Monday, May 21, 2018

The Wedding That Inspires A Better World


Meghan and Harry become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

I’ve been thinking about how Harry and Meghan met and how they fell in love for their mutual passion to do good in the world. I thought about my own passion for preserving our planet and the living creatures on it. Some of you may already know my number one hero is Jane Goodall. She, too is fighting to save our planet and defend the wild things that live on it. I want to follow her example and do what I can to make Earth a peaceful, harmonious place where all living things can thrive and be happy.
Dr. Jane Goodall


Dr. Goodall stopped eating meat when she realized the pain and suffering of animals that lived a life of misery before they were slaughtered for food. While I don’t believe I can give up dairy products and eggs yet, I believe I want to become vegetarian. I may not be able to accomplish my goal, but I do want to put some effort into changing my life for the betterment of the planet.
Dr. David Suzuki


I use reusable bags when I shop and I no longer use straws and other plastics as much as I can. The worst is Styrofoam and it’s hard to avoid because of take-out and eggs and it’s still used to pack certain electronics and such. Still, I can write to companies and ask them to find other reusable or biodegradable materials to pack items.
Meghan, now Duchess of Sussex, wrote a single letter to a company about their sexist advertisement and that company changed that advertisement. Meghan was just twelve years old when she wrote that letter, but what an inspiration for us that she got them to make a change. In my life, I do what I can as well. I detest cruelty and so I sign petitions, write comments to lawmakers and companies to change their policies. While I realize my impact alone may not bring about a change, I can join others and we can fight together for change.
What are you passionate about? What do you do to fight for change?

Diverse stories filled with heart

Sunday, May 13, 2018

It's Only Make Believe #BlogABookScene May Theme: Mayday! Mayday!

The authors from Prairie Rose Publications are sharing themed excerpts from our books each month. May's theme is Mayday! Mayday
The following is a harrowing Mayday excerpt from my book, IT'S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE.


Excerpt:
 Kit had a hell of a time keeping the old Jeep on the road. Knowing how bad a driver June was only made him speed up more to get to her before something awful happened. The old dirt road had become a slick mud slide. He couldn’t allow himself to imagine how June even made it this far without sliding off the road. With his attention on navigating the road, Kit glanced along the ditches that ran on both sides. The ditches were supposed to provide proper drainage in weather like this, but clearly, they did not. He strained his eyes as he searched for signs of June’s car. God, please keep my June safe until I can get to her.

After what seemed an eternity, Kit approached the bridge. His heart throbbed in his chest with gratitude when he saw in the glow of his headlights several trucks and the taillights of two horse trailers along with his brothers and cousin gathered at the entrance to the bridge. Hank and Sam along with their cousin, Kyle, were already there and unloading the horses.

The car slid to a stop as his male relatives rushed to meet him. Those yahoos sure looked good to him right now. His older brother, Sam, reached his car just as Kit got the door open and stepped out into the wail of the maddening wind and the sharp prick of the rain on his skin. “We found her, Kit.” Sam’s voice rose up over the deluge of rain and wind. “It’s gonna be damn tricky.”

Panic sent sparks of adrenaline through his body and made Kit’s hands shake. “You found her? Where the hell is she, then?” A vision of a lifeless body tried to pry its way into his mind, but he pushed it back, willing June to be alive.

 “Come with me, Kit.” Kit’s heart raced in his chest as he hurried to follow Sam onto the old wooden bridge that connected the land on both sides of the Wind River. With the truck lights shining on the scene, Kit saw the bridge had chunks of the boards missing on its deck. Halfway across, he saw the side rails broken with a wide gap. And right in the middle of the gap he saw June’s car, hanging precariously off the side of the bridge. Mother of God! 


Until next time...

Sarah J. McNeal
Diverse stories filled with heart


Monday, April 30, 2018

What Are Writers Really Like? #WriterMadness


I love writer quotes. Here are 4 quotes about writers I can really relate to. The successful writers I know were not sudden overnight successes; they were persistent and dedicated to writing. I can't imagine any of them giving up, not ever.


Writing does require spending a great deal of time alone and often in silence. Writers may party in between projects, but most of them spend their energy creating stories, thinking about stories, working out difficulties with stories, and writing down their stories--oh and then promoting their work which seems to be one of the most difficult parts of their writing careers. I don't actually know a writer who is out of story ideas. It seems to me the more a writer writes, the more ideas they have. That's my opinion and experience anyway.


Some people may believe that writing is easy and fun (well, it IS kinda fun), and that a writer effortlessly produces story after story to their great economical gain. Hog wash! Writers sweat and weep over their work and worry a great deal if anyone will like their stories. If writers didn't love what they do, they would just go have a beer and a snooze in the hammock.


I found these writer quotes on Pinterest where I go to regain my sanity. I relate to these 4 quotes in particular.
Do you have some favorite quotes that you feel best define you as a writer? Do my 4 quotes speak to you, too?
If you are not a writer, what is your opinion of writers and their work? Do you tend to buy more of a writer's work after you read a story you particularly liked? What image comes to mind when you think of writers?




Saturday, April 21, 2018

EARTH DAY IS SUNDAY #SaveMotherEarth




EARTH DAY IS SUNDAY



I care about Mother Earth, about climate change, pollution, clean water, protecting living things, and preserving wilderness areas. It’s overwhelming if I think about all the things that are dying, going extinct, or being ruined by human beings. I focus on the things within my power: conservation of water and power, using organic methods for pesticides, taking care of my trees, using reusable bags when I shop instead of plastic, recycling everything I can, donating to associations that are working toward a healthy planet, and signing petitions to prevent pollution and preserve what we have.


