Tag Archives: quirky characters

It’s Here Again….

Happy New Year


Happy New Year, Readers!

I can’t believe it. Seems like only yesterday I posted this same heading, yet it was Christmas a year ago. All of you probably thought I had died. The last time I posted on this blog was months back. August, I think.

I hope 2015 was a good year for you. As for me, I’ve had better. But on the other hand, I’ve had worse. All in all, I have a lot to be grateful for.

So do you make resolutions? And do you stick to them?

I don’t make resolutions so much as I make plans. And I’ve already got 2016 pretty much planned. Of course you know that old saying : Life is what happens while you’re making other plans. (That quote really did not originate with John Lennon. It originated with a guy named Allen Saunders.)

DixieCash_YouCanHaveMyHeartNumber One on my list is to finish the Dixie Cash book I’ve got underway, YOU CAN HAVE MY HEART, BUT DON’T TOUCH MY DOG. It’s full of the usual madness and mayhem only Debbie Sue and Edwina and their friends can generate. I had planned on releasing it before the end of 2015; however, my day job took over my life for about six weeks and I didn’t get it done. If I’ve made a resolution at all, I have resolved to not let that happen again. Now I’m shooting for a release date in February or March.  This was quite an undertaking for me. My sister threw in the towel at around 50 or 60 pages, so I’ve written it on my own. People who have read it tell me it’s funny, but I’m nervous. I’m the first to acknowledge that she’s the funny one. AnnaJeffrey_TheHorseman_200px (2)

Second on my list is to finish THE HORSEMAN, Book #3 in the Sons of Texas trilogy. It isn’t a comedy. This will be Troy Rattigan’s story, plus it will tie up all of the loose ends and reveal the villain who’s got it in for the whole Lockhart family.

Along with these two projects, I’m going to attempt to narrate my own audio book. I know. Don’t laugh.  …..  I’ve already bought the equipment I need and am ready to roll. All I need now is to get over this head cold that has affected my voice. I don’t know how my Texas twang will sound trying to narrate an audio book. A person should have good elocution and be a half-assed actress for it to work. In fact, most of the audio book narrators *are* actors or actresses. My advantage, if I have one, is that I know how I mean for the dialogue I wrote to sound. We’ll see how it goes. Believe me, the money I’ve invested in the equipment is a drop in the bucket compared to paying for a professional narrator. They are very expensive.

Another project on the drawing board is to write Book #2 of Miranda’s Chronicles, a sequel to the 40,000-word novella I released in 2015, DESIRED. Book #2 will not be a novella. Writing a novella is harder than it looks. I will never do it again. My home is in 100,000-word tomes. The title will be CLAIMED and I’ve already bought the image for the cover. That way, with money invested, I’ll be motivated to get it done.

978-0-451-22959-5_ManOfTheWest.inddI’m also still trying to get my copyright back from my former New York publisher on MAN OF THE WEST, a book I wroteAnnaJeffrey_LoneStarWoman_800 under the pseudonym, Sadie Callahan. I so want to re-write that book and re-release it as an Anna Jeffrey book. It’s Book #2 of The Strayhorns series and a sequel to LONE STAR WOMAN. I had originally planned to write Book #3 in this series and that story is still sort of floating around in my head. I might go ahead and work on it whether I get my copyright back or not.

So those are my plans for 2016. I think my day job is definitely going to have to take a backseat. Still, don’t bet any money that I’ll get all of this done.

How about your resolutions? Are they doable?

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A Ghost of a Story in Audio…

Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin are back. In audio. My sister and I are self-publishing the Dixie Cash extravaganza, OUR RED HOT ROMANCE IS MAKING ME BLUE, as an audio book. It will soon be available at www.audible.com. You will be able to listen via your phone, your MP3 player or on your computer. The narrator is an actress from New York and she does a great job. Really nails Edwina’s voice and personality. The print version is still for sale at Amazon and other online book sellers.

