WARNING: Writers, Do Not Act Out Your Characters In REAL LIFE…You May End Up Like This Author.

You all know Cat pretty well. If I come across something literary I feel is worthy of sharing? Then I will!

Please, authors, if you are going to be a writer and publish your books of romance suspense novels? Don’t act out your storyline and characters in REAL LIFE!

Actually though, not funny but ironic as someone in real life died… The Author’s Husband by her hands. I feel a new book in the making…CAT

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Nancy Brophy’s Amazon Author Profile and Published Books. Now Charged With Murder.


About The Author:  Nancy Brophy grew up reading and writing. Her imaginary friends have rich lives and less self-doubts with stories that have beginning, middles and happy ending all within four hundred pages. She lives in the beautiful, green and very wet Northwest with her husband, two naughty dogs, PB and J, and forty rowdy chickens.

Novelist Who Penned ‘How To Murder Your Husband’ Essay Charged With Husband’s Murder.


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(Nancy Crampton-Brophy has been charged with the murder of her husband, Daniel Brophy. She is the author of romantic suspense novels and, in a 2011 blog post, outlined various motives and methods of killing a husband. Credit: Portland, OR Police Bureau and NPR and The Oregonian)
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“How do you get away with murder? Maybe don’t write a blog post about getting away with murder.”

Last week, police in Portland arrested 68-year-old Nancy Crampton-Brophy. She is charged with the murder in the death of her 63-year-old husband, chef Daniel Brophy.

At 8:30 a.m. on June 2, police and medics arrived at The Oregon Culinary Institute after students and instructors arriving for class found Brophy suffering from a gunshot wound. The first responders attempted to revive him but weren’t successful. In a press conference that day, police said that they were investigating the death as a homicide and that they had no immediate suspects.

Crampton-Brophy is a self-published author of romantic suspense novels, many featuring chiseled ex-Navy SEALs — books with “rugged men, strong women, and a good story,” she touted on her website. There she described her home life — part of which read like the satisfying last pages of a romance novel:

“I live in the beautiful, green, and very wet, Northwest, married to a Chef whose mantra is: life is a science project. As a result there are chickens and turkeys in my backyard, a fabulous vegetable garden which also grows tobacco for an insecticide and a hot meal on the table every night. For those of you who have longed for this, let me caution you. The old adage is true. Be careful what you wish for, when the gods are truly angry, they grant us our wishes.

“… I can’t tell you when I fell in love with my husband, but I relate the moment I decided to marry him. I was in the bath. It was a big tub. I expected him to join me and when he was delayed, I called out, ‘Are you coming?’

“His answer convinced me he was Mr. Right. ‘Yes, but I’m making hors d’oeuvres.’ Can you imagine spending the rest of your life without a man like that?”

But in 2011, for a blog called See Jane Publish, Crampton-Brophy wrote an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband.” (The post is no longer public.)

“As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure,” the post read. “After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail. And let me say clearly for the record, I don’t like jumpsuits and orange isn’t my color.”

The essay described a range of possible motives for murdering a husband, ranging from avoiding the financial hit of a divorce to infidelity by a “lying, cheating bastard,” and even the possibility that the wife is a professional contract killer. It also weighed the pros and cons of different methods: “Guns — loud, messy, require some skill. … Knives — really personal and close up. Blood everywhere. Eww.”

She warned against committing a crime of passion: “Most of the time there is a trail that leads directly to you. Each type of murder leaves clues. A crime of passion does not look like a stranger was involved.”

The couple had been married for 27 years, according to The Oregonian, and were reportedly inseparable. Brophy was a lead instructor at the culinary institute, where he was remembered as “the resident encyclopedia of knowledge” with “offbeat sense of humor and creative approach to teaching.”

The day after her husband’s death, Crampton-Brophy posted an update to Facebook.

“I have sad news to relate. My husband and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning. For those of you who are close to me and feel this deserved a phone call, you are right, but I’m struggling to make sense of everything right now,” she wrote. “While I appreciate all of your loving responses, I am overwhelmed. Please save phone calls for a few days until I can function.”

But a neighbor, Don McConnell, told the Oregonian of an odd interaction with the widow. “She never showed any signs of being upset or sad,” McConnell said. “I would say she had an air of relief like it was almost a godsend.” He asked whether the police had been keeping her updated. “She said, ‘No, I’m a suspect,’ ” without emotion, McConnell said.

The news was a jolt to others. “It’s a big shock. It’s a big shock,” Brophy’s mother, Karen Brophy, told The Washington Post. “But we’re not making any statements.”

“Everyone that knows her, especially those close to her than myself are sick at heart,” Anna Brentwood, a writer who says she has known the couple for two decades told the Oregonian. “We are hoping the police are wrong and just going after the easiest target.”

At a candlelight vigil a week after his death, Daniel Brophy was remembered as being gruff on the outside, compassionate underneath. Attendees recalled a cow costume the instructor used with Velcro labels to illustrate cuts of beef.

The costume was hand-sewn by Crampton-Brophy, who spoke of her late husband. “He loved teaching, he loved mushrooms, and he loved family,” she said, according to the Portland Tribune. “Not only was life a science experiment, but sometimes it was an adventure.” Near the end of the blog post imagining how and why to kill one’s husband, Crampton-Brophy wrote that she finds “it is easier to wish people dead than to actually kill them.”

“I don’t want to worry about blood and brains splattered on my walls. And really, I’m not good at remembering lies. But the thing I know about murder is that every one of us has it in him/her when pushed far enough.”


Crampton-Brophy was arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Thursday. The judge approved a request by prosecutors to seal the court document outlining the case against her. She wore a blue jumpsuit.

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BUT WAIT, READERS!!… Here is the CRAZY PART of this…I went to her Facebook page here Author, Nancy Brophy and her Readers are leaving her Supportive Posts for her there??? WHAT? This lady shots here husband and readers are supporting her? WOW! Now I have seen and READ it all! Now I am not a heartless person, but you are supporting a murderer, people.

There is also another Facebook page; Remembering Daniel Brophy by her husbands’ co-workers of “The Culinary Institue” in Portland, Oregon. Let’s remember a man died in this tragic event. I guess will see if Nancy is or is not his killer as she moves through the court proceedings. Yes, I know, Innocent until proven Guilty…

“I just heard on the radio here in Arkansas that Chef Brophy was shot and killed at the culinary school I attended. He was an amazing man, teacher, and friend. He and his class are the best memories I have when I think back on my time there. Flavors of the World taught me so much about spices, herbs, and of course, mushrooms. You will always have a special place in my heart and you will be missed by so many culinarians that you influenced in your life and theirs.”

 

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Literary Happenings? Readers Need To Know and Cat’s Reading Den Shares It!

Welcome Friends, Readers, and New Visitors!

 

There sure has been loads going on lately with all of ‘Cat’s Authors’ I enjoy sharing, work with, and some new authors too! Now above, my girl, Popular Author and Brazil’s Daughter Adriana Gravazzoni has been traveling everywhere with her award-winning release of “Behind The Door,” book one of her Sexy Romantic Psychological Thriller Series titled; Hidden Motives. But before we get to Adriana and some of her new book reviews?

Let me share first a new book release and blog tour coming in Oct 1st — 8th, 2018 and you can Pre-Order “Comes A Specter” (Ghostland Book 2)  The Kindle Addition Now!

 

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Comes A Specter (Ghostland Book 2) by [Diablo, Keta]
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The blog tour is for the popular author and a fantastic fiction writer, Keta Diablo … Keta is a multi-published author in both erotic romance and gay fiction, historical fictions and paranormal westerns as well. She writes it all!

