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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Social Networking – A Necessary Evil?


It’s that time of year – setting our goals and resolutions for 2015. Have you done yours?

I’m working on mine – mostly for my writing. I want to do a business plan, write more, and learn how to publicize and sell my books. What advertising works? What’s the most cost effective?  And what about social networking – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Blogging, Tsu and all the yahoo loops?

When it comes to social networking what works for you? How much time do you spend on it? I’ve heard people say you need to post to 5 times a day on Twitter, post twice a day to Facebook, Blog three or four times a week, spend an hour or two posting to the loops, and I’m not sure about Pinterest.

I Tweet maybe once a day. Facebook about two or three times a week. I’m on Tumblr and Pinterest, but don’t do anything there. I try to blog two and sometimes three times a week and I spend an hour or more reading the Yahoo loop posts. I respond to some, but mostly I lurk. I retweet or post to Facebook, or vote when people request but I don’t go back and post that I did it. This is an area where I think I need to spend more time and respond more.

What do you do? How much time should we be networking? What are your goals for next year? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And it’s New Year’s Eve – so celebrate the end of one year and the beginning on the next – if you follow the Gregorian calendar.

Happy New Year!

 


 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

 
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate the day. Happy Holidays to others who celebrate in different ways.
Thanks you for following my blog, guesting on it and supporting me.
I appreciate you all.
 
Beverley

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Everywhere

Are you ready? Do you have children or grandchildren ready to stay up and see Santa on Christmas Eve?
I was thinking about this and wondered about Christmas in different countries. So off I went to the internet. 

China - only about 1% of the population is Christian so only a few people know much about the tradition. It's only celebrated in the department stores. Santa (Shen Dan Lao Ren) is in the stores like in the US.

Germany - Celebrates Christmas and a big part is Advent with special Advent calendars. Christmas trees are popular and usually brought into the house on Christmas Eve. Presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve.
Russia - In the old Soviet Union Christmas wasn't celebrated. New Years was the important date. Now it's normally celebrated on January 7th. This is because the Russian Orthodox church uses the old Julian calendar for religious celebrations.
Italy - celebrates Christmas, usually with Nativity crib scene. It's set up December 8th, but the baby Jesus isn't put into the crib until the evening or night of December 24th.

So there's a little background for you as Santa circles the globe and we celebrate Christmas, each in our own special way.
And if you have a special tradition or custom, I'd love to hear about it.

Merry Christmas and happy Holidays from Canada (where we celebrate on the 25th with a tree, decorations, Nativity scenes, stockings, Christmas carols and turkey dinners.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christmas Gift




It’s five days before Christmas.  Are you ready? Baking done? Gifts bought and wrapped? It’s time to enjoy the Christmas lights and sing carols. That’s the part I like best and my family knows that I sing along with all the Christmas songs. I’m not commercial and try to remember the spirit of Christmas and often give donations to people’s favorite charities as their gift.

Our topic this month is a gift you, our readers, and you deserve one.  Robin made a few suggestions including a poem. I don’t write poetry but I thought I’d share on of my favorite Christmas poems.
 


AT CHRISTMAS


A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season's here;
When he's thinking more of others than he's thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
When it's Christmas man is bigger and is better in his part;
He is keener for the service that is prompted by the heart.
All the petty thoughts and narrow seem to vanish for awhile
And the true reward he's seeking is the glory of a smile.
Then for others he is toiling and somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be.
If I had to paint a picture of a man I think I'd wait
Till he'd fought his selfish battles and had put aside his hate.
I’d not catch him at his labors when his thoughts are all of pelf,
On the long days and the dreary when he's striving for himself.
I'd not take him when he's sneering, when he's scornful or depressed,
But I'd look for him at Christmas when he's shining at his best.
Man is ever in a struggle and he's oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that's in him is the master of the good,
But at Christmas kindness rules him and he puts himself aside
And his petty hates are vanquished and his heart is opened wide.
Oh, I don't know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me
              That at Christmas man is almost what God sent him here to be.
Edgar Albert Guest

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year and please check the posts by the other members of the great group.
Ginger Simpson http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Rachael Kosnski http://the-doodling-booktease.tumblr.com/
Margaret Fieland http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Helena Fairfax  http://helenafairfax.com/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.webs.com/
Kay Sisk http://kaysisk.blogspot.com
Skye Taylor  http://www.skye-writer.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/

 
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tsu?