 

AnnaJeffrey_OurRedHotRomance_Audio3

 

The typical Debbie Sue and Edwina bedlam ratchets up when they get hired to be ghost-busters. A young widower believes his deceased wife is haunting him. He hires the Domestic Equalizers to surveille his home.  Fearing they can’t handle the job, Debbie Sue and Edwina call on a beautiful young psychic from out of town.

I don’t know how many of you enjoy audio books, but I love them. I spend a lot of time in my car, which I consider to be wasted time for the most part, so I listen to audio books while I’m driving a boring road.

I often listen to a book I’ve already read and gain a new and different perspective on the same book. There’s just something about hearing the words as opposed to seeing them, especially the dialogue.

The narrator can make or break a book. I recently read a very popular book and enjoyed it. However, I had an ambivalent opinion of the heroine. I then followed that by listening to it in audio and ended up disliking the heroine immensely. The tone of the narrator’s voice, her interpretation of the dialog just totally put me off. Her voice and her interpretation did not detract from the hero, however. Just the heroine. And I cannot explain why that is.

So, if you do listen to an audio book, if you’re lucky enough to get a great narrator, the listening experience can enhance your enjoyment of the book. Try it.

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A Good Book…

Sometimes it’s hard to find a book that suits your mood. Even when I consider my tall TBR stack, I often still can’t find one that I want to tackle. For instance, “Nine Dragons” by Michael Connelly, one of my favorite authors, is still lying on my nightstand unfinished after months have gone by. I just haven’t been in the mood for Harry Bosch.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was wandering through my keeper shelves for something and I came across “A Gentle Rain” by Deborah Smith, one of my all-time favorite authors.

“A Gentle Rain” was released in 2007 and was a RITA finalist. I read it the first time back then. But you forget the fine details in books after a while, so I set out to read it again. I’m so glad I did. This is such an entertaining book and revisiting Deborah Smith’s writing is like enjoying a scrumptious chocolate sundae. No one is better at placing you right in the middle of a setting and right at the center of her characters’ hearts.

I started enjoying the re-read so much, I went to GoodReads and gave it a five-star rating.

The story is set on a struggling cattle ranch in humid, swampy Florida. It’s full of quirky characters you can’t help but grow to love, including a smart-mouthed South American parrot, and a hero and heroine who will steal your heart.

The heroine is Kara Whittenbrook, a young woman who grew up in South America. Her rich hippie parents adopted her when she was an infant. The parents are killed in a plane crash, leaving Kara fantastically wealthy and her journey begins.

Her one desire is to find her birth parents. The manager of her estate tells her who they are and steers her to the Florida cattle ranch, where she goes incognito. The ranch owner, believing her to be a homeless wanderer, gives her a job, which enables her to get acquainted with her birth parents as well as his odd assortment of ranch hands. In the course of her stay there, she learns that both of her parents are mentally challenged. One suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome and the other from shaken baby syndrome. For those reasons, when she was born, they were forced by her father’s family to give her up for adoption.

She also finds Ben Thocco, a salt-of-the-earth, half-Seminole ranch owner who not only takes care of her birth parents, but half a dozen other mentally challenged souls, including his own brother who has Down’s syndrome. And it doesn’t hurt her feelings that he looks like Keaneau Reeves.

Kara and Ben travel from one adventure to another, with her becoming more beloved by the group as the story unfolds. Even Ben falls in love with her. He’s a man with a past and gradually, it manifests itself and it turns out they have a connection from years back.

It’s a romance, so naturally there’s a happy-ever-after ending.

Deb Smith

I don’t know Deborah Smith personally, but I do know she’s one of the most respected authors around. She’s an author’s author.  No one tells a better yarn or writes it more exquisitely. She’s a New York Times Bestselling author from years back and has won many writing awards. She’s now part owner of a small publishing company and continues to write in several genres. I’ve lost track of all of her pen names. You can visit her Web site at www.deborah-smith.com

If you’ve already read “A Gentle Rain,” be sure to stop by the blog and leave a comment. If you haven’t read it and want some pleasurable reading moments, try this one.

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