Here is more about the New Release:

Six months ago, Anya Fleming’s ten-year-old son, Willie-boy, found his father hanging in the barn. Traumatized over his father’s suicide, the boy hasn’t spoken a word since. Now, Willie-boy has come down with a grave, unknown illness and there’s only one man who can save him, Sutter Sky, a learned Blackfoot shaman known as Yellow Smoke—a shaman who was once deeply in love with Anya.

But Fate had other plans for Anya and Sutter—she was forced to marry Lewis Fleming, a cruel man who berated her night and day, and brokenhearted Sutter immersed himself in the mystical customs and beliefs of his People and became a shaman
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As if Anya didn’t have enough to deal with after her husband’s death and son’s illness, an evil, sinister ghost is terrorizing their ranch. Anya is convinced the spirit is Lewis, who apparently isn’t done making her life miserable.

When she turns to Yellow Smoke for help, will he put aside his bitterness and save Willie-boy? And can the renowned shaman dispel the powerful ghost from their lives and send him back to Hades?

If you are book blogger or reviewer and would like to be part of Kets’s Book Tour or host her for an interview, spotlight, etc., Please sign up with The Fabulous Babs Book Bistro here on her Google Form Schedule! To learn all about this event about the author.

 

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Next up is our Author, Kim Carter, and her next appearance ~ The Harlem Branch Library! Branch Manager: Amanda Dove 145 N Louisville St
Harlem, GA 30814 — (706) 650-5009  

Harlem Branch Library, Sept. 29, 2018, 10 a.m.-2p.m.

 

 

DEADLY ODDS    

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Fresh off being chosen as a “Finalist” for a Killer Nashville Falchion Award, Kim has many exciting events and appearances coming up like this one on September 20th, 2018 just outside Augusta, GA at – The Columbia County Library – Call Above For The Details!

She will be featuring her title; “Deadly Odds” and others. There will be several authors featured for this showing and is an amazing reader event for this area of Georgia!

 

LOCAL AUTHOR SHOWCASE

Harlem Branch Library, Sept. 29, 2018, 10 a.m.-2p.m.

Come out and meet several authors from the local area. For more information please visit our local authors’ page at http://gchrl.org

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Next up is my girl Author, Adriana Gavazzoni! This summer she has been traveling around as her books have been releasing in other countries other than Brazil and being available online! This is a snapshot of her with Book One ~ “Behind The Door” releasing in Madrid, Spain, and several other places. And just announced? Her book two of “Lara’s Journal” was chosen as a “Top Shelf Finalist for The Indie Excellence Awards!” AND? On Television!!

 

Adriana Gavazzoni

September 7 at 12:07 PM · 

Translate Please!
“The channel everything Curitiba accompanied the launch Behind the Door”


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YOUTUBE.COM

Fomos acompanhar o lançamento do livro Atrás da Porta, da escritora Adriana Gavazzoni. A obra foi publicada nos Estados Unidos, recebeu diversos…
Adriana’s “Behind The Door” is now available in SPAIN! As she traveled and did a little book tour and signings in several countries where her ‘Hidden Motives’ series will now be in Book Stores. How fabulous is that?

She has also been receiving more amazing book reviews as well and here is one I thought hot the mark spot on…

BOOK REVIEW BY 

Behind the Door | A. Gavazzoni

 

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The book “Behind the Door” tells the story of Lara dying at the hands of her boyfriend Mark, a famous New York lawyer. Carl, Mark’s lawyer, to help with the client’s defense case that Lara’s death was accidental resolves to hire the psychiatrist Simone. The psychiatrist is a famous speaker and author of books on sexual behavior who accepts her work and begins reading Mark’s detailed printed texts about her passionate relationship with Lara. She studies every detail to form her final analysis of whether the girl’s boyfriend is innocent or not.

Simone attends psychiatric patients, with sexual disturbances and unusual fantasies, while researching sadomasochistic sexual behaviors for her next book and parallel to the office traces the profile of the lawyer and Lara as she reads the stories. She has a partner who is her best friend and research-partner. Edward helps police investigate a possible serial killer who tortures and kills women.

“Assassins follow standards that ultimately lead to them. Those of these were signs of torture, the victims’ travels, the violent deaths, the absence of rape and the sperm on the bodies. This was his trademark, his morbid signature ”

Gavazzoni has a unique, fluid writing, the scenes are of a veracity that comes to give shivers, excitement, curiosity, and desire to devour each page as if there were no tomorrow. The scenarios run between New York and Paris watered by the play of words, seduction, mystery and a mix of feelings that can only feel who read the work. 

“Simone did not feel tired. The text he was reading was absorbing. If it was a novel, it would be a bestseller, one of those impossible to quit. While reading, he forgot about life, eating and resting “

 

The writer in writing the reports of Mark’s Diary, the psychiatric appointments with the strangest cases of sexual disturbance, the serial killer murders and all the complements of the work was of an excellent intelligence. Simply phenomenal!

 

It’s not just a psychological thriller, it’s a junction of categories. It is a complete work! What also surprises me is the fact that the writer is Brazilian, recognized and internationally awarded with her books in English and not so popular in our national scenario. The prejudice rooted by some who are only “good foreign authors” should fall to the ground before the writing of Adriana Gavazzoni.

 

Some awards received were: Behind The Door, won the 2017 Golden Book Award in the United States, Book Excellence Award 2017 in Canada, Honorable Mention at the Paris Book Festival 2017 and Reader’s Favorite Award 2017. I hope the author can soon be awarded nationally.

 

Finally, the work was the best book read by me in 2018 with a fantastic plot, unusual sex scenes, friendship, humor, romance, love, sadism, masochism, hilarious patients, mystery, secrets, pedophilia, suspense, psychopathy, family, life, and death. I await the translation into Portuguese of the book II- Lara’s diary. ~ 

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~ ~  All Books Above Are For Purchase on Amazon online! ~ ~ Happy Reading!!

What’s New in the Book Promoting Arena and New Affordable Marketing Sites Cat Has Found to Help Authors?

Hello and Welcome Authors and writers!

Since it has been too long since I have posted and shared some of my book marketing and promoting tips, I thought it was a good time to do it. Is it me or does it seem book sales have been a wee bit sluggish? Then it is time for an e-book promotion perhaps? When summer begins to wind down, kids going back to school, and mom’s and dad’s are busy getting them ready, they are thinking about grabbing a new book to read.

So it’s the perfect time to give them an incentive to do so. Many will be taking the last summer vacation of the summer season for Labor Day weekend and why not take a great book along for some relaxing reading time readers? Even authors and writers are avid readers. So here are some tips and advice for getting a jump start on selling some books when it is a slower time of the year. And hopefully, the book reviews will follow.

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Author Branding and Promotions on All Author

Let’s start with promoting your books and branding all in one new place I came across called “All Author.”  It is a great place for authors to set up a free Author Program profile and can add up to 4 books and use a few of the marketing tools. Placement in their Book and Author Directory and more. Above photo is a new mystery by Kim Carter Mysteries now on All Author and her book has been clicked on 786 times by the large readership at All Author and we only added her books and her author profile 5 weeks ago!

They have a Pro Plan which is $59 for a 6-month plan (still pretty affordable for 6-months) that comes with all the bells and whistles and authors can use them as much as want for the 6-month duration! Like a free personalized website, “make your own” book banner/teasers, many nice themes for your profile, free Twitter scheduler and much more. You can see pricing for both plans, Free or Pro here: .“All Author Pricing.” 