I was going to do a Christmas blog but in the past week tsu has dominated the loops that I belong to.

Will it replace Facebook?

Some people are concerned that Facebook is going to change and start charging for services.  They feel tsu is an option to Facebook. Others feel tsu may be a scam.

I’d love to hear your opinion.

What do you know about tsu?

As a reader or writer will you join this social media?

I would really love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

#HolidayRecipeExchange


My guest today is Anita Philmar and here’s her recipe for  Super Easy Fudge
(Sounds absolutely delicious.)

1 (8 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate bits
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand milk
1 tsp. of instant coffee
Dash of salt
1/2 to 1 c. nuts
1  tsp. vanilla

Melt bits in milk over low heat, remove from heat and instant coffee, nuts and vanilla. Spread in lightly buttered 9 inch pan; chill until firm, cut.

Remove from pan. Store at room temperature. Better after 24 hours.

Anita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way.

Influenced by sci-fi programs, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where erotic moments come to life in a great read.

Naughty or Nice? Read her books and decide.
 
And here’s a blurb and excerpt to help you out.

Deputy’s Bride is an erotic, historical western that is a stand-alone story with a satisfying HEA. Texas Deputy Bo Kildare is looking for a special kind of lady, one that is willing to meet his special requirements. No sweet little virgin will do, he wants a woman who knows how to please a man, perhaps two.

 Recently widowed, Sarah Elizabeth Foster-LaFever has lived in the public eye for the last few years and wants out. Her reputation as Micah LaFever’s wife has left her penniless and without many viable options until Bo comes calling. Now, she believes she found the perfect man until her past rears its ugly head.

Can murder and corrupt dealings keep these two lovers from making it to the alter?

Excerpt:

   “God, when is he going to get here,” Sarah muttered and strolled to the freestanding, oval mirror in the corner.

   Critically, she examined her silk dressing gown’s high collar. Unable to breathe with every button running down the front of garment secured, she’d only connected a few at her waist. The dark red robe highlighted her creamy complexion and light blonde hair.

   Through the open at the top, she viewed the curve of her breasts and the tight fit of her corset. The cream color almost matched her skin, creating the illusion that she was nude underneath. Tugging aside her wide skirt, she examined the long line of her legs. She’d opted to omit her bloomers. One, because with the fire raging in the fireplace, she was hot. Two, because she thought Mr. Kildare should get a glimpse of what he’d receive if he decided to make her his wife.

   Granted from what Madeline had told Sarah, the man wanted more than a dutiful wife. He sounded as if he were more like her deceased husband. Micah enjoyed playing extreme bedroom games.

   She frowned, thinking how much she’d missed sex in the last year. Not because she hadn’t had the chance to indulge. More because she hadn’t wanted to fall victim to the same power hungry crowd that Micah had belonged. She’d done enough for those bastards and she had no intentions of doing... 

   Knuckles hammered against her door.

   Brushing a nervous hand over her hair, she offered up a silent prayer that everything would work out before she rushed back to the doorway. After a quick breathe, she asked, “Who is it?”

   “Bo Kildare, I was sent by Madeline Cowden.”

   A masculine tone rang from the other side.

    His voice alone sent shivers racing over her skin. She flipped back the lock and inched open the door.

   “Yes, she said you might be stopping by.”

You can find Anita at these places:

 
Email: anitaphilmar@yahoo.com
 
Blog: http://www.anitaphilmar.blogspot.com/
GR: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1329767.Anita_Philmar
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anitaphilmar
Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/anitaphilmar
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Anita-Philmar/e/B002BMBE8C

Thanks for dropping by Anita.

Some of the other authors taking part in the #HolidayRecipeExchange are:

Patricia Preston www.patricia-preston.com She's on Anita's blog this Saturday, Dec 13th 
Tina Gayle
Tiffany Smith and Andrea R. Cooper
You might ant to check out their yummy recipes.

I’m going to be posting a recipe on Anita’s blog http://www.anitaphilmar.blogspot.com/ on December 22nd. Drop by and check it out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Suspense, Thriller, Mystery Giveaway


It’s the holidays.  Kick back and come and chat with members of the Suspense, Thriller and Mystery Street Team for a chance to win gift cards, e-books or autographed books.

Here are the authors and member of the Team that will be around during the day Andrea Parnell, , Beverley Bateman, Cait Jarrod, Denise Moncrief, Dixie Brown, James DiBenedetto, Kim McMahill, LaVerne Clark and Rolynn Anderson.

Where: Tomorrow, December 10th starting at 10:00 am PST and continuing all day until 7:00 pm
Rolynn starts us off, followed by Cait and then me.

And here’s where to find us. https://www.facebook.com/events/384386688391243/

I hope some of you drop by for the fun and prizes.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday ~ A Holiday Anthology (Volume Two) A Collection of Winter Holiday Tales Holiday Anthology Vol 2


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A Holiday Anthology (Volume Two)

A Collection of Winter Holiday Tales

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Please join us in reading this fantastically diverse FREE collection of stories to warm your heart while you wait for the kids, the oven to buzz, on a 15-minute break from work, or when you just need to hide for ten minutes from everyone! Every story is PG,but a few have a hint of zing.
The calendar on the wall says 2014 but the holidays are a magical time where anything is possible when it comes to romance. Prepare to travel through snow or to a tropical setting with a little dash of fantasy sprinkled in to make your holiday reading enjoyable. This heart-warming collection of all new, very short stories is our way of saying happy holidays to you.
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Frankie's Wish by Jennifer Garcia
“Every night, as my daddy taught me, I kneeled by my bed and said my prayers. But tonight, I wanted to ask for something. “Now I lay me down to sleep… I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Oh, please bring me a mommy. Amen”
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THE GIFT OF TIME by Rose Anderson
“Rose is a multi-published, award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest. Possessing an active imagination, she writes everything from children’s stories to historical non-fiction.”

FRANKIE'S WISH by Jennifer Garcia
Jennifer believes in writing love stories that connect families and touch hearts. Her first novel, My Mr. Manny, was released August 2013 and her first novella, In My Mother’s Footsteps, was released July 2013.

A KISS AT MIDNIGHT by Lily Bishop
Lily Bishop lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense, and has published two books in the City Lights series, No Strings Attached and Under His Protection. She is working on the third book now.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER by Dee Ann Palmer
In every age the heart loves, and Dee Ann Palmer's romances reflect those eras in fantasy, historic, contemporary and futuristic tales. The award winning Palmer is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and belongs to the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime.

MARJA'S VICTORY By Barb Caffrey
Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, book reviewer and musician from the Midwest. She is the author of the humorous urban fantasy/romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, and is the co-author of the Adventures of Joey Maverick series (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey).

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS by Beverley Bateman
Beverley Bateman is a Canadian author of several books who loves traveling, good wine and a mystery. She lives with her husband and two Shiba Inu dogs among vineyards and orchards set in lake country and surrounded by mountains – beaches, swimming and skiing.

GINGERBREAD DREAMS by Victoria Adams
Victoria Adams is a romance writer, dividing her writing between contemporary romance and New Adult contemporary romance. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and kitten, Licorice. She likes to study Raqs Sharqi (Egyptian belly dance), garden, and bake.

CHE GELIDA MANINA by M. S. Spencer
Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. She has two fabulous grown children, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine. Ms. Spencer has published nine romantic suspense novels.

ROMANCE VALLEY by Kaye Spencer
Native Coloradoan Kaye Spencer writes romances from her basement hovel in a small, rural town in the far southeastern corner of Colorado—no mountains in sight—just prairie dogs, buffalo grass, and glorious prairie sunsets. While drawn to cowboys and the Old West, all genres are within her story-crafting realm. Retired from a long career in public education that included teaching through a community college outreach program, Kaye is enjoying being a full-time writer and spoiler of grandchildren. Kaye is also afflicted with ACD—Accumulative Cat Disorder—with no cure in sight.

THE CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT by Janis Susan May
Janis Susan May is a seventh-generation Texan and a third-generation wordsmith who writes mysteries as Janis Patterson, romances and other things as Janis Susan May, children’s books as Janis Susan Patterson and scholarly works and non-fiction as J.S.M. Patterson. Janis and her husband live in Texas with an assortment of rescued furbabies.

TROPICAL CHRISTMAS by Gemma Juliana
GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity.

A KISS AND A PROMISE by Lyndi Lamont
Lyndi Lamont is the racy alter ego of author Linda McLaughlin, who writes historical and Regency Romance. Since becoming Lyndi Lamont, she has discovered that writing sexy romance is a license to be naughty, at least between the pages of a book.

A COWBOY'S HOLIDAY by E. Ayers
E. Ayers is a multi-published and best-selling author of western and contemporary romances. Her books are never too sweet or too hot. She writes down the middle.
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It is available for FREE at
will be available at Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.

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Last year's anthology is also available at
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and
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women



l’École Polytechnique de Montréal
December 6 is a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
This is a Canadian day of remembrance and is also known informally as White Ribbon Day. On December 6, 1989, 14 women, individuals at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal, were killed in a gender-based act of violence. The massacre occurred when Marc Lepine, an armed student, murdered the fourteen women and injured ten others, in the name of fighting feminism.

The women who died were:
Geneviève Bergeron                                     Hélène Colgan
 Nathalie Croteau                                             Barbara Daigneault
 Anne-Marie Edward                                      Maud Haviernick
 Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz                      Maryse Laganière
 Maryse Leclair                                                  Anne-Marie Lemay
 Sonia Pelletier                                                  Michèle Richard
 Annie St-Arneault                                           Annie Turcotte

In 1991, the Parliament of Canada declared December 6th to be the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The day now represents a time to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also a day for communities and individuals to speak out against all forms of violence against women and its impact on victims and their families and friends.

Canadian flags on all federal buildings – including the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario – are flown at half-mast on December 6. Canadians are encouraged to observe a minute of silence on December 6 and to wear a white ribbon as a commitment to end violence against women. Candlelight vigils, memorial services, and other events are held throughout the country.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christma Spirit, Charity - No Money Involved


If you’re in the Christmas spirit and would like to support a charity, with a few minutes of time and not money, here’s a charity you can help. It’s one I donate to regularly.

Critter Care Wildlife Society has reached the semi-finals in the Aviva Community Fund Campaign to gain funds to extend their fawn enclosure and to modify and enlarge an existing enclosure to accommodate additional bear cubs. You can check them out at http://www.crittercarewildlife.org/index.php

To help Critter Care Wildlife Society you need to VOTE EVERY DAY. This is the key to winning. Please pass this note onto your family and friends and ask them to help as well.

Semi-finals begin Monday, Dec 1 – 10th


Thanks in advance to those that help by voting.

 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Recipe for Black Friday


Did you or didn’t you shop on Black Friday? And why? And if you did – was it worth it?

My recipe for Black Friday is:
     -sleep in
- don’t drive or go anywhere near a shopping mall
- do your Christmas cards at home
- try the first taste of eggnog
- read a good book
- make Baked Hot Chocolate

Baked Hot Chocolate

9 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 eggs
¼ cup granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Arrange four 1-cup mugs or ramekins in a baking pan or roasting pan.
2. Melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Whisk occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Stir the eggs and sugar together in a bowl, then set the bowl over simmering water. Stir until warm to touch.
4. Remove from heat. Using an electric mixer, beat egg mixture on medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Gently fold egg mixture in the chocolate mixture.
5. Divide the batter evenly into the cups. Add enough very hot water to the baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the tops lose their glossy finish, 15-20 minutes. Carefully remove the cups from the pan.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature with marshmallows or whipped cream. Enjoy.

What’s your recipe for Black Friday?


Oh, and don’t forget to check my website http://www.beverleybateman.com 
 
I’m giving away a book – Cardwell Ranch Trespasser by B.J. Daniels.

 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Do You Know Who Celebrates Thanksgiving?

 
After my last post I found myself wondering about this holiday and what countries actually celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It appears the traditional Thanksgiving, as we know it, is only celebrated in the United States and Canada.

In the United States it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November with turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Plus potatoes and veges of course, and a large serving of all day football.

Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October with turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mincemeat or pumpkin pie. We usually serve mashed potatoes and broccoli and maybe one game of Canadian football.

Australia celebrates The National Day of Thanksgiving on May 30. As it is in the southern hemisphere the seasons are reversed so harvest celebrations would be April or May. The National Day of Thanksgiving is for Australians to give thanks for their God given heritage as a nation and demonstrate the God given values of honor, respect, thankfulness and gratitude to their fellowman. The National Day of Thanksgiving is a unique opportunity for Australians to celebrate and give thanks for our God given heritage as a nation and to demonstrate the God given values of honour, respect, thankfulness and gratitude towards our fellow man that have made us the great nation we are.

South America, New Zealand, Scotland, France and London and most other countries, as I understand it, do not celebrate Thanksgiving. Britain does not have an official holiday but American expats and tourists often come together and celebrate with a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

So there you go. Tomorrow is a special American holiday. Celebrate, but take time to appreciate and say thank you for all the good things in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving and Other Cultures

Thanksgiving is almost here, what are your cultural heritages that fit with this American holiday?


I’m Canadian. We celebrate Thanksgiving the second Monday in October. We observe it with turkey, stuffing, sausage meat, cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts,, potatoes and gravy, and mincemeat pie. We don't watch football, which appears to be an American tradition. 

I’m curious, what about how the Americans celebrate? What are your traditions - beside football? Do the British celebrate Thanksgiving? If so how? Do any other cultures celebrate turkey day, and if you do, how do you fit it in with your culture?
I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Favorite Food or Meal


Rhobin has picked an interesting topic for this month. What is your favorite food or meal? Why is it so scrumptious and how you got hooked on it, where you first had it. My choices have changed over time. Once I might have said roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, on Sunday.  My grandmother cooked it, then my mother and then me. But I’ve changed eating habits and eat less red meat now, so I’m going with turkey and Christmas dinner. It’s a family tradition again and I love turkey and only cook it once or twice a year. At Christmas it’s a big deal. I enjoy the atmosphere, the cooking and the left overs.


One year my wonderful husband decided I shouldn’t have to cook and clean. He took me out for a lovely Christmas dinner at an elegant restaurant, all decorated for Christmas and playing Christmas music. . It was a very nice turkey dinner, but there were no yummy cooking smells – and no leftovers. We decided we wouldn’t do that again. So I’m back to cooking – onion soup, shrimp cocktail, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sausage meat, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, mincemeat pie and Christmas pudding. (I can hardly wait).  I have special recipes for homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce and Christmas pudding – but no space to share.  Maybe I’ll post recipes closer to Christmas.

Anyone else want to share their favorite food or meal?  

Skye, tell us about your favorite food or meal. Check her out at Skye Taylor  http://www.skye-writer.com/
 
And don't forget to check out what all the other people in our group love when it comes to food.
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Ginger Simpson http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.webs.com/
Margaret Fieland http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Rachael Kosnski http://the-doodling-booktease.tumblr.com/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Heidi M. Thomas http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/
Helena Fairfax  http://helenafairfax.com/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 SECRETS (WHAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT MY BOOK)

Our guest author today is Anne B. Cole who is going to share some tidbits about the writing of her book that no one knows--until today.


Souls Entwined is Anne B. Cole’s debut release, combining sweet romantic suspense, time travel, and paranormal elements in a New Adult novel attractive to a wide range of readers.

In addition to writing, Anne teaches preschool and is raising three very active teenagers with her husband of twenty-two years. Her love for making fresh baked goodies, running, hiking, historical fiction, and her three pet cats continue to be her inspiration while working on the sequel, Souls Estranged, scheduled to be released early summer 2015.

Souls Entwined

Five Secret Things About Souls Entwined

Sharing secrets is fun! Here are my top five secrets behind Souls Entwined…

#5 Pirates! - Johnny Depp’s character, Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies is the inspiration behind Souls Entwined pirate character, Kadir Haty….and yes…Kadir will return in the sequel, Souls Estranged!

