coming or going.

Hell Yeah

The most recent group I was asked to write for was Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World series. Sable created her characters and world several years ago and began asking authors to join her world. The only rule was we had to tie in characters from her original world. Last fall I was asked to join the Hell Yeah! KindleWorld, and “A Photograph of Love” was created. I tied Presley Love Saucier and her husband Zane. I also brought in a couple more characters.

A Photograph of Love

But the main characters in my book are Lincoln Phister and Trudy Selucas. When Lincoln’s parents died while he was in college, he left school to keep up their family ranch and raise his younger siblings. His dream of becoming a photojournalist, along with his camera and photos were buried in his past. Now, ten years later, his heart not in ranching, his siblings are ready to take over and give Link the chance to pursue his dream. But at this point in his life, he’s not sure he is able to do this.

Trudy Selucas has worked as a home hospice nurse for too long. Burned out from helping people pass on, she’s ready for a much needed vacation. So when her college friend, Presley, invites her to visit Texas and spend time taking pictures, she jumps at the chance.

Trespassing and a chance encounter with a snake, bring Trudy and Link together – even though he thinks she’s a city slicker and she thinks he’s a bitter, angry man. Both are wrong. Can they find their own “Photograph of Love?”

Buy Link: Amazon: http://a.co/1VdSkfZ

Tag: Can an angry rancher and a burned-out hospice nurse find their own photograph of love while searching for cattle rustlers?

Excerpt:  “Who are you?” She scooted away, then stopped and looked down at her exposed torso. “What the hell did you do to me?”

“I didn’t do anything except kill that rattler snoozing beneath your . . . um . . .” He pointed to her ass, before turning his back and stepping away. “You may want to cover yourself.”

A pile of equipment lay a few steps away. He knew what he’d find. Like all the others who came out here, she was probably taking pictures. He toed the backpack. Sure enough. Sitting beside the bag was a camera and tri-pod. A shiver of irritation slid through him.

Must be nice to be able to wander around and take pictures all day. He’d love to be able to do that, but since he’d inherited the ranch and younger siblings when his parents died ten years ago, there’d been no time. Maybe she was on vacation. Vacations, kids, and ranching didn’t go hand-in-hand. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had more than a few hours off.

“Ugh. I’m covered in . . .” She paused a moment. “…snake guts?”

“’Fraid so.” Her face was red. Embarrassment or sunburn? Both?

“Can you hand me a towel from my backpack?”

With a deep sigh, he unzipped the bag. Three small canisters of film rolled to the ground. Huh. A purist. Someone who still took photos the old-fashioned way. His hand touched something hard. Huh. He pulled out another digital camera. He recognized the brand name and whistled between his teeth. Must be nice to be able to afford two cameras. He glanced at the one on the ground. Two expensive cameras. He dug further into the backpack. And lenses to go with them. If he had the time and money . . .

“It’s in the other pocket.”

With reluctance, he replaced the camera, opened the larger pouch, and found a small piece of white fabric.

“You call this a towel?” he said, keeping his back to her, tossing the cloth over his shoulder, hoping he’d sent it in the right direction.

****

Trudy caught the towel he’d pitched over his shoulder one handed. Could she simply crawl under a flower and die? Wait, that’s what almost happened. It was coming back to her now. The damn rattler. But how had this man found her? She didn’t seem hurt anywhere, so he hadn’t done anything to her except kill that damn rattler.

“I use it to shade my lens against sunlight.”

Now she was covered in blood and guts. But at least she was alive. She hadn’t been sure how much longer her legs would have held up if he hadn’t come along. They’d been getting shakier and the damn rattler more upset.

She cleaned herself off the best she could. There would be no more pictures taken today. As soon as she got back to Presley’s, she’d take a shower and throw away every stitch of clothing she wore.

“I’m decent now.” While wiping off the blood, she couldn’t help but notice his broad shoulders beneath a long-sleeved, chambray shirt tucked into well-worn jeans. Dark brown hair hung to his shoulders beneath a well-used, sweat-stained, gray cowboy hat. But when he faced her and tipped his hat back, she got a good look at his features.

Her breath caught. If Tom Selleck had a twin brother, it would be this man. Dark eyebrows, a bushy mustache, light brown eyes, a dent in his chin, and she’d bet her bottom dollar he’d have dimples if he smiled.

Scarred, brown leather chaps encased slim hips and muscular thighs. She was not, no she wasn’t, going to look at his crotch, but, damn, in her mind, chaps were meant to highlight a man’s goods. Instead she drew her eyes from the hunk in front of her and took in the snake carnage littering the ground.

“I guess I should thank you for saving my life. I’m not sure how much longer my legs would have held out.” She closed her eyes to the mess. “Every time I so much as flexed a muscle the damn rattler started shaking its tail.”

The man didn’t say anything, just kept his arms folded over his chest and stared.

Trudy took a step toward him and reached out her hand. “I’m Trudy Selucas.” When he didn’t offer his hand, she wiped her palms on her shorts. “Well, anyway, thanks.”

“You’re trespassing, you know.”

Shit. She’d been warned to stay off private property, but in her interest in the landscape, she must have missed any posted signs. Maybe there weren’t any. “I didn’t see any signs.”

He yanked his hat back down, shading his features. “Well, they’re there. Not to mention the barbwire fence you had to have climbed over, or under, to get on my property.”

“I saw a fence, but it was cut, so I thought it was all right to go through.”

A Photograph of Love Promo

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Filed under Hell Yeah!, Mystery, Photography, Romance

My Brain is Frozen

For the past two weeks I have been trying to think of something to write. I know I have ideas floating around in my head – but – I think my brain has frozen. Probably won’t thaw out in the near future. revised pompas 1093

Yesterday morning I was hopeful when I went out to my van to go to work at 7:00. The sun was shining. The air felt warm. There was no wind. I got into my van. It was -5 degrees. Was I actually thinking that -5 was feeling warm? Was my brain crazy or frozen?

IMG_2695This morning it is -15 with -37 windchill. The only thing I can think about is “When will this winter end?” It’s all everyone is talking about. The cold, the snow, the wind. Buildings collapsing due to the heavy snow (including my neighbor’s shed). Worse winter since 1903 or 1876 depending on which part of northern Wisconsin you’re from.

Like everyone else, I’m sick of winter. I want it over. It’s March 2nd. Farmer’s Almanac says 30 more inches of snow in March. Where will we put it all? I think I hear my flowers crying. Will our trees survive the deep, deep frost? How have the deer survived? Will the bears be able to climb out of their winter homes? Are the birds smart enough to stay away until things thaw?

Will my brain start functioning again and give me something more interesting to write about next week? Man, I hope so. Meanwhile, back to editing my Work in Progress. Code FL13

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Filed under Flowers, Nature, Photography, Reflection, Uncategorized, Winter

Remember this?

Code FL15I had my first vision of my flowers the other day. Of course it was all in my head. Buried deep, deep beneath many feet of snow, I know they are just waiting to burst forth and bring color back into my life. The other day I went through my photos on my computer and gazed at my flowers, green grass and leaves on trees. It was an up-lifting experience. I’ve started dreaming of camping, hiking, biking, too. IMG_2662

Yes, we’ve all been hearing, talking about and reading about this, long, long winter. We’re all tired of it. Except for a few, fleeting warmish days, it is too cold to get outside and enjoy the snow.

Right now I’m listening to the wind howl outside my office window and know our long driveway will probably drift shut again. The guy who plows our driveway will have to make his second trip today. Our snow fence is nearly buried.

Code B17This morning when I went to fill bird feeders, the snow came to well over my knees. It got to the point where I knew I couldn’t go any further, so I stuck the bucket of seed in the snow, managed to get my legs out and turn around. I trudged back to the garage and put on my snow shoes. I had to bend down to fill the feeders, and somewhere out there is a buried birdbath.

So, enjoy these pictures and remember warmth, sun and colors other than white. Code FL35

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Filed under Flowers, Nature, Photography, Reflection, Uncategorized

On With the New Year’s Resolutions!

IMG_8524 redoneEarly in January, I wrote a blog about my 2013 New Year’s Resolution. Most of you probably don’t remember it, but I was not going to vow to diet, exercise more or any of those other healthy things. I do them anyway, so using that as my resolution was a moot point.

I pondered for awhile. One day after walking past my shelves of Nora Roberts’ books, I decided I would read all of her books that were on my shelf. I would not buy anymore until I did.

I keep track of all my books in Excel and upon checking my list I found had 157 of her books, fifty-three of which I already read through the years. That left 104 to be read in 2013. I calculated I’d need to read two of her books a week to make my goal.

Well . . . I didn’t make it. I made a valiant try, but of the 123 books I read this year only 90 were hers. So close, yet so far away. As much as I enjoy her books, I found I needed a break once in awhile. I also had so many authors I wanted to read and enjoy.

It was interesting seeing how her writing evolved, how styles changed and society changed from her earlier books. The first time she had a character flick a cigarette over a railing (boat, hedge, window, car, etc.) I couldn’t believe it. But in the early and mid 80’s that was the norm, people smoked in books – and they weren’t the bad guys. As the years went on, Nora did this less and less.

One problem I encountered with reading so many of her books was how it affected my writing. Nora is known for her head-hopping. She even brought in the thoughts of very minor characters. The more I read of her, the more I found myself writing like that. I have to go through each of my scenes, paragraph by paragraph and mark whose point of view I wrote in. All-in-all reading her books was a learning experience.
Besides Nora’s books, I read several books for fellow Soul Mate Authors for review, some books by other authors I couldn’t resist and some I had to read for research for my history books.

There were some books I started and for one reason or another, just couldn’t get into and donated them to our local library for their annual book sale. I will have to be careful when I go to their book sale next year and don’t buy the Nora Roberts’ books I donated. (That’s why I bring my book list along.)

My favorite book so far has been “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” simply because I’m reading it with my nine and a half year-old granddaughter. We then watched the movie and talked about what was left out from the book and how some scenes in the movie were changed. It was fun. We are going to continue the series throughout the year.

Riding for Love CoverSo now for my resolution for 2014. It will definitely be to have more books published. 2013 was very good for me with “Riding for Love” coming out in May and my short story, “A Year and A Day,” published in Soul Mate Publishing’s anthology, “All I want for Christmas is a Soul Mate.”AllIWantforChristmasisaSoulMate

In 2014 I know I will have two children’s books released – they are currently in the hands of the illustrators. The titles will be “Uncle Bill’s Farm, True Stories of His Crazy Animals” and “The Hat Trader.” I don’t have covers, yet. I hope to have another romance published. And I definitely want to get much more writing done.

I’ve been working on my photography and will have ten of my pictures hanging in a new coffee shop in our town. They are also going to sell my photo cards. I hope to promote more of my photos and eventually get them on my website to sell.

As far as reading goes, I will finish the thirteen Nora Roberts’ books on my shelf. Guess I have to make that fourteen as my husband bought me one for Christmas. I went through my book list and found several authors that I have several copies of their books. Some I have over ten. So for 2014, I’m going to slowly and enjoyably read through those authors. I will continue to read my fellow Soul Mate authors’ books and, of course, the Harry Potter books with Alli.

IMG_8510I hope everyone’s 2014 resolutions are as fun as mine. Happy New Year.

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Filed under Christmas Anthology, Photography, Publishing, Reading, Reflection, Romance, Soul Mate Authors, Uncategorized, Winter

First Snowshoe in Northern Wisconsin

It has been snowing, snowing, snowing in Northern Wisconsin. Today the temperature rose enough to haul out the snowshoes and head into the woods for an hour or so. Conditions: Temperature: 14 degrees. Precipitation: Light fluffy snow. Snowpack: Lots. Noise level: quiet. Eyesight level: absolutely beautiful. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

The weighted-done trees stood like sentinels protecting (or warning) those who wished to enter the woods.

The weighted-done trees stood like sentinels protecting (or warning) those who wished to enter the woods.

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Just as I was taking the picture of an interesting branch, the only breeze of the day hit, blowing snow off the tree onto my camera and face.

Just as I was taking the picture of an interesting branch, the only breeze of the day hit, blowing snow off the tree onto my camera and face.

The man.

The man.

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If you look closely, you can see the snowflakes floating down.

If you look closely, you can see the snowflakes floating down.

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Filed under Health/fitness, Nature, Photography, Reflection, Uncategorized, Winter