All Author is an exceptional place for all avid readers to find new releases and discounted books and e-book sales too!
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Ancient Ways by Diane Mulberger Olsen FACEBOOK and TWITTER TEASER SALE (1)(Banner Made Courtesy of Author Shout)

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Author Shout Is A Great Book Ad and Banner Place

Another amazing book promo site that is extremely affordable and has a large readership is my good friend Terry and his team at “Author Shout.”  They have an awesome “Author and Reader Member Zone” where authors for just $25 a month recurring can get all you need to effectively promote your book and brand as an author. If you pay a whole year in advance? He gives you an even bigger discount!

What I love about both Author Shout and All Author? They do an email list and newsletters out to all their readers, but Author Shout even sends text alerts for new releases for those readers who subscribe to both services! Pretty cool right?

Now just like All Author, Author Shout has many affordable services if you don’t want to do the Membership. They have affordable book ads, low-cost beautiful book banners, (like the one above), teasers, and even book trailers made the way you want them! What I like the most is that they promote through many social media channels like Twitter, FB, Google+ and even Instagram and Pinterest. And they connect readers to authors Worldwide. Now, along with marketing advice and videos unlimited use, here are some of the Member Benefits for promoting your book:

As a monthly Author’s Club Member, you will also get the following:


Book Promotion Benefits

 

  • Book Promotion: Every month that you are a member we will promote a book of your choice on all of our social media platforms, add it to our recommended reads page, and a feature spot in our “Shout Out” Newsletter.
  • Book Teaser: You will get 4 teasers in 2 different sizes and formats of your book for you to share on social media that can/will contain your book title/author name, blurb/one-liner, and where your book can be found, whether on Amazon or a link to your website
  • FREE Book Days:  Giving your book away for FREE?  We will help get the word out and promote your FREE BOOK days through social media shout-outs, a custom-made teaser/banner, and featured spot in our newsletter at no additional charge
  • Author Shout Out (Digital magazine):  You will get access to Author Shout Out; our digital online magazine
  • Members Only Pricing for additional services:  You will get a MEMBERS ONLYdiscount on each of our packages and/or services to promote additional books.

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*NOTE* Unused benefits do not carry over from month to month if you do not use them.

They do however let you choose which book you want to promote each month with the One Year Membership! So go visit the team at Author Shout and get your book promo and advertising on! …

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authorkimcarter_1         ( Kim Carter Banner Above made at All Author)
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So how does Cat jump-start your book’s sales and reviews when it is a slow time of year?

We do an E-Book Sale! I always suggest to the author clients I work for, there are two times a year you need to lower the price of your e-book and have a sale. This time of year when it slows and The Holiday Season starting Thanksgiving week thru right before Christmas to include sales from Black Friday, Cyber-Monday, and last minute e-book Christmas sales!

And it doesn’t have to cost a penny to promote your e-book sale either. But of course, there are some low-cost options to boost the exposure for the SALE.

First, if you have a publisher, send a request for the dates of your e-book sale a month in advance so you know the PRICE will be lowered for your sale. If you self-published? You have the control to go through your vendor account and lower it a day or two before the sale to ensure it gets done properly.

Second, let readers know in advance about the e-book sale and promotion. Here are the places you’ll want to “Add An Event” and it’s Free to do on:

Facebook Add An Event Page
A Tip – You can get a bigger reach and exposure when you share the Post of your FB Event and then do a Facebook “Boost a Post.” Then all FB readers and users will see your event!

Goodreads – Add An Event
Amazon Author Profile – Special Events or Author Appearance
And your Blog or Author Website

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If you also know any Book Bloggers? Ask them if they would share the event on their website too! I know I enjoy sharing book promotions on my blog for all my readers. Also, Book Reviewers may share as well. Don’t be afraid to ASK.

Now, if you want to boost your exposure a little at low cost? You can do so at a few more of my friend’s reader and book websites free or for a minimal charge. And they offer a Free Author Interview to go along with your Book Listing too! Go visit these awesome book sites to see how they can help boost your promo …

My buddy Vinny of Awesome Gang works hard to get your books and your E-book sale promos in front of over 69,000 readers combined on their Facebook and Twitter Readers! You can add all your books for free, but for an e-book sale, I think it’s worth the $10 to boost your listing don’t you? Invest in yourself!

Go here and add your E-book Sale at “Awesome Gang.” You won’t regret it!  A couple more places like Awesome Gang? Check out this list Vinny put together for Authors of free and low-cost places to add and market all your books and Book Sales!
“Places for free promotion.”

My hope is that many of the tips and advice in my post here helps you!

Look, I’m sure you are asking yourself, why is CAT sharing all her book promo secrets? Lol.  It’s because there is no shortage of New Authors that need my help and services. And because I am passionate about what I love to do as my “at home business.”

Many writers hire me because they may be on a book deadline and just don’t have the time to market their books. You can check out my“Book Promo Plans and Consulting” ” while your her to know I have helped many friends and authors in my 6 1/2 years of running my business. I have always been a firm believer that authors need to invest in themselves and set a budget of some money to promote their books or readers are not going to know the books exist. Now you can market them and do an e-book promotion like a Pro!

Still, Need Help?

Contact James H. Mayfield


Shoot Me an Email if needing Book Marketing and Promotions!
lyonmedia@aol.com 


Happy Book Marketing Authors and Friends!

CAT

 

 

 

Delighted and Had An Amazing Interview on “What’s Your Excuse” Show! With Host Max Ivy Jr. – The Blind Blogger.

Yes, I will confess I am a media hound when it comes to sharing all I do with those who invite me to be a guest on their show! On the recovery side of things, I will speak and advocate at any chance I can get. On the book promoting side, I just enjoy sharing all that I do to help new and seasoned authors. Max did a great job pulling out some of my marketing secrets!

It was a delightful interview I know all authors and writers will enjoy listening to. So have a pencil and paper ready to take notes.

What’s Your Excuse Show With Author, Catherine Lyon


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About Author and Show Host Maxwell Ivy Jr.

“While Max may not be able to see with his eyes, he opens the eyes of everyone around him. ”  ~ ‘Super Joe Pardo Show”

 

Hello; My name is Maxwell Ivey, Max to my friends; and that is what I hope we will become.

 

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I am a 49-year-old  blind gentleman who grew up in a family of carnival owners. All I ever wanted to do was to continue in my father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and be part of the family business.

As you can tell by reading this, that isn’t where I ended up. I did help in the business over the years, but couldn’t sustain it after the early death of my father (who had lung cancer). I then turned to helping people sell their amusement equipment. I do that on my other site, The Midway Marketplace.

I started blogging to promote that site and met a lot of wonderful people in the blogosphere. They told me that I had an amazing story and many commented on how I inspired them. They finally convinced me that I had a bigger purpose in store for myself.

So, I started this second blog, and in it I share more of my personal journey, struggles, and triumphs. I also got noticed by a lot of people and have appeared as a guest, an interview subject, and a motivator on many different sites. My As Seen Online page lists these places.

I do my best to help others and do so mostly by encouraging them to take steps towards their ultimate goal or to continue on the path they have started. I am now offering coaching to help people who are stuck and frustrated with not being able to find their passion or follow their dreams once they have determined what they want in their lives.

I am also available to speak to groups. I believe that by sharing the story of my personal growth and transformation, it will motivate and inspire anyone who hears it. In addition to starting a new business, I have also lost over 250 pounds through a combination of gastric surgery, diet, exercise, positive attitude, meditation, and prayer.

I believe I can help you. If you have questions for me, just ask them via the contact form. If anything, I am known for being too forthcoming!

I want to get to know you and become friends. I want to hear about your dreams and aspirations as well as your fears and concerns. I want to help you to grow to be that person you were meant to be.

I look forward to speaking with you. Let’s talk soon.  Thanks and take care out there.

Max …

 

The Blind Blogger’s NYC Adventures: + How You Can Make YOUR Dreams Come True  Leading You out of the Darkness into the Light: A Blind Man's Inspirational Guide to Success  Now on Amazon!

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I Will See You and Help You

Because I listen with my heart, I will see all of you. I will see those hidden abilities, possibilities, and opportunities.

I will see the roadblocks you put up between you and success. I will show you the lies that you tell yourself. I will correct those lies that the world has told you.

Why Me?

Because I have already done this in my own life.

When my father’s death resulted in the closure of our family’s small traveling carnival, I had to figure out what to do next.

I started by doing the only thing I thought I knew how to do. I helped other people sell their surplus amusement equipment.

Every day brought a new challenge. I had to learn so much. The amazing thing was that every time I accomplished something new, it gave me the confidence to believe that I could do even bigger things.

Since then, I have come so far and still have much farther I want to go.

My Accomplishments

I went from a morbidly obese, failed carnival owner to respected amusement equipment broker in the best health of my life.

I went from a frightened radio show guest to being a prolific online media guest to hosting my own podcast called the What’s Your Excuse Show.

I went from writing my first book on a dare to competing for and winning the Amtrak prestigious Writers In Residence Award. I’m now working on my fourth self-help book.

Are You Ready?

If you are ready to finally accomplish those big goals and dreams, then what are you waiting for?

If you want someone who has been there and done that… and who will see through your bullshit, and challenge you, then who else could you get that would be better than me?

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Max Ivey headshot

Take a chance on yourself and Visit My Website to schedule a call with me. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!
“Life Coaching With The Blind Blogger.”

Please do visit Max as he would make an exceptional dynamic motivational speaker for your next event or conference as he inspires everyone to be their best. Maxwell Ivy Jr. Speaking and Life Coaching.

Writing Our Books, How Much Do Publishers Think About Marketability? Featured Guest Article: Marketing Your Book 101 …

Most all my book marketing clients know when they hire me to market and promote their books that I am a stickler when it comes to research and visiting many writer and book marketing websites. I am always on the hunt for information or guest article that I know will help my authors and writers. I came across an exceptional article on the best place for all thriller, suspense, and mystery writers and readers called Killer Nashville and submit your book for a free review!

The Article is by Erik Deckers and has some solid advice about our books marketability and book promoting 101. I hope you find it informative and I will at the end share with you my thoughts about the new Twitter Promo Mode … CAT 

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Marketing Your Book 101 ~ Erik Deckers

“If you’ve been writing for any lengthy period of time, you’re familiar with the catch twenty-two of publishing: you want to write your book your way, but you also want it to sell. Sometimes, those two desires don’t run parallel.

Sacrifices are made, compromises are drawn, lines in the sand erased. In this month’s “Marketing Your Book 101”, marketing/promotion guru Erik Deckers offers up some advice on how to sell your book without selling your soul.”  ~Killer Nashville

Want to get a writer good and riled up? Do one of two things: 1) Ask where they stand on the Oxford comma; 2) Ask about the marketability of their book.

I can’t help you with the Oxford comma, but I can tell you quite a bit about a book’s marketability.

Marketability is often the last thing many authors want to think about. They want their art to stand on its own, and to write the stories they want to write, not what the masses want.

But marketability is often the first thing many publishers consider. They want to know how many people might want it, and how well you can market it.

In my first book proposal, I had to answer a few questions about whether there were books similar to mine, the size of my social media following, and whether I had an email newsletter list.

(Careful readers will note the Oxford comma in the previous sentence.)

Because the book was about social media and personal branding, my co-author, Kyle, and I both had a decent social media following, he had a sizable email newsletter list, and there were almost no books about personal branding. So we scored high on marketability, which we learned later went a long way in getting that book deal.

Yay, book marketability!

For us, marketability was a combination of whether a lot of people would buy the book, and how well we could promote it.

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The book market for social media, in general, was already being tapped out. Kyle and I had written a book about Twitter marketing the previous year, but this was new territory for us. If we hadn’t come up with a new idea that appealed to a large crowd, we never would have gotten the deal.

But my previous success has not meant automatic deals later on. I’ve proposed other book ideas since then, but the social media book market has just about run its course. If I want to write another book, I need to come up with a brand new idea.

Book marketability sucks.

How Much Do Publishers Think About Marketability?
First, just know that publishers do look at the marketability of your work, almost as much as they look at the quality of your work. And that goes into the decision of whether they’ll publish your book or not.

Don’t get me wrong. You could have 1 million Twitter followers, but if your work isn’t that great, it will never be published. (Still, if you have 1 million loyal Twitter followers, do you really need a publisher? Self-publish that sucker!)

You may have written the greatest story about teenage vampire wizards who fight zombies, but since that one has already been done to death (I hope!), you’re not going to get a lot of love from traditional publishers.

The marketability of a book is not just about the size of your social networks, it includes whether the book will be interesting to the largest number of people. When we wrote Branding Yourself in 2010, it was only the second book of its kind. But in the last several years, there have been a few hundred titles published on social media and its various sub-topics, so our publishers knew they had to strike fast. We were in the right place at the right time.

Having said that, I’ve read some pretty mediocre books published by people with big fat social networks, and it’s easy to see how much consideration the social networks were given. (Hint: way, way too much.)

So Should Marketability Affect Your Content Choices?
Yes and no.

No, it should not, because you should be free to write the book you want, and people should buy it because it’s good, not because it’s what the masses want. On the other hand. . . .

Yes, it should, because your publisher (ideally) knows what the public wants. If you can give it to them, you’ll sell lots of copies, and you’ll go on book tours where your publisher will put you up in the finest discount hotels and eat at the finest fast-casual restaurant chains. On the other hand. . .

No, it shouldn’t, because you have options! You can skip the whole traditional publishing route, and self-publish on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. (Again, note the Oxford comma.) You can market your own book, or sell print-on-demand copies at book fairs and community fairs. On the other hand. . .

Yes, it should, because you can win the greatest number of readers if you pay attention to what the public likes, and try to keep up. On the other hand. . .

No, it shouldn’t, because there’s an audience for nearly everything you can imagine (and even those things you can’t. Don’t go looking for those though. Just don’t.). Just because there’s not a huge audience doesn’t mean there’s not an audience. Even an audience of 1,000 is a good audience. On the other hand. . .

Yes, it should, because your publisher can get you into the bookstores, especially the large chain(s), which means great exposure to a wider audience. On the other hand. . .

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No, it shouldn’t, because you’re going to be doing most, if not all, of the marketing, and yet you’re only going to get a small royalty from your publisher. But if you self-publish, you get a much larger royalty.

Ultimately—I hate these kinds of indecisive answers—it comes down to what you want to do, where you think your book is going to go. If you want to write a commercially successful book that gets you invited to Killer Nashville as a keynote speaker, and your book is sold in the Barnes & Noble room, then consider your content and marketability very strongly.

But if you don’t want to be beholden to others, to let someone else dictate your story choices, or you just plain want more money than publishers offer, then marketability be damned! Your book’s—sorry, your books’—success will depend on you and how hard you’re willing to work. Happy Book Marketing!

Image result for copyright free images Killer Nashville Writers conference

FYI: Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale.

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Lastly, I wanted to share a little and ask what you think about the new “Twitter Promo Mode” service they are offering. Here is what Twitter sent me this week about the new service … What author has $99 per month marketing budget just for Twitter? Please share your thoughts if you use or know about this promo service! TY! CAT

Automatically promote your Tweets to your best audience and grow your followers, without creating or managing campaigns.

Reach more peopleReach more people
Promote Mode enables your personal brand or business to be discovered by thousands of new people.

Amplify your TweetsAmplify your Tweets
Your Tweets and profile are automatically promoted, helping you grow your influence.

Pay a flat monthly feePay a flat monthly fee
Enjoy consistent growth without the extra effort.

 

https://ads.twitter.com/subscriptions/mobile/intro?ref=gl-tw-tw-promote-mode
INFO-LINK: New Twitter Promote Mode  

A Sneak Peek of a Working Memoir. Take a Walk With Us. A Former NFL Pro and His Legacy In The Making …

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have seen this opportunity coming in my life.”

 

WHY? Because, many years ago if anyone would have told me I would have gotten entangled in a gambling addiction, begin recovery and maintain recovery 11-yrs let alone become a published author twice, and begin a writing and book marketing career? I would have laughed at them and say; “not in my lifetime!” But here I am! I attribute these wonderful abilities and blessings for both maintaining recovery and writing as beautiful “Gifts from GOD.”

It truly is the only way I can really describe where these opportunities came from. When we let Christ take over in our lives, you never know what blessings or surprises are right around the corner. Nor do we know where his path, his lovingly laid out path for us will go. However, I am sure enjoying the literary ride with my co-writer!

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed 4th week! ~Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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A Note From Vance Johnson:  

It’s taken me 55 years to find myself. Since I was a child, I wondered why, why am I on this earth. When I started chasing fame, fortune, accolades, and acceptance, I figured it out, or at least I thought I had. My goals, success, fame, and being at the TOP of whatever I pursued was my mission. I reached those goals …I stood on the sidelines at Super Bowl listening to the National Anthem, remembering when I was 9-yrs old, telling myself and everyone else “when I grow up, I’m going to play in the Super Bowl” I then heard voices in my head, “Vance, you’re too short, too small, and a wuss. You have a better chance of making it to the moon. “WATCH ME! I said.

So, I’m writing my story, Co-Authored by, Catherine Townsend-Lyon who has guided me to be open, tell all, and learning transparency as we write. It has been an eye-opening experience, to say the least. Also, this coming season NFL films is doing a special “NFL Presents” about my journey, my sobriety, and my ‘Passion.’

Another new blessing has come, as I am excited to have been contacted by another nationally known group, a Los Angeles-based production company that creates premium documentary content. The company is run by a multiple ‘Emmy Award Winning Executive Producer and partner’  Some of their clients and partners include Netflix, CNN, A&E, National Geographic, History, Discovery, AMC, Turner, Oxygen, and Travel Channel. I won’t disclose who they are just yet, not until after they let me know their thoughts on what type of project they would like to do, hopefully with me. We will keep you posted!

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Once upon a time, a young man made his dreams and God-given seeds of athletics come to fruition through faith. There he was, a young man standing, looking in awe at the crowds in the stadium and getting ready to play his first Super Bowl in 1986 as a Denver Bronco. The game, Denver vs New York Giants.

“I felt like a little boy standing there with my oversized Super Bowl Jersey on as a Denver Bronco. It was hanging off of me. At that moment I was seeing the super bowl crowds through the eyes as that little boy way back when with the drive and big dreams to make it to the NFL.”

“This is a Memoir and The Legacy of a former NFL pro–#82 wide receiver of the Denver Broncos. A man “Wide Open and Standing Redeemed”  ~Vance Edward Johnson.

 

Note From Catherine: We have made the one year mark in our writing journey thus far. Challenging? Yes, but the journey of two writers can never be rushed. With a few roadblocks here and there, some nervous transparency decisions, and openness, and a whole lot of phone calls and transcribing, we are getting closer to “The End.”

Vance, born in March 1963 has had an interesting unique life. Not just about his college and NFL football careers, nor him making it as an alternate on the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics track and field team. God put him through some trials and tribulations to test his faith, his real abilities …Called Real Life.
Here are some highlights from the book in progress thus far. We both welcome your comments and ideas.

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31934832_1828726387191583_19618770658000896_nVance today is a Motivational Speaker, Spokesman Outreach Professional for Futures of Palm Beach and an Interventionist Sobriety Specialist in the field of Recovery for his own Vance Inspires.

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Excerpt One – Partial Intro Page

 

“There I was, a 50-year-old man chained to a hospital bed. Now a washed up broke former NFL football pro. My life spiraled out of my control. As I came out of my coma after 26 days, seeing dark shadows walking in and around my room. Looking at me while chained to my bed. I knew then it was my time. Those shadows were going to take me. Then, God came into my room, showed me his amazing power at that moment when I woke up. He showed me it wasn’t my time. I heard him whisper, “Son, I have much bigger plans and a purpose for you in your life!”

In 2012 I was hurting. Hurting emotionally and physically. My mom took me to the hospital in Colorado where I was living at the time. Since my son Vaughn’s passing, I’d gone off the rails, just killing myself with alcohol and pills. I wasn’t well. When I arrived in the ER they began some tests, and my blood work was all over the place. Before I knew what was happening the doctors put me in an induced coma in hopes to save my life.

I remained in an induced coma for 26 days. My pastor came and prayed over me as my daughter, sister, and family began to say their goodbyes. No one thought I would make it. Neither did I. I was broken, exhausted physically, mentally, and was spiritually lost and bankrupt. Another of the lowest points in my life other than my son’s passing and my suicide attempt years before.
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Now looking back, as I share my life with all of you, I wondered if this was how it was all going to end. All the trials and tribulations I had been through, the loss of my son, broken relationships, many shattered marriages, hurting my family with my addictions and selfishness. Many children with a variety of women and denied some of them out of more selfishness.

As I lay in that hospital bed, still having hallucinations and visions of dark shadows and figures walking in and out of my room. Is this Satans enemy circling my bed as if to take me with him when I passed from this world? They came every day, the fear, becoming so unbearable, but they never took me with them. As a matter of fact, here is when my healing and recovery was about to begin.

Take a walk with me, and I will share with you how a man so broken can be “Redeemed, Uncovered, and once again Standing In Grace!”

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30264709_1802070603190495_619230801950177928_nMy College Track & Field card and some 1984 Olympic pics where I was alternate for the USA Team, in the Long Jump. 

 

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Excerpt Two ~ High School Memories

When I began High School from 1978-81 I was a pretty shy guy at the time. My struggles with math and science seemed to follow me from middle school and became even harder. I didn’t have many friends, except for my best friend Frank who was Mexican. He said when we got to high school that we weren’t allowed to be friends any longer because Mexican’s and Blacks didn’t get along at the high school we were going to attend in Tucson, Arizona.

I was sad about this, and it hit me deeply. At that time there was still so much racism happening, and I began to notice it more when I did get to high school and like Frank told me. We never hung out much after that though. I started to hang out with the athletes, began to focus on sports more and more. I ran track and loved long jumping. I played football and a little bit of basketball. I spent most of my time in the weight room doing leg exercises because I didn’t have the upper body strength like most of the other athletes.

Being shy also meant I didn’t date initially, I did have one girlfriend, but she broke my heart early in our relationship. She had gotten pregnant by an opposing athlete who was a competitor on track and field. I focused mainly on sports; I still struggled in school a little bit with science and math, although I thought it was fun to play around and experiment in science class!

I was pretty good with shop class; I believe it was because I had been “noticed.” Was this my first taste of being a little famous? Art was my favorite thing to do, my art teacher was my favorite person in the world and spent a lot of time with her. Had never knew she was dying of cancer the whole time she was teaching our class. When I learned about it it really broke my heart.

During my first year of football, I was scared, because I wasn’t a large or tremendous sized kid. I was also not very masculine as these days it’s what you call metrosexual. I had long hair, I didn’t date, and had only had one serious girlfriend Anna. I would not go out and party, ever. I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke cigarettes or weed; didn’t even hang out with “the crowd” or even my teammates after games. I ended up getting injured after my first year of high school football and thought I would not play again to be honest.

I thought I might be too fragile or not cut out for it. Later on, I guess that’s why I always made touchdowns because I didn’t like anyone to touch me or tackle me hard. In my second year, I was moved to varsity in track and field, being the fastest in the school, and in varsity football. I did try varsity basketball but I stunk at it, in fact, I sucked. All the while domestic issues at home were still very prevalent.

My father continuously put his hands on mother. Subtle, but I remember the cries and muffled arguments late at night. Sometimes I would hope that my dad wouldn’t make it home. Maybe if he stayed out philandering and drinking all night, he would feel more guilty than pissed off. Amazing how as a child for some reason I always blamed it all on me. That just made me more determined to excel. Thinking it would make my dad less mean or not hurt my mother like he did.

So, I threw myself even more heavily into sports. I won most of all the awards, but because I was so shy? I had my sister go up and get them for me and give the acceptance speech for me too! I would always wait outside because of being too timid, shy and had a little stutter. I couldn’t speak in public because I was very nervous in front of crowds. HA, HA look at what I do now speaking all over the country and in front of hundreds all the time!  …

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In Closing:

I realized something today after listening to my Pastor. He spoke of a conversation he had with Elvis Presley’s brother, and how his brother really died. It wasn’t Drugs, it was Fame. 

It wasn’t alcohol or drugs that nearly killed me, Fame and the enemy did! Alcohol & drugs was merely a way to cope with the diminishment of my fame. It was a way to tranquilize myself because I had no identity outside of my “ego” and that fame. The cheers, accolades, commercials, 3 Amigos, a Bronco. When it all stopped, so did I. 

We look at all these famous people like “Idols and Icons, wanting to be like them. Not knowing they go home and drink, do drugs just to sleep, drugs to wake up, drink and drugs to perform. Because like me, they were made into someone they were not created God to be, ICONS, self-absorbed, believing all of the hype they read about themselves.

I could go on and on about how blind I was, even the world in its pursuit to chase fame, fortune, and evil pleasures. Let me close with this.

Whatever you do, even chasing Fame, Fortune, and Popularity, do it for his good pleasure and Gods glory. Seek first the kingdom, and all these things will be added!

 

1 Corinthians: 
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Romans 12:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

Own Your Sobriety Through Faith! Please Visit Vance Today! www.vanceinspires.com
Connect and Follow on Twitter
Follow Vance on Facebook

Exclusive and Coming This Fall by Rusty Blackwood. Sneak Peek Chapter of The Perils of Autumn.

I always enjoy sharing one of my favorite romance fiction authors and writers. I am also honored to call Rusty Blackwood a dear friend of mine and meeting several years ago through social media and became fast friends. She is an amazing author with books like,

 

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Passions in Paris:  Revelations of a Lost Diary  Willow's WalkDerwood Returns

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“Such a talented writer that all her books should be on the NY Times Best Seller List!
Who says authors don’t interact with thier readers? Rusty sure does. Just as she enjoys sharing her process of writing a new book as well.”

So, I am privileged she asked and has given my readers another exclusive look and share a Sneak Peek Chapter of her new book coming out this fall titled; The Perils of Autumn. I know all my avid readers will love reading a good long juicy chapter to prepare you for this amazing new release this FALL …

 


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 Photo of Miss Blackwood by Miss Carson Doan ©2013 Carson Doan Photography, St. Catharines, ON.

 

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The Perils of Autumn ~ Chapter 35

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A Four Course Journey Through Hypocrisy

 
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( This is a working cover only for The Perils of Autumn. Image courtesy of Google Images ©)

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A Note From The Author, Rusty Blackwood:

“Hello Avid Readers. This chapter is fairly long but it helps to set the flow of the story. The chapter centers around a dinner party that Autumn gives with hopes of bringing Cyril and her mother closer together – as Autumn and Cyril are becoming close and Abigail (Autumn’s mother) who is not pleased with their relationship because he is so much older than her daughter. The housekeeper, Agnes – life long friend of Cyril’s – begins to show her true colors” …You may read another chapter from my Official Author Website Rusty Blackwood and make sure you sign up for my newsletter while there for this new fall release, news, and author events too!

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Saturday had arrived and with it growing anxiety for Autumn. She wondered at this for she had everything well planned, dinner would be at six, the menu had been decided, and the weather appeared favorable. Much of the meal would consist of items she and her mother had never consumed, but there was always a first time, and the selection was good. It would also be a feast for Cyril’s pallet, for the menu consisted of many of his favorite foods that he had not enjoyed in quite some time. There was not a doubt he would partake heavily. His assignment was the stocking of the bar which would be left to his choosing. Autumn’s mother did enjoy a nice sherry, or an after-dinner brandy, that of which Autumn had already informed Cyril, and she was certain he would include them in the lineup.

Noon had come and gone. Autumn couldn’t help noticing the cold shoulder she was receiving from Agnes whenever she entered the kitchen, but it was something the older woman must come to terms with, and Autumn was not about to ruin her expected pleasure over someone’s possible attempt at sabotage. She kept checking the time, noticing the hands on the clock seemed to speed faster with each look. Three o’clock finally loomed; it was time to adjourn to her suite. She had less than two hours to prepare for the planned festivities. After a final check in the kitchen, she trod to Cyril’s room to see if he was resting, but he was not there. He did say he was going to exercise Dan for a while; must be where he is. I do hope he’s watching the time, she thought with concern while climbing the stairs to her privacy. Now, what should I wear? She didn’t want to be over-dressed yet wanted to appear festive. It may be a simple dinner for four, but it was a most important one; she wanted everything to be just right, and that included her.

Her wardrobe had grown over time. It brought her comfort when opening her closet doors to find an actual selection within. Both she and her mother could now enjoy nicer clothes, as well as a wide variety. Her mind suddenly flashed to the days when it hadn’t been that way. There had always been clothing, but not always the nicest nor the most recent in style but at least they were clean. She smiled when realizing that sparseness was no longer the case for either of them. She had always admired her mother’s impeccable taste, the way she made a statement with the combination of simple items used with flair, creating her own look, and pulling it off with grace. Autumn’s style was different from her mother’s. It didn’t matter if something was not of the latest trend, in fact, the more flamboyant the better, and aside from wearing conservative riding habits, she fancied her own look with whatever took her eye at the time.

Before long she was attired in a mid-length, long sleeved, crushed velvet coat dress in royal blue, set off with a matching belt sporting a huge square chrome buckle. She wore chunky, three inch heeled knee-high boots of the same color and fabric of the dress, but what set them apart was a spattering of shinny chrome studs around the cuffs, and down the sides. To complete the look, she chose dangly silver hoop earrings. Her cheeks were adorned with a soft pink blush, dark auburn mascara complimented her thick, wispy lashes, and a bold crimson lip gloss finished the look. She decided to wear her shoulder-length hair loose and flowing, and as she stood before the full-length mirror she had to smile, feeling every inch the seventies girl that she was.

