Book Bundle Deal of the Week: Cute But Crazy 3: Unique and Unpredictable May 10 to May 17 2022

Get carried away with this CUTE BUT CRAZY crowd!

A fake husband, a color-blind painter, a pair of frustrated nudists, crazy neighbors, a cowboy doctor, a tipsy pig and more.

Laugh at their antics as they bring love and joy into UNIQUE AND UNPREDICTABLE adventuress.

Enjoy fun-filled stories with diverse settings. From an English garden to the shores of Sicily, a billionaire’s lair to the Tucson desert with a stopover for a glass of dandelion wine at Algonquin Park, Canada.

Grab your Kindle and get ready for a laugh-filled ride into the world of make-believe in this Romantic Comedy Box Set created by nine New York Times, USA Today, and Award-winning authors of THE AUTHORS’ BILLBOARD.

Susan Jean Ricci – The Charming Chameleon: Can karma inspire a mismatched couple to forgo masquerading and reveal their true selves for love?

Dani Haviland – The Wizard of Odds: Two co-workers take on an impossible challenge and wind up with a menagerie of unusual animals looking for a second chance in the desert. Will the mismatched couples get one, too?

Mona Risk – Husband for a Week: Sicilian vendetta, fake husband, and an irascible matchmaking grandmother complicate their lives. Can love conquer all?

Leanne Banks – Cowboy MD: Could he cure what ails her?

Susanne Matthews – The Tipsy Pig: A socialite, a recluse, and a tipsy pig—the perfect recipe for romance?

Katy Walters – Love Your Neighbor: Moving into a new neighborhood has more challenges – and nuts – than they thought possible.

Angela Stevens – Whitewash: The Tricks of the Trade: What could go wrong when a Pinterest addict lets a color-blind painter and decorator fix up her dream home?

Patrice Wilton – Night Music: A little magic can make anything happen in South Beach.

Stephanie Queen – Small Town Hot Shot Bride: Will Tammy foolishly get swept up by charming out-of-towner Roark and his runaway train attraction? Or will she derail him for good?

Here’s a sneak peek at The Tipsy Pig.

Chapter 1

Childless, divorced, unemployed, and almost forty. A fate worse than death, and yet there wasn’t one damn thing I could do about it. I couldn’t decide which of the dreaded Four Horsemen of my Apocalypse was the worst, although at this moment, the unemployed option stung the most. Not that I really needed to work. I’d lost a fortune, but I wasn’t penniless. It was just that I’d worked at one job or another my entire adult life, dedicating myself to the family business, and now I would have nothing to do. It sucked.

Before I’d reluctantly assumed the position of CEO for Larson Pork Enterprises, I’d worked my way up from graphic design to head of the marketing department, constantly searching for ways to keep up with the competition in this dog eat dog—or rather pig eat pig—world, forced to work long hours to try and hang on to our market share, especially once COVID 19 hit, creating havoc in the meat processing plants which led to shortages. Finding ways to stay competitive without raising prices or cutting employees had been a delicate balancing act, but then the virus had hit too close to home, and everything had changed.

Sadly, after only nine months in the big chair, I was forced to sell the pork processing company that had been in my family since 1890 when Toronto had been known as Hogtown. No more bringing home the bacon. Not exactly a banner line for the resumé or a plus at a job interview. I could picture the scene now.

So, Ms. Martin, I see you’re applying for the position of CEO. I can see you have experience in the field, but tell me, why did you leave your last job?

I sold the company to an international competitor after I fired myself on the grounds that I’m an idiot who didn’t have enough commonsense to realize my ex-husband was robbing me and my company blind.

I see, and would you consider that a strength or a weakness?

I groaned. It would probably be even worse than that.

I sat behind my great-great-grandfather’s ebony desk one last time, staring down at the Moroccan leather blotter. I ran my fingers over the S M L I’d carved into the material a lifetime ago, and sighed. I wasn’t ready for this, not now, not ever. I reached for the cooling cup of coffee I’d picked up from the Java Shack on my way to the office.

According to my best friend Miranda who’d dropped by before going to court this morning, I was giving an Oscar-winning performance as a corpse, even though I’d narrowly escaped being one. It was all a matter of perspective. As she put it, with a little effort I could probably land a walk-on in the filming of the next zombie apocalypse movie. She was exaggerating, but sadly there was too much truth there to ignore.

I’d always been slender, but following weeks in the hospital, the black pantsuit and shell I wore under it hung from my emaciated frame, the only color other than the waxy pallor of my skin coming from my grandmother’s pearls, a fitting costume for a corporate funeral. Saying goodbye to the company and the only jobs I’d ever known was so much harder than I’d expected.

“What the hell are you going to do now, Sahara?”

My voice echoed in the office devoid of family paintings, books, and the soft-surfaced furnishings I’d opted to keep, bouncing off the Lavish Lavinia Larson pig statuette.

A single tear trickled down under the frame of my dark, tortoise-shell glasses. I swiped at it. I would not cry—not now, not ever again. As Dad had always said, tears were for sissies, and while I might be a lot of things—naïve, anxious, and disheartened, despite being a girl, I wasn’t a wimp. I was a survivor.

When I’d turned twenty-one and had graduated from university with a degree in Fine Arts, Dad had given me a job in the marketing department. It had been a far cry from my imagined future restoring masterpieces and creating some of my own, but since I’d spent most of my life trying to make up for the fact that I’d been born without a dick, if that was what Dad wanted, then that was what he would get.

I reached for the statuette on the desk, my biggest success. Lavish Lavinia Larson, the company mascot, was a cartoon pig, loosely based on Miss Piggy, the Muppet character I’d loved. In her silver sequined gown and tiara, holding a lorgnette up to her eyes, she ruled over the porcine realm selecting only the best of her subjects for Larson Bacon. While my father had had his doubts, claiming people would be appalled by the idea which in some ways smacked of cannibalism, I’d pointed out that it was really no different from Charlie the tuna, Chiquita banana, the life-sized M & M candies, or Mr. Peanut—all products selling themselves.

Eventually, he’d backed down, and after a consumer study that showed the pig immensely popular with children and female shoppers, Lavish Lavinia became the star of all Larson bacon ads and commercials. Within a year, the Lavish Lavinia slogan, a cut above the rest, and her cute piggy face had graced Larson bacon products.

As another means of drawing in more consumers, I’d added unusual bacon recipes under our package labels, along with mini pig stickers that could be saved and redeemed for a Lavish Lavinia plush toy. Shoppers loved the idea, and the sale of Lavish Lavinia products increased until our bacon was our most popular commodity. