Summer Inspiration From Our Farm in the Shenandoah Valley

I am sooo re-blogging this! Your writing inspires with it’s beauty.

Pink Fuzzy Slippers Authors

Summer days on the farm sail by like clouds in the blue. Each morning brings a fresh look to our familiar  scenery. The sights that greet us have comforting continuity and yet are ever-changing.

Breaking dawn and soon after is the best time of day. Nightly slumber renews the garden, beading every leaf and blossom with dew. Cows amble in the sparkling meadow, and the pond swims with waterfowl… It’s the garden of Eden time.

(Lilies with the barn in back.)

Pastoral charm and flowery nooks beckon and I get out my camera phone. Suspicious geese flee the crazy lady unless I sneak up on them. Fussy bunch. Summer sounds create a symphony while I dart around picture-taking. Birds sing, roosters crow, cows bawl, geese fuss… The cooing of mourning doves is a continual background note, and we have an insane mockingbird who runs through every tune he knows. Repeatedly. The…

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Ann Everett, “Overwriting”, and TRUE

Delicious Picnic Spread

Welcome, Ann Everett. Thanks for stopping by here on your way home from the Pink Fuzzy Slippers Authors blog. Instead of a fireplace I have a picnic. There are fried chicken and potato salad inside the basket.

The colors on this cover really pop! She’s cute but he’s hot!


Did you know these things about Ann?

Ann Everett writes about small-town Texas where the women are sassy enough to say what they want, and the men are panty-melting hot with plenty of southern charm.

She’s an Amazon bestselling author. She’s won awards. She’s a top reviewer on a major writing website, and a regular speaker at Wordwyse Exposytions.

She’s married to her high school sweetheart.

A really sharp pencil makes her happy.

She secretly wants to get a tattoo. (Not a secret anymore SNORT)

She believes everyone should own a pair of cowboy boots.

She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.

She sucks at math.

Now you can get to work, Ann.

Overwriting: A Common Mistake

Overwriting is a mistake all new writers make. They use more words than necessary to get their point across.  Here are some examples:

Wrangler Joe pulled his gun belt tight around his waist and buckled it.

See anything wrong with that sentence? Where else do you wear a belt other than your waist? Also, if you change the common verb pulled to a stronger one, the reader gets a better picture.

Wrangler Joe cinched his gun belt tight and buckled it.

Here’s another one.

“You shot me, you idiot!” she screamed, as she pulled a gun from her purse and fired at Joe.

The exclamation point tells us she’s screaming, so the reader doesn’t need a tag/attribution.

Try it this way:

“You shot me, you idiot!” She rummaged in her purse, pulled out a gun and returned fire.

Let’s add some description and make it even better.

“You shot me, you idiot!” She rummaged in her purse, produced a small pearl-handled pistol, and returned fire.

Here are a few more common overwriting mistakes:

She stared up at the ceiling.

Is a ceiling any other place than up? Same thing with ceiling fan. Just stare at it. Don’t stare up at it.

He sat down on the sofa.

Can you sit on a sofa any other way than down? You can sit up in bed. You can straighten in a chair. You can plop onto a bar stool. Watch for unneeded words.

She stood on the balcony and looked down below.

Choose one or the other, down or below. They mean the same thing so only one is needed. Same goes for up above.

Here’s a paragraph with so much description, it over-powers the reason for the sentence.

Jane walked briskly across the high-polished wooden floor of the sunbathed gallery, darting her eyes from painting to painting hung on the bland, white walls as she grabbed her art history book from the upholstered bench where she’d left it the day before.

 The reader doesn’t need to know, nor do they care about high-polished wooden floors, upholstered furniture, or bland, white walls. The whole reason for the sentence is to have the character return to the gallery for her book.

Jane returned to the gallery and retrieved the book she’d left there.

However, if the sunlight or polished floors remind her of something that pertains to her past and triggers an important thread of the tale, then show the part that causes that. But don’t get so bogged down in writing descriptions just for the sake of description, that you lose the meaning of your story. It’s true. In writing, less is more.

Example: Jane’s heels clicked across the polished wooden floor of the gallery. Dreams of having her own work displayed on the bland, white walls excited her. What a silly notion. Maybe Mom was right. Jane would never be good enough. Moving to the bench, she grabbed her art history book she’d left the day before.

 If some of that description can be worked into Jane’s thoughts about her past or an experience she’s had, then it won’t sound as if it’s just word filler. Because of that addition, the reader learns Jane and her mom don’t have a good relationship, and Jane has always fallen short in her mother’s eyes.