The limo, driven by a suit-clad William was Lexington bound to retrieve Abigail Leeves who was expecting its arrival at the time her daughter had given, and she would be ready. A feeling of nervousness touched her stomach, but she shrugged it off, knowing there was no need for such nonsense, and she would not have it. She had always faced uncertainty head on, and this would be no different. She held to her usual conservative look, consisting of a three-quarter sleeved teal linen dress with gold piping, flat heeled, mid-high charcoal leather dress boots, and matching gold necklace and earrings. Her fur trimmed, black shear ling coat fell just below her knees, and was set off by a black leather shoulder bag boasting an elegant gold chain. She struck a stylish figure that she hoped would make her daughter proud.

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Back at the mansion Autumn’s nerves were beginning to get the better of her. Surely things will go as planned, she trustingly thought, picturing everything in her mind as vividly as if it were playing out before her. She couldn’t wait to taste the traditional English fare that had been planned for everyone’s enjoyment, certain her mother would feel the same. She has always encouraged new avenues to try, so this will be no different, but still her nerves encompassed her stomach, as she further thought, what time is it now? Realizing it was almost five, she rushed downstairs just in time to meet her dashing squire of the manor, looking dapper in a light grey pin striped suit over an open-collared apricot colored linen shirt, and in lieu of a necktie, he wore a large silk apricot pocket square tucked loosely in his lapel. It truly was his color, for it set off his silver hair perfectly.

 Sweeping his dancing eyes over her, he exclaimed, “You look exquisite, my dear!”

 “Thank you, Cyril; you’re not a bit shabby yourself!”

 “I suppose one could say we are totally mod.”

 “Mod was last decade, now we are considered groovy.”

 “Then groovy we shall be. Care to cut a rug with me?”


Giggling like an adolescent, Autumn playfully slapped his right shoulder before throwing her arms around him. He grinned at her daring gestures all the while realizing how they affected him, kept him youthful, and wanting to play. However, he didn’t think it wise to appear disheveled when his guest arrived.

Straightening his suit coat, he said, “I so look forward to seeing your charming mother again. How has she been keeping since leaving hospital?”

It took Autumn but a second to clue into the mannerism Cyril was expecting, as she replied, “She’s feeling fine and doing much better, thank you for asking. The new medication Dr. Boxford ordered appears to be helping much better than the previous one. Possibly she had become immune to the prior dosage; that often happens in cases like hers, but her mobility is much improved, and her discomfort has lessened. She’s even walking without the aid of her cane. It is a great relief for both of us,” and letting her eyes again travel over him, she coyly confessed, “You, my elegant horse master, look wonderfully debonair. I just had to say that before my mother arrives.”

He bowed, while sweeping his right arm before him. “My sincere gratitude, Miss Autumn, your charming presence at my side on her arrival can only do me proud,” and sensing her sudden nervousness, he asked, “Are you excited?”

Autumn couldn’t believe the extent of her nervousness, she actually felt nauseous, certain her sweaty hands would slip from within his; that alone increased her anxiety. She took a deep breath, straightened her posture, and then walked hand in hand with him to answer the call of the doorbell now ringing out its usual refrain. The door opened to reveal Abigail Leeves, standing in wait.

Cyril graciously extended his right hand, as he stated, “Welcome to Landon Manor, Miss Leeves, and might I say how lovely you look. Do come in.”

Noticing the grip her daughter had on the Englishman’s left hand, Abigail was thankful he had reached out with his right, but she pleasantly smiled, and stepped into the opulent foyer as he helped remove her coat, and then hung it in the closet.

“It is a pleasure to see you again, Mr. Landon,” Abigail announced, “thank you for inviting me to dinner. I look forward to us becoming better acquainted,” and letting her eyes travel over her daughter, now standing on her own, she said, “You look stylish, my dear. I adore your outfit, it is typically you.”

Autumn said nothing, only smiled as if her mouth had become paralyzed in its present clown-like position while she walked aside Cyril and her mother toward the double parlor. As the trio entered the massive room, Agnes appeared through the dining room door, and appearing to ignore those present, went straight to the bar located at the far end of the room.

“Agnes,” Cyril called out, signaling her total lack of manners, “you remember Miss Abigail Leeves I assume? Do come and say hello. I shall tend to the drink orders directly.”

The sullen housekeeper moved toward the women, extending her hand to the elder of the two, stating, “Hello again, Miss Leeves, it is nice that you could attend our little soirée. I trust your journey was a comfortable one. William does try his best to avoid most bumps in the road,” and she smiled in a sinister way.

As Cyril escorted Abigail to a comfortable heather-toned wing chair, she replied, “It was fine, no bumps, just a smooth ride throughout its entirety. I must say what a pleasant man William is, a most delightful chap indeed.”

Escorting Autumn to a matching chair opposite her mother, Cyril said, “That is our William for you. He enjoys nothing better than a fine conversation. I trust he didn’t bore you with constant horse topics. He tends to forget that not everyone is as interested in them as he. May I offer you an appetizer, accompanied with an aperitif of your choice?”

Abigail looked amused but comfortable as she studied the colorful selections on the silver serving tray, and upon choosing one, she replied, “A glass of sherry would be nice, thank you. Regarding your inquiry concerning William and our conversation, he did not bore me in the least. I find the world of horse racing interesting actually. My daughter has tried explaining different aspects about it during our phone conversations; she is certainly taken with it ever since you taught her to ride. The pony you assigned her is a lovely one, very pretty.”

Autumn, now channeling a bobble head doll, moved her eyes between Cyril and her mother, before stating, “Cinnamon is hardly a pony, Momma, but rather a breed known as Morgan. A small horse – an Indian pony actually – though not a pony. It’s somewhat difficult to explain.”

The expression on Cyril’s face revealed amusement. He found it enlightening that Autumn was trying her best to explain something that she was still a novice about in many ways. He admired her forthrightness in doing her best to clarify things, but he surmised his help was required.

Pulling a chair aside Abigail, he explained, “The majority of horse breed at my stables is thoroughbred, or warm blood, horses bred for professional racing and show events such as open-hunter, show-jumping, and dressage, however I do keep a few different breeds for pleasure, such as Autumn’s mare Cinnamon, whose breed is Morgan. They are solid, tough horses, smaller than a thoroughbred in height and build, not nearly as hot blooded or high strung, but they are perfect for pleasure riding as well as teaching beginners to ride, such as your daughter, whom I understand had never sat on the back of a horse.”

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Setting her half empty glass upon an adjacent table, Abigail replied, “We were never fortunate to be around horses I’m afraid, though I know my daughter has always had an affinity for them but we never lived where having one, even a pony, was possible. However, I am glad that she has been allowed to experience what she was denied throughout her formative years.”

Oh, Mother, must you make us sound like a welfare case? Autumn agonized in thought, doing her best to prevent her eyes from rolling as she continued to listen to the conversation.

Nodding his head in a receptive manner, Cyril remarked, “Yes, I am too, but it has been my pleasure to assist her by teaching her the basics, and she is a fast learner, picking up difficult aspects exceptionally fast.”

“Yes,” Abigail agreed, “that she is, always first to jump into the fray.” Oh, Mother, please, must you be so explicit? thought Autumn with growing annoyance fast boarding on embarrassment. She had to change the subject.

“I’m glad you had a good trip out here, Momma. I knew you would enjoy conversing with William, he is a most interesting dude, always has something delightful to say. Maybe after dinner you might like to have a tour of the stables; even meet Cinnamon — and Dapper Dan!”

