Tag Archives: YA

#HobbyCareerPassion: Animal Love and the Internet by Emily Heebner

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters. And Merry Christmas!! 

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Emily Heebner…

Animal Love and the Internet 

I’m grateful for the internet. However flawed, it lets folks research any topic at any hour in the comfort of home. It allowed me to write about puppies being born.

I had married into a family of animal lovers. Not that I didn’t already love animals, I did! I grew up with a beloved dog, Cookie, a great friend and confidante. But in typical suburban fashion, my mother did most – okay – all of the animal care herself.

So when I became matron of my home plus dog, I put my foot down. “Everybody helps!” I declared.

Now that we have our third dog, Sally, plus two cats, plus lizard who’s determined to out-live us, I continue to study. Especially that night I arrived home late and almost drove over a furry larva in our driveway.

It was to be the night we switched from cat loathers to cat lovers.

I was opening our gate so I could pull my car in when I noticed a fluttering leaf out of the corner of my eye. Exhausted, I wanted to ignore it, but the night was hot and still, so I looked again. Lit by my car’s headlights was a furry larva near our hedge, squirming across the driveway. I left the car running, ran for the house and called, “Honey, come quick! Leave Sally inside!”

“Is it a rat?” I asked.

“A cat.”

Umbilical cord attached, the wee one was brand new, probably dropped by her mom when I opened the gate. We learned from the internet we should’ve given the mommy time to retrieve her baby. But we were unschooled and quick to adopt hero mode.

Soon “Solo” was swaddled in clean towels, with a ticking clock and a heating pad close by her box.

The internet taught us much. Since the mommy wasn’t there to lick, my husband assumed operation poop training, which entailed wiping Solo’s butt with warm, damp cotton balls. I was better at bottle feeding, getting her to latch onto the hummingbird like nipple as she sucked and “swam” in the air with her arms.

On the third day, the vet said to bring her in. While he checked her, our larva-kitten pooped on the table. I watched the vet pick up the piece of poop, throw it away, then stick his finger in her mouth. What? The moment flashed so fast, just like the wiggling leaf on the driveway that was now our tiny pet. Did I really see the vet stick his finger in her mouth? The same finger that picked up the poop?

Next day, Solo was lethargic. I put her on our bed to play but she lay still, then moved, dragging her back leg. I quickly put her inside my shirt, looked up fading kitten syndrome, phoned the vet, got in the car, and phoned Eric.

It was a different vet on call so we squealed about the other vet’s poopy finger moment. This new vet explained that without her mother’s milk, Solo was extra vulnerable to infection. He loaded her up with more than the recommended antibiotics and with a doubtful smile, wished us well.

Flash forward: Solo will be four years old this spring. She’s healthy. She and Sally are good friends.

In Seneca Lake, Arthur helps a Labrador deliver her puppies in a saloon. One gets stuck but survives. The internet and Solo taught me how to write that scene.

Blurb:

It’s 1944, and high school senior Meg Michaels has always obeyed her grandparents’ wishes, till now. They’re urging her to give up her dream of Cornell University and accept a ring from wealthy Hank Wickham before he deploys overseas.

But Meg has studied hard and yearns for something better than life in the rural Finger Lakes. Plus Meg’s suddenly fascinated with her childhood friend, Arthur Young, a handsome Seneca Indian farm worker. When Meg and Arthur nurse a sick puppy to health, their friendship transforms into love.

But locals look down on “injuns” and resent the fact that Arthur’s farm job exempts him from military duty. While the war rages in Europe, Meg and Arthur must fight their own battles at home…

Excerpt:

They all watched, hoping a puppy would begin to appear. Brandy grunted and contorted, but nothing changed.

“Dang it.” Arthur wiped his forehead into the upper part of his sleeve. Then he carefully slipped the fingers of one hand inside Brandy’s swollen vagina. She squirmed at first, even growled some. But as Arthur’s hand made its way farther inside her, she breathed through her nose, poised, as if she trusted him, painful as it was. Her eyes fixated at the towel beside her head.

“Good girl,” he murmured. “I’m gettin’ him, Brandy.” Her belly lurched. “Hold still now, girl.”

Arthur’s hand began to reverse direction. He pulled so slowly, Meg wasn’t sure at first. A tingle of dread ran through her. Minutes seemed to pass. Then his forearm tightened.

He shook his other hand toward Meg.

“Towel!”

She grabbed some clean ones from the whelping box.

“Sac’s broke.” He was pulling a wet tail and tiny paws from Brandy’s birth canal. He wrapped a towel around them. Brandy’s belly contracted. Then swoosh, the puppy slid out. Meg handed Arthur a dry towel which he wrapped around the pup. Brandy watched and panted, then gnawed on the cord and began to eat the afterbirth. But the puppy lay still.

“Gol dang it—”

Arthur picked up the lifeless pup and rubbed him vigorously in the towel. He stood and stepped back from Brandy, swinging the pup belly up, over his head, then down between his knees in an arc. He did it again, then checked the puppy’s nose and mouth.

“Dang it!”

He swung the puppy again, then checked his mouth. A soft gurgle could be heard.

“Atta boy—” said Charley.

“C’mon, big guy.” Arthur rubbed him roughly in the towel. “Wake up.” He wiped the pup’s nostrils and blew on his face. The puppy squirmed just slightly. Arthur rubbed and rubbed, as if summoning a genie from a magic lamp.

Meg stood beside them. “If you can wake up,” she said, “we’ll make you fat as Ol’ Pete.”

Arthur stopped rubbing and studied the pup’s face. “We’ll call you Li’l Pete, how’d you like that? Folks’ll think you’re one part hog.”

Brandy moaned.

Charley tried to grin. “His ma swears he’s pure pup, Art. She ain’t been near no hogs.”

“Keep rubbing and talking.” Arthur handed the puppy to Meg. He stooped down to check Brandy. “Comin’ head first. This one ain’t stuck.”

 

Bio:

Emily Heebner, MFA is a fiction writer, professor and theater professional. A Cornell University graduate, she worked extensively as an actor, then wrote documentary scripts for dvds including The Hours, Tuck Everlasting, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Passion. Seneca Lake, her Coming of Age novel, explores interracial romance. Published by The Wild Rose Press, it’s available in Print, ebook and Audiobook formats.

website: emilyheebner.com

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emily.heebner.90

https://twitter.com/EmilyHeebner 

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Kathryn Knight with her YA Paranormal, Divine Fall

I am so pleased to introduce my guest today, Kathryn Knight. I first became acquainted with Kathryn when she submitted a wonderful story to me at The Wild Rose Press titled Silver Lake. Unfortunately, at the time I was only editing suspense, so another lucky editor ended up with her book. Now, she has a Young Adult story that I can’t wait to check out. 

Now, for a little more about Kathryn and her latest release…

Thank you for having me, Alicia!
 

My pleasure, Kathryn. 

Where did you get the idea for DIVINE FALL? 

I wanted to try a YA paranormal romance this time, and I had in my mind a male character who had both a light and a dark side. The hero had the potential to love, but was also dangerous…a Fallen Angel began to emerge, an outcast in both worlds on a quest for vengeance. His forbidden lineage makes him secretive, but he realizes he must get close to 16-year-old Jamie once he discovers she’s the key to what he wants. 

Sounds fascinating. I love a character with conflicting characteristics.

What book have you read that you wish you would have written? 

OUTLANDER, by Diana Gabaldon. Anyone who has read it will know why! 

I have not read it, nor seen the show, but with all the hoopla, I might have to check it out. 🙂

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and how do you like it? 

I work as a fitness instructor; I teach classes ranging from step aerobics to weightlifting to Zumba, 5 days a week. I’ve been doing it for 23 years now, with only short breaks after having my sons. So it’s safe to say I love it! It’s a great part-time job that keeps me active, which is especially important when I spend so much time sitting at a computer and writing during the rest of the day. 

Nice! Yes, that’s a perfect way to stay active for a writer.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do? 

Spiders. I think they’re amazing. They create beautiful, intricate webs and catch and eat all the truly bad bugs. I never, ever kill them. In fact, I don’t care if one’s crawling across the ceiling while I’m in bed reading. We both go about our business. 

Uh, yeah, I don’t think most people would ‘get’ that.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time? 

Cooking and cleaning. I hate both, but unfortunately, they’re both fairly necessary tasks. 

One of these days, maybe we’ll be wealthy enough to hire a cook and a maid, right? 🙂

What’s your favorite childhood book? 

JANE-EMILY, by Patricia Clapp. This was my first “Paranormal Romance”, a very sweet historical romance between two young adults, complete with a vindictive child ghost determined to get her way even from beyond the grave. This combination of love story and ghost story resonated with me so much, even 30 years later, that I wrote two of my own for adult readers: SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR.

I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds like it’s right up my alley. 

I’d love to throw that question back to visitors – What was your favorite childhood book?

One of mine was The Little Match Girl (twisted, I know)

Thank you for visiting with us, Kathryn. Readers, check out her latest release:

DivineFall250

Excerpt: 

He gazed out into the night again, his hands still curled around the steering wheel. “My situation is…complicated,” he said. His jaw tightened beneath the pieces of hair falling around his profile.   

“Okay.” I wasn’t sure if he was trying to let me down gently or actually explain something. I dug my ragged fingernails into my palms, trying not to think of how perfectly our hands had fit together all night. 

Ridges of muscle rose along his arms as he gripped the steering wheel. “I don’t want to hurt you. You’ve been through a terrible loss.”

“So have you,” I whispered. I was beginning to appreciate my complete lack of a social life. This was torture. He was right—I barely knew him, and yet his words were creating a tiny network of cracks in my heart.

“Enough loss for a lifetime,” he agreed dismally. “We should…be careful.”

“Okay,” I repeated. My throat was starting to swell. I wanted to make it to the safety of my own car before I started crying.

He nodded again, as if we’d come to some understanding. But I was clueless. And torn. Part of me wanted to jump out of the car, and the other part couldn’t bear to leave him.

Shifting in his seat, he turned to face me. His hands left the steering wheel and linked with mine, sending a shiver up my wrists. He pulled me in and leaned his forehead against mine.

Our breath mingled for a heartbreaking moment; then he released me with a sigh. He cursed softly. “You’d better go before I do something I shouldn’t.” 

Blurb: 

After tragedy tears Jamie Brandt’s life apart, her only goal is to finish high school so she can leave her small hometown behind. In the meantime, riding her horse is her main source of solace, until a mysterious stable hand shows up at the barn. There’s something not quite right about the handsome new employee, and the more Jamie sees of him, the more determined she becomes to figure out what he’s hiding. 

Dothan Reed came to historic Huntsville, Maryland, for one reason—revenge. But his plan can’t move forward until he finds the missing piece he needs to enhance his powers. As the only surviving Nephilim, Dothan is not only weaker than full-blooded angels; his forbidden lineage makes him an outcast in both worlds. When he discovers Jamie is the key to locating an ancient weapon, he’s forced to interact with a vulnerable human girl—a task that becomes more appealing with each encounter. 

Jamie soon learns Dothan isn’t the only one with a dark secret. Each new revelation further threatens her safety, and Dothan’s betrayal shatters her heart. Forgiving him seems impossible, but the thought of turning her back on him is equally painful. 

As their connection deepens, Dothan will have to make his own difficult choice: continue on his path of vengeance, or protect the girl he loves. And when Dothan’s actions thrust Jamie into an unforeseen danger, he must seek the help of his enemy…or risk losing her forever.   

You can find Divine Fall here: 

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Fall-Kathryn-Knight-ebook/dp/B00M36YW0I/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_d_1

B&N-http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/divine-fall-kathryn-knight/1120000136?ean=2940149744268&isbn=2940149744268

iTunes-https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/divine-fall/id903144718?mt=11

 Kathryn

About Kathryn: 

As a child, Kathryn Knight kept her parents on a constant quest to find enough reading material to last her through each week. An early fondness for books about horses later gave way to a lasting preference for both love stories and ghost stories; as a writer, the paranormal romance genre is a perfect fit. Silver Lake, Kathryn’s debut novel, was a Reader’s Crown Finalist in Paranormal Romance at RomCon 2013. Her second novel, Gull Harbor, enjoyed 19 consecutive weeks as an Amazon Kindle bestseller. The recently published Divine Fall is Kathryn’s first YA novel. When not writing or reading, Kathryn teaches fitness classes and attempts to garden. She lives in New England with her husband, her sons, and a number of rescued animals. Please visit her at http://www.kathrynknightbooks.com or on Facebook at Kathryn Knight books.

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Wednesday’s Want, Wed, Waste: Historical Fictional Characters

Hello and welcome to my version of the game, ‘F*@#’, Marry, Kill. This week we are WWW’ing Historical Fictional Characters.

Myself and some of my friends are sharing our Want, Wed, and Waste choices from this week’s list:

Robin Hood, Sir Lancelot, Zorro

bestcrowe Venezuelan pole dancer Romina Dabbio per

(The Zorro franchise is pretty strict about copyright, so rather than post a pic, I inserted a link to a movie clip) Click here for a ZORRO Movie Clip (Of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones)

Click on book titles below to learn more and to be taken to a buy link

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Me (Alicia Dean). Author of Liberty Divided Isle of Fangs Book 2 ~

Want: Zorro, because of all that mystery and danger. And because, in the above-linked scene, he was soooo sexy, it made me wish I was Catherine Zeta Jones! (Or wish that I was Antonio Banderas, she’s pretty hot too ;)) I was going to say I also want him because of how fast he moves, but then I realized that might not be a plus.

Wed:  I guess Sir Lancelot so I could live in a castle. With Robin Hood I would have to live in the woods. And Richard Gere as Sir Lancelot, come on…who could resist that? Although since Lancelot was stealing King Arthur’s woman, he might not be faithful. But on the other hand, I would be ‘Wanting’ Zorro, so I guess I wouldn’t exactly be faithful either.

Waste: Robin Hood, although that probably makes me a bad person since he steals from the rich to give to the poor. But if I was married to Sir Lancelot, I would be rich, so he might steal from me. So yeah, I would have to waste him. But if he looked like Russell Crowe, I would definitely do him first.

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Jannine Gallant, Author of We’ll Never Tell (Book One in the Secrets of Ravenswood Series) FREE on Kindle!!! Oct. 16-18.  Website: http://www.janninegallant.com/

WANT – Robin Hood. Defender of the downtrodden—and too gorgeous for words. You can haul me off on your horse any day!

WED – Has to be Sir Lancelot. Let’s face it—Guinevere caused him nothing but misery. Lancelot is a tragic character, and he needs the love of a good woman to turn his life around. I’m volunteering!

WASTE – Sorry, Zorro, but you lose. I just can’t be sure what’s behind the mask and cape. The others are a sure thing.

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Kathy L Wheeler, Author of Quotable Website: http://kathylwheeler.com

Want: Zorro – Antonio Banderas. When he focus his attention on his heroine (me), I am living a character in one of my own books. YUM.

Wed: Robin Hood – I’ll take Russell Crowe as Robin Hood. He’s scary enough to keep the bad guys away.

Waste: Sir Lancelot – I hate to say that Richard Gere is a waste, but compared to the other two… there’s really no choice.

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Christine Elaine Black, Author of A Rose for Lancaster Blog/Website:  http://christineelaineblack.blogspot.ca/ ~

Want: Zorro, of course. I love a hero who can wear a cape with style and the Latin lover accent is a complete turn on. I don’t mind the mustache or the color black, so all in all he’s a ‘stallion’ in my book.

Wed: Robin Hood. He does the right thing, stands for something legit and is faithful to his lady. He’s used to outdoor living and probably knows how to throw a mean BBQ supper, and there’s always a ready supply of ale. He can steal my heart anytime!

Waste: Lancelot. He’s the least romantic one for me. Other than fall for King Arthur’s wife I don’t recall anything memorable about him except for having the guys over and sitting a ’round’ the table (haha). Sorry, but it’s good ‘knight’ and goodbye for him.

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Silver James, author of THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC Website: http://www.silverjames.com ~

Want: Robin Hood. He looks good in tights and he’s good with a bow. That means strong hands and arms. But he has that whole “merry men” thing going on and hanging out with his buds. If the Sheriff of Nottingham came knocking, ol’ Rob would take off to create mischief. But that’s cool. He has a sense of honor and looks out for the poor but I think he’d want to hang with the Merry Men instead of staying home at night.

Wed: Zorro. Oh be still my heart. Sexy, Latin lover who likes to play at being someone else? There’s just something about a man in a mask… His love life would definitely be filled with spicy heat. He has a well-honed sense of duty and honor (are you sensing a theme here? LOL) and I bet he dances a mean tango, which is the dance of love. He might dash off to save someone but he’ll come right home, a rose in his teeth and a look of “I want you” in his eyes.

Waste: Sir Lancelot. Yeah, yeah. Knight of the Round Table, chivalrous and all that, but dude! She was married. So not cool in my book. Especially since her husband was his best friend. I don’t care how gorgeous he looks sitting on a charger, sword in hand, armor all shiny and stuff, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And even though he sort of tried to redeem himself, it just doesn’t work for me.

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Darcy Flynn, author of  Keeper of My Heart Website: www.darcyflynnromances.com

Want: Robin Hood! He’s charming, romantic, and a thief with a roguish smile. A short-term adventure with him would be thrilling, but he certainly isn’t marriage material. Plus, I don’t want to live in a forest.

Waste: Sir Lancelot! At one time, I would have loved to marry him, but his affair with Guinevere ruined that dream. Any man, no matter how noble and honorable, if he commits adultery, he’s not the man for me.

Wed: Then there’s the engaging and mysterious Zorro! I want to marry this romantic, well-educated, wealthy and cultured nobleman! To be Mrs. Don Diego by day, all the while knowing his secret. Dressed in black, cape flowing behind him, wielding a sword…what can I say!  *Sigh* Did I mention he’s a superb athlete! 🙂

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Now we’d like to hear from you….which of these Historical Fantasy Dudes would you Want, Wed, and Waste?

Thanks for playing!

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