**Information taken from Body Language: A Quick Reference for Character Action and Description. Written by Ann Everett.

A little about Ann:

Ann Everett writes about small-town Texas where the women are sassy enough to say what they want, and the men are panty-melting hot with plenty of southern charm.

She’s an Amazon bestselling author. She’s won awards. She’s a top reviewer on a major writing website, and a regular speaker at Wordwyse Exposytions. No need to bore you with the details. Here are ten things about her more interesting than accolades.

She’s married to her high school sweetheart.

Excerpt from True:

Richard and Lisa’s voices returned to normal. Soon they’d come out, and True couldn’t face them. No, she had to leave, so she willed her body into action and sprinted down the hall, to the elevator, and out of the building.

She didn’t remember getting into her car or driving home, but now, she shoved open the door to her apartment and hurled his expensive Corinthian leather attaché to the hardwood floor with so much force it opened. Papers flew into the air.

This couldn’t be happening. Why did she always pick cheaters?

She fell to her knees, laughing and crying at the same time. Her brain was on fire. She shouldn’t have gone to his office but thought he might need the briefcase. No, going there was a good thing. If not, she wouldn’t know about Lisa. True sucked in a breath, then exhaled as she raked the spilled contents into a pile.

What was all this? Passports. Properties. An offshore bank account? She picked up the stapled document and studied it. Ten million dollars? Impossible. Other than splurging on a sports car, he was the most frugal man she knew. His apartment could barely seat four people, and his suits came from department stores. No fancy Rolex either.

 She was no financial expert—but Dad was. She grabbed her phone, spread the papers and took pictures of everything, then emailed them to herself. Tomorrow, she’d send them to Dad.

As fast as she could, she packed a suitcase. No way she’d stay here. What she’d heard made it clear. He’d been having an affair from the beginning. Why start dating me if he was already with Lisa? None of it made sense.

Fifteen minutes later, she sped down the highway headed to… She didn’t know. Talk about cursed. Bad enough Richard was a cheater, but possibly a criminal, too? She’d have to go back into therapy.


Sometimes it takes losing everything…

True Shanahan must be the unluckiest woman in the world. Either that or she’s cursed. After another failed relationship, True leaves Dallas with a broken heart and new attitude. It’s time to walk on the wild side. But when she makes a wrong turn and ends up in Bluebird, Texas, the only man she wants is anything but reckless.

…to find all you’ve ever wanted.

Ritter Malone is the town’s favorite son and has the local hero awards to prove it. Seems he’s always in the right place at the right time. But when he crosses paths with True, his life takes a turn he never sees coming. Her songwriting skills may be questionable, but her ability to turn him inside out is indisputable.

Welcome to Bluebird, Texas.

Where a chance meeting gives two people a chance at love.

Buy links:

Where can you find Ann?




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Amazon author page

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Torturing Your Characters! Grab Your Rocks and Boulders!

Come toss rocks at your characters with me! This time it’s a good thing, so you won’t get into trouble. You still have a FEW days to sign up! I posted my first lesson late last night.

06/11/2018 – 07/08/2018

Torturing Your Characters


When To Chase Your Characters up Trees and Toss Rocks at Them

Presenter: Mary Marvella

REd Hat

So you have wonderful characters and a compelling story, NICE! Things are going well and you could write pages of relationship building, or show us how brilliant your villain is, or how smart your hero is, or let the detective wax clever for pages. Should you? No matter what your genre is, you need to keep things happening, up the ante, or find conflicts that are organic to the characters and the story. You could and should use your characters’ weaknesses to chase them up trees and toss rocks at them.

We will look at the kinds of conflict we can find or create for our characters. Something as simple as having the heroine cook a dish with an ingredient that makes the hero sick can get in the way of what they want. Having the detective caught in the middle of a traffic jam on the way to prevent a villain from committing a crime or escaping will keep readers worried.

Four lessons, one a week for four weeks, will allow students to explore ways to add conflicts or create road blocks that aren’t clichés and will prop up sagging middles and add depth to stories.

Students will share examples and offer suggestions for each other.

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4 Fun Facts about Memorial Day

Pink Fuzzy Slippers Authors

In 2018, Memorial Day is celebrated on Monday, May 28th.

Memorial Day is an annual federal holiday in the United States. It is a day set aside for remembering our American soldiers who have died in military service.

Did you know?

1. Over 2 dozen cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day?

2. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day?

3. The first state to recognize the Memorial Day holiday was New York in 1873?

4. In 1915, Moina Michael, inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” wrote her own poem:

“We cherish, too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.”

Thus beginning the idea of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died during the war.

The perfect read for Memorial Day weekend, 1-800-CUPID, my sweet…

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Cheerleader Dad for 99 Cents This Week #MFRWHooks,

Now sitting at the table with her allowed him time to study her high cheekbones and smooth skin. Loose strands of hair escaped their braid. She had the face of an angel. It’s even prettier up close. Dangerously so.

Though Jessie had seen Alex several times he’d been unprepared for her mother’s delicate, natural blond beauty. Alex’s curly brown hair and dark brown eyes would mature into beauty, but couldn’t be as striking as her mother’s blond hair or dark-lashed amber eyes. Lily seemed skittish, maybe as aware of him as he was of her. She didn’t look directly into his eyes, almost as if she was shy.

“Mr. Richmond–” she began.

“Uh,uh. My friends call me Jesse, remember?”

Her brows arched, her mouth quirked to one side. “How do I know I’ll be your friend?”

For a moment he wanted her to be more than his friend. What would she think about that?

Mr, Richmond, you’ll probably need help getting uniform things together for Jaycee. I’ll be glad to help. You’re welcome to join Alex and me, if you wish.”

“Thanks.” He grinned at what he thought might be a favor as much as a challenge. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d shopped for girl’s stuff. He hoped he would be near his mother or sisters when the time came for bras and such. His mother had already had the talk about feminine stuff with Jaycee. Supplies purchased by Jesse’s older sister occupied their shelf in Jaycee’s bathroom. Embarrassing area of thought for an unmarried man, even one with two sisters and a mother.

Lily wondered if the red staining Jesse’s face and neck had anything to do with the fact that their knees and legs kept touching. Surely he wasn’t embarrassed by the closeness, or was he? Maybe he would have preferred to be in a more adult setting, or with a more sophisticated companion.

He probably had women trailing after him. She’d be willing to bet he knew how to please a woman. He’d know those special places to touch, to… Lily flushed as heat swept her body. She tried to avoid looking at the man who had innocently stirred her fantasies, awakening feelings long buried.

She’d learned most men didn’t understand her need to stand on her own feet or her devotion to her daughter. They wanted more than she was willing to give, too soon.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She had to apologize for her lapse of attention. The man spoke and she hadn’t heard a word he said.

“Guess I was boring you.” He raised a dark eyebrow.

“No, really, please go on.”

His grin was winsome as he shrugged. “Taking over the dairy farm implements company and moving have taken a lot of my time, but Jaycee has been great about everything. She’s really a little trouper. You’ve been a godsend, Lily. It’s too bad my daughter didn’t have a mother like you.”

Immediately, Jesse wished he could take back that last admission. He hadn’t mentioned Jaycee’s mother to anyone outside his family and he wasn’t ready to discuss her with a stranger, especially one as sweet and innocent as Lily seemed. Especially one who made him think about satin sheets, and the way her body would look in his bed, the way her hair had smelled of sunshine and wildflowers when he’d held her for that second in the gym.

Lily was nothing like the self-centered woman who had placed her career over him, marriage, and raising his child. If I were going to choose a mother for Jaycee, I’d have chosen someone like Lily. Lily seemed like the kind of woman to spoil and make babies with. Get a grip.

“So you’re a farmer? An Engineer? An inventor?” Resisting a smirk, Lily raised an eyebrow at the idea of Jesse as a farmer. He’d do a lot for dirty jeans, or even overalls with no shirt. She must be losing it.

“Used to be, yes, and sort of. Your turn to fess up.” Jesse grinned at her. “What about you?”

“You want to know what I do when I’m not chauffeuring my daughter around? I plan fund raisers for charities and decorate offices and areas needing a special touch.”

“I’ve never met anyone who made a living like that in such a small town.” He didn’t know small town charities paid salaries or needed much specialty decorating. She seemed to have plenty of time to take the girls where they needed to go. For that he was grateful. She’d make a perfect wife and a good mother for Jaycee. Dependable, caring, loving. Too bad he couldn’t just shop for the woman he needed and make a practical arrangement. No one would lose, everyone could win. Whoa. Too much, too fast. “You’re an interior decorator?”

Lily smiled. He seemed more concerned than nosy. “Not exactly. I’m on retainers for two hospitals and several civic groups. My salaries are more than earned when I save money by finding donors of services and items and get publicity for all concerned. I make some of the things. I donate some. Patrons hire me on a personal basis and pay well when they need someone to decorate their homes.”

“What does Mr. Alexander do for a living?” Though Jesse had the impression from Alex that there was no father in the picture, he wanted to be sure. He couldn’t exactly ask, “By the way, do you have a husband who’ll be jealous if I spend a lot of time with you? Hit me if I touch you?”

“There is no Mr. Alexander in our lives. I support my daughter and me.”

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The Rabbit and the Fox & Bears and Elves?


2 Excerpts:

The Rabbit and the Fox
Melba Moon

It had been years since he’d been this close to home. RT McCombs drove south along the Blue Ridge Parkway. He’d left Bakersfield four months ago, following the trail left by the hacker who’d stolen information from his clients, information they wanted back. He’d been closing in on her in Nashville when she’d vanished. It had taken months and a new linguistics data analysis tracker to pick up her trail.

The drive through the Chattahoochee National Forest signaled he’d soon be on familiar home ground. The word tasted strange on his tongue. Was it home, really? Would it ever be home again? Bitterness filled his mouth. No, Nantahala wasn’t home. It hadn’t been for many years. He’d stayed away, would still be away if this job hadn’t dragged him back. He pressed the button on the wheel to activate his Bluetooth device. He’d make the obligatory call to Jason, the head of the Southern Dominion, and let him know he was back, if only briefly. His older brother liked to keep his thumb on the pulse of the collective, so he wouldn’t appreciate a stray wandering into his territory, even if the stray was his baby brother. The call went to voicemail and RT hung up without leaving a message. Time enough to contact his brother after he arrived in Nantahala.
Tracking the little rabbit from Reno to Nashville had been easy, but just when he’d been ready to spring, something had spooked her and she’d gone underground. She’d cleaned out her bank account, what little there had been in it, and gone off the grid. Using the new tech tracking software he’d developed, he’d finally picked up her trail. Damnedest thing, the little bunny had surfaced in Nantahala, Georgia. This time she wouldn’t get away. She’d landed right in his home territory. He knew the area like the back of his hand. He’d grown up here. His family lived here. Never mind that he hadn’t been home in years. Nothing ever changed in Nantahala. The Dominion, old as the forest itself, still sheltered there.

Old secrets, traditions and values flourished here. Home, he’d come home. As a courtesy he’d stop by the Homestead and let his mother know he was in town. Then he would find out just what she was up to in an out-of-the-way little town like Nantahala.
The homestead, tucked into the side of Panther’s Peek, looked just like any other expensive vacation cabin nestled against a mountainside, but RT knew better. The large rustic cabin with two storied glass walls looking over the valley below hid a secret, one that no outsider ever learned about, the Southern Dominion.

What had once been little more than a fox hole in the side of the mountain had expanded to a cavernous size and housed the headquarters of the southern collective. From there Jason ran the Dominion as the mega consortium it had grown into, with few outsiders any the wiser. Hundreds called the Dominion home, and at any given moment dozens housed there. The entire southern half of the mountain was honeycombed with warrens.

RT turned off the Blue Ridge Parkway heading home. He let the windows down and drew in deep breaths of the fresh mountain air. His body responded to the fresh fragrance of Spring in the mountains, his skin tingled, the hair along the back of his neck stood on end. The animal in him stretched and pushed, seeking freedom. Too long, it complained. Too long since it had been allowed to run free. Soon, RT promised and clamped iron hard will on the little rogue seeking to escape. He turned south, leaving the Parkway and heading toward the Georgia line and home. His nose twitched with the familiar scents of the North Georgia Mountains. He picked up Highway 19 and drove faster, his instincts sharpened. The air carried
the very embodiment of the Dominion. Only a member of the collective would recognize the subtle essence wafting through the gentle mountain breeze. His brethren gathered more than usual. Their pungent scents carried on the wind. Only his sensitive nose allowed him to separate and identify each individual. They were moving south like he was, converging on the encampment. He scented links, wolf, bear, deer, beaver and more, all moving steadily toward the Dominion.
Something was up.


Tears for the Past
Georgiana Fields

For being early spring, the stifling heat had Douglas Benge dripping in sweat. Of course wearing a fur coat on the inside didn’t help matters. He inhaled, taking in the smells of the forest and the stench of the gut pile at his feet. Flies swarmed around the mess. He noted a few maggots squirming on what he made out to be the large intestines, so the body wasn’t that old. At least scavengers hadn’t carried it off.
“What’s your take, Doug?” Mathew Autry asked. “You know Mayor Dumbass is going to have a field day with this.”
Doug chuckled. There was no love lost between the Sheriff and Nantahala’s mayor, David Wolverton. Those two have been at each other since high school. And they thought bears held grudges. “From the scent, I’d say we have another bear mauling. My question is, where the hell is the rest of the body?”
“I can answer that question, gentlemen,” a woman said as she stepped from behind a bush.
“This is a crime scene!” Mat yelled.
“Detective Isabell Halifax, GBI.” She flipped out her badge. “My partner is at the other scene.”
“GBI?” Mat crossed his arms over his chest. “This is my town, my crime scene.”
Of Mountains and Mysteries
“And you are?”
“Sheriff Mathew Autry and my Deputy Doug Benge. I did not notify the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. So what the hell are you doing here?”
“That is correct, sir.” The woman glanced between Mat and Doug.
Doug took in the woman’s healthy figure and muscular arms. Her light brown hair she’d pulled back into a ponytail. He noticed she wasn’t painted up, either. He couldn’t understand why women thought they had to cover-up their beauty with paint. He breathed her scent deep into his lungs. Human, with an overlaying scent of something lethal. He inhaled again, trying to distinguish the scent. His canines lengthened and his nails itched. One thing for sure, she wasn’t a frigging bloodsucker, but it didn’t mean she wasn’t in league with them.
“I don’t plan to seize your crime scene, Sheriff Autry. This happened to be my weekend off. I wasn’t expecting to stumble onto a murder.” She glanced between Mat and Doug. “As you said, Deputy, bear attacks are on the increase. Looks as if you have a rouge with a wicked sense of humor.” She turned and pushed through the thick underbrush.
“It’s either Sheriff or Mat, you can call me sheriff.” Mat grumbled something about intruders and uppity GBI agents as he followed the detective. “You coming, Doug? Or are you just going to stand there?”
Yep, it was going to be one of those days. Doug trudged through the underbrush. His keen hearing picked up a murmured conversation up ahead. Sounded like Mat was pissed again. Nothing new there. Hell, Mat had been more of a bear than Doug since Mat’s 13-year-old son Gabriel took an interest in Wolverton’s 15-year-old daughter, Arabella. That was saying a lot, seeing Mat was human.
Doug stepped into a clearing at the edge of Crying Woman Falls, where his sight promptly fell on the Elf, leaning against a tree. Doug knew he’d scented danger on the woman.
Isabell whirled around in time to see the deputy shift into the largest frigging bear she’d seen in her life. The massive black bear reared back, standing on his hind legs. He had to be over ten feet tall, and she guesstimated he weighed about eight hundred pounds.
She was so dead.
But instead of killing her, he batted the sheriff, knocking him several feet backward. To make matters worse, her partner, Rowan, decided to fling a fireball at the bear. She snatched her firearms, pointing one at Rowan and the other at the deputy.
“I will so pepper your asses if you don’t put your dicks away, or would you both prefer I hand you a magnifying glass so you can see who has the biggest?”
“Damn, lady, I like your gumption,” the Sheriff cachinnated. Once he’d gained control of his laughter he pushed to his feet then stomped out the small brush fire Rowan started. “Doug, shift back.” The Sheriff cocked a black eyebrow at her. “Hope you don’t mind a little nudity.”
“Not at all. Seen one prick, seen them all.”
“You haven’t see—”
“No, not a word.” She cut off Rowan’s comment. She wasn’t in the mood to hear what he had to say, not after spilling her coffee, then refusing to get her another cup. The man knew she couldn’t function without her morning dose of caffeine.



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I am borrowing this one!

Beth Warstadt

I come from a long line of grudge-holders. With a few remarkable exceptions, my family members have turned blaming others for their unhappiness into a fine art. Which is why something I heard today in the movie “The Light Between Oceans” means more to me than merely another line in another movie.

Rachel Weisz’s character is married to a German man in Australia in the years after World War I. He is not a very popular guy, so in addition to the hardships he faced in Germany during the war, he is treated badly by the people where he lives, including being shunned  by his wife’s family.  She asks him why he is such a happy person in spite of all that he has endured. He answers:

You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day, all the time. You have to…

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