“Excuse me, Dapper who?”

“Sir Dapper Dan. That is the official name of Cyril’s horse, a magnificent, dapple grey thoroughbred stallion that is a blue-ribbon winner in his field. Why he simply soars over hurdles, regardless of how high or difficult to maneuver. Then again a lot of that can be credited to Cyril’s exceptional horsemanship.”

The Englishman’s face suddenly reddened, he was actually blushing, as he stated, “Oh my, you must forgive your daughter’s enthusiasm, Miss Leeves, she is rather bias, however the credit she gives Dan is certainly well placed. He is both my stalwart friend, and my champion on the course. We have been together a very long time, and he never ceases to amaze me.”

“Yes, Momma, it was Dapper Dan that saved Cyril the day of his accident. The horse got down on his knees and eased himself upon his side as to allow Cyril to climb on his back, where he then brought him to the stables. It was a miraculous feat, a total gesture of love. I don’t know many humans who would go to that length for another.”

Looking amused, Abigail exclaimed, “My-my, you certainly do have a friend in your horse, Mr. Landon! I would very much like to meet this applauded steed. I must say you were a lucky man.”

“That I was and do call me Cyril. Mr. Landon seems so formal, and I always address my friends by their name.”  “Then you must call me Abigail. I understand you own a Triple Crown winner. That must be thrilling, to say the least.”

“That it is, Abigail! Devil May Care won the Triple Crown in 1969, setting a record for speed along with it. Unfortunately, that coveted series is open to three-year-old contenders only, but nothing can ever erase the memories of his win. I am now hopeful for my newest three-year-old stallion, Fenn’s Fancy. He has what it takes, but it is also up to chance, so we shall see.”

Before another word could be spoken, Agnes, who had previously left the room immediately after acknowledging the company, returned to announce that dinner now awaited them in the dining room. Cyril stepped between Autumn and her mother, and offering an arm to each, accompanied them to the dining room with its emerald green damask walls, and highly polished, colonial-styled walnut table. Six deep maroon-cushioned chairs lined the table either side, capped off with a captain’s chair at each end.

The table, sporting a tapestry runner in maroon and gold, sat beneath a shallow but tasteful flower arrangement consisting of Baby’s Breath, Stephanotis, and trailing English Ivy. Crystal serving bowls lined each side of the runner, each offering an English staple from the designated menu. Autumn and Abigail were seated across from each other on the halfway mark of the table, and Cyril and Agnes took up residence in the captains’ chairs.

To Cyril’s right side, chilling in an ice-filled sterling bucket in its stand was a vintage bottle of champagne. Popping the cork, he walked around the table filling each crystal goblet located aside a gold embellished dinner plate, on which sat a green enameled salad bowl offering a traditional London salad, consisting of assorted greens, walnuts, and apples.

The meal progressed with conversation taking place wherever it seemed to fit. Everyone appeared to be enjoying the assorted flavors of each dish, until the bowl containing Toad in the Hole was passed to Abigail, who awkwardly hesitated, giving the impression she was not sure about what she was viewing.

Agnes was quick to notice. Swiftly wiping a maroon colored napkin across her mouth, she openly inquired, “Is there a problem, Miss Leeves?” It was obvious Abigail did not wish to make a scene, but the pungent look on her face openly revealed her displeasure.

“I am sorry, I don’t wish to seem impartial but …this dish looks as if it contains sausage.”

“It does!” Agnes blurted.

“One cannot make a proper Toad in the Hole without sausage. Why don’t you try it before you turn up your nose? You might find it to your liking instead of jeering at it like you’ve been offered poison.” Abigail sat in quandary, not certain what to say. Cyril could not believe the words emitting from his housekeeper’s mouth. He was totally appalled.

“How dare you speak to my guest in such a disgraceful manner, Agnes? I demand you explain yourself and apologize immediately.”

Autumn sat in disbelief yet knowing full well that the outburst was because of the woman’s growing animosity toward her and Cyril’s blossoming relationship, but she would not sit in silence while her mother was chastised because of it.

“I too am waiting for an explanation, Agnes. If my mother has hesitated to try something there must be a good reason; even if there wasn’t, it does not give you the right to speak to her like that.”

Abigail graciously blotted her mouth, before stating, “I am sorry. I certainly did not mean to cause such uproar, but I cannot eat sausage without it triggering a gallbladder attack. I have not been able to eat sausage since I was a child.”

“No mind, Abigail,” Cyril assured, “you need not explain. Agnes is the one who needs to do that, and if she cannot, she may excuse her presence from my table. Miss Autumn and I can serve the dessert and tea.”

Agnes found it hard to absorb that Cyril would speak to her in such fashion. It hurt, even though she had been wrong to use the tone that she had with Abigail, but she would not be spoken to in this manner, and she would not be banished from the table like an impertinent child.

She abruptly rose to her feet, and began walking toward the kitchen, but stopped, whirled around, and snapped, “I am the housekeeper here, Cyril, until you see fit to dismiss my service! I will clear the table and see to the dessert, but I will not join you!”

The look on Cyril’s face revealed total displeasure. He had always conducted himself with honor, respecting everyone around him, but he could not tolerate what was presently happening before his eyes.

He stood erect, extending each hand toward the women sitting at the table, and in a rather shaken voice, he said, “Would you both please accept my sincere apology I … I do not know what has gotten into her, I don’t understand it at all, any of it. In all the years that I have known her she has never lashed out like that. Abigail, I had Miss Autumn invite you here because she and I have grown close, and you and she are so very close that I want to know you better.

I held such anticipation for this dinner, having you here with me, in my manor at my table with Autumn and me. I hope to have many more dinners with you at this table … Please, I must excuse myself for a moment, if you will both indulge me.” Moving toward Autumn, he added, “Please top up your mother’s glass and keep her company ’till I return. I shan’t be long.”

It was plain to see that the proud Englishman was distraught and had to get out before he lost his composure. It was embarrassing to have an employee – though an old friend – conduct herself in such a disrespectful manner. He would not have it. She had not only spoken to Abigail in the unacceptable manner in which she had, but this was the mother of the woman he had fallen in love with, regardless of whether she had reservations about it or not. She had to be made to understand. He knew he must not be gone long; that would not be acceptable either, but what he had to say could not wait.


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I am enjoying the creation of this novel immensely. The more the story grows the more in-depth it becomes. The characters are raw, bold, and pretentious, yet each carries a certain uniqueness that pulls you in and makes you want to know them more.  ~Rusty Blackwood

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Rusty Blackwood Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Romantic fiction author Rusty Blackwood, who chose her plume de nom by combining the colour of her russet hair with her husband’s great, great, Scottish grandmother’s maiden name, was born in St.Thomas, Ontario, Canada on October 5th, and grew up on her paternal grandfather’s farm in the County of Elgin, located in the south-western portion of the province of Ontario.

She acquired her love of literature while still in elementary school where she entered her original compositions into county fairs, school contests, and whatever venue allowed participants in the writing field. She has carried that love ever since and has put it to use many times since becoming a professional writer in 2001.

From the time of youth she has loved the Arts in their many unique forms and is a graduate with honors in Interior Decorating & Design. She spent many years on the south-western Ontario stage performing with her family’s country music band: The Midnight Ramblers, followed by the country – rock – blues band: ‘MIRAGE’ as an accomplished vocalist, bassist, and rhythm guitarist. She now resides in the cultural city of St. Catharines, Ontario.

Please visit her official website  Rusty Blackwood – Bio/Contact for numerous reviews, author interview requests, and information on her work.