#4 Grandmothers and Rings - My real life great, great, great, great grandmother’s name was Roxana, who gave her second granddaughter a garnet ring that was given to her by her brother, who was a US sailor in Europe during the early 1800s. It was passed down through the generations to my grandmother. She gave it to me (I’m also a second granddaughter) when I was about 12 years old. I’m not aware of any curses on my ring and I wear the heirloom often.

 #3 Runners - I enjoy running and once nearly tripped over a squirrel that darted in front of my purple sneakers. During Gretta’s run in the park, Sam watches her suddenly fall. He didn’t see the squirrel that tripped her…this was cut out during edits…Readers don’t know in Souls Entwined that Katarina’s spirit is entwined within the squirrel. In the sequel, Souls Estranged, Katarina’s presence within the squirrel will be revealed in true ‘Katarina style’.

#2 Deleted, but not forgotten - I wrote the first draft of Souls Entwined in composition notebooks. It topped at 150,000 words. In this original, Gretta and Sam don’t meet in the park until Chapter Eight! Needless to say, I have many deleted chapters and scenes to reveal in the future on my blog.

#1 Titles - Souls Entwined was originally titled Maledicta, which is the Latin word for ‘cursed.’ During edits, it was suggested that I change my title to something that is easier for readers to pronounce and remember. Authors tend to bond with their titles, especially their first novels. For weeks I referred to my novel as #1 because I already had the sequel written and was in the editing process. I asked everyone I knew for title ideas and finally came up with Souls Entwined. The #1 nickname stuck and I continue to call it #1 and refer to the sequel as #2. The (yet to be written) final book of the Soul Series is called, you guessed it, #3.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed Five Secrets from Souls Entwined!

I’m very happy to announce the sequel to Souls Entwined is in contract with an early summer 2015 tentative release date! Souls Estranged picks up right where Souls Entwined left off with Sam and Gretta back in present time and the Bad Luck curse following them.

Gretta’s favorite food in both books---chocolate chip cookie dough---is one of my kids’ favorites too. I know about the dangers of consuming raw eggs, so bake these cookies completely before consuming! And hide the dough from your teens!


Souls Entwined Blurb

When a tree crashes upon strangers, Gretta Dobbs and Sam Daggett - time suddenly freezes. A cursed family heirloom catapults eighteen-year-old Gretta back into the past with Sam, who reluctantly agrees to help, despite an instant infatuation with her. Their souls entwine within the bodies of young lovers, Anya and Lorenzo, on a Greek island in 1829. It becomes a race against time to discover the mysteries of Gretta’s ring, while avoiding revenge-seeking pirates.  Failure will cause them to become trapped in the past, and Gretta will be condemned to an afterlife in purgatory, continuing the evil cycle of the ring’s curse

Excerpt from Chapter Two of Souls Entwined

   Not a sound was heard as Sam’s eyes snapped open. Under the branches of the downed tree, Purple Shorts began to stir.
   “Sorry, are you okay?” Sam gently lifted his weight off her.
   “I think so,” she replied faintly. Sam released his hold on her shoulder, amazed her face wasn’t scratched. He wondered how bad he appeared.
   “Do you think you can stand?”
   She nodded. Together they rose to their feet, easily stepping out from the tangle of branches. Eyes growing wide, she began to sway.
   “Sit,” Sam commanded, steadying her.
   “No, look!” She pointed.
   Sam gazed over his shoulder. His mouth fell open. Beneath the tree, their bodies lay, motionless.
   “Are we . . .” Purple Shorts began.
   Sam shook his head slowly. Before she could say more, he interrupted, “I don’t know. Do you feel—”
   “Dead?”
   He scanned the area for help. Everything around them was still, as if they were watching a movie and someone hit ‘pause.’ No wind, no sound, no movement. He flinched when cold fingers clutched his hand.
   Squeezing gently, he lifted her hand in front of their faces. “Can you feel this?”
   Purple Shorts nodded.
   “I don’t think we’re dead,” Sam whispered, gazing into her blue eyes.

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