The Earth would get along just fine without human beings. We are the cause of many problems and that means we can work to fix those problems. If we continue the way we are going, we will systematically destroy our planet and we have nowhere else to go, no plan B; no contingency plan. Earth Day is celebrated by becoming mindful of the things we can do to keep our planet healthy for the coming generations.


I know I can’t do everything, but I can do some things. If we all pledge to do some thing, we can make difference. We still have time.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

FOR LOVE OF BANJO by Sarah J. McNeal #TheWildings





For Love of Banjo 
by Sarah J. McNeal



Deceit stands between Banjo Wilding’s love for Maggie O’Leary and his search for the father he never knew.

Banjo Wilding wears a borrowed name and bears the scars and reputation of a lurid past.  To earn the right to ask for Margaret O’Leary’s hand, he must find his father and make something of himself.

Margaret O’Leary has loved Banjo since she was ten years old but standing between her and Banjo is pride, Banjo’s mysterious father and the Great War.

Excerpt: (The Promise)


In one graceful movement, he dismounted the pinto then stepped to the porch where Maggie stood with unrestrained tears that flowed down her cheeks.  Banjo swept her into his arms and kissed her.  The kiss wasn’t his brotherly, friendly peck on the cheek.  He kissed her with a slow burning need and ran his tongue along the groove of her lips then slipped inside.

He tasted of coffee and mint.  Maggie reached up to weave her arms around his neck.  She stepped on her tiptoes to better reach him and taste him.  Her heart raced and heat rushed hungry waves of yearning into places in her body she never knew existed as she responded to his explorations with her own.  If only she could slip into his pocket and follow him wherever he went.  She wanted to become the marrow in his bones, to always be a part of him.

Just when she thought he would take her to her room and make love to her as she had asked, the kiss ended.  Banjo bent his head his rough cheek rasped against hers.  The fragrance of him, a combination of horse, pine and crisp snow, caressed her senses.  He slipped his hand into her hair and gently rubbed the tender skin of her neck where her blood pulsed beneath his thumb.

His mouth so close to her ear she felt the warm moisture of his breath as he spoke his last words.  She would never forget them, not as long as she lived.  Breathless from the kiss, he said, “Don’t forget me.  Write to me every day and I’ll write back.  You are the star in my sky and my compass home.  I’ll come back, if it’s the last thing I do, I will come back.  I swear it.”

Excerpt 2: (The Battle Field in France)

Once the men had climbed out and headed for safety, Banjo climbed the wall and crawled out onto the flat, barren ground between him and the next trench.  A glance behind him gave Banjo the unfettered view of the huge metal vehicle with treads wrapped around wheels that moved it over impossible terrain.  He heard rumors about these new weapons.  Tanks.  Jesus, nothing could stop the thing.  As curiosity overtook him at the wonder of such an invention, Banjo did the unthinkable and stood to get a better look.

Something hot bit into his flesh, first in his chest and then his leg.  The support of his legs seemed to disappear from beneath him and he fell.  Just before the dark void sucked him under, he saw a face, a familiar face.  He couldn’t quite make it out because he couldn’t see through the blood smeared over the lenses of his glasses.  The lips moved but he couldn’t hear what the face said as if the apparition spoke to him through oceans of turbulent water.  Maggie.  Oh Maggie, darlin’, I’m so sorry.  Then everything went black. 



Saturday, April 07, 2018

A Dinosaur in a Strange World



Sometimes I feel like the dinosaurs...
Can't keep up with technology. Don't understand the millennials. Instagram seems too complicated and Twitter, too. Everyone pulls out their cell phones at dinner and I feel kinda like I'm alone or too boring to talk to. I am a walking anachronism. Anybody else feel like this? Maybe I can find a canoe or something and get to rowing.

Monday, April 02, 2018

THE VIOLIN by Sarah J. McNeal #BlogABookScene


THE VIOLIN by Sarah J. McNeal
 Find us on Twitter with the hashtag #blogabookscene and #PrairieRosePub. #www.sarahmcneal.blogspot.com/
Blog-a-Book-Scene is a monthly themed blogging endeavor from a group of authors who love to share s time?

April’s Theme: April showers
See my springtime excerpt from my time travel novel, The Violin






Blurb:
Genevieve Beaumont dreams of a handsome, unknown man almost every night—and has, for most of her lonely life. Inexplicably compelled, she buys a violin—and finds the remnants of  John Douglas’s life and the mystery of his long-ago death revealed within its case.

Intrigued, she makes a decision—one that will change her life forever.

Is there a way to change the past and save this man who haunts her heart?

Excerpt:

When she finished eating what she could choke down, Genevieve decided to sit in a rocker on the porch and get hold of her nerves before she went down the road to meet John. The very thought of his name sent a little buzz of excitement to the pit of her stomach. Her skin tingled as if an electric breeze had blown over her.
She chose a rocker near the climbing roses That twisted their fragrant way up the balustrade onto the roof. Once she set her bag down beside the rocker, she sat there for a few moments with her eyes closed.
Genevieve took slow deep breaths of perfumed air and set the rocker into a slow, easy motion. For an actual minute, she was able to get hold of her run away emotions. Just be in the moment. There's nothing happening at this moment. I'm just sitting here, rocking on a porch with the smell of roses in the air.
She relaxed her back against the chair, loosened the muscles at the base of her spine and began to hum. Ah, that’s much better now.
After a few minutes of relaxation, Genevieve realized the time to leave had arrived. She tried to maintain her serenity, but it evaporated completely in the face of her excitement but the fear remained that she might lose her nerve. In an attempt to outrun panic, Genevieve bolted from the chair, picked up the brown paper bag, and almost ran down the stairs. She rushed across the gravel parking lot and down the narrow road that led to another time, and John.

Buy Link:   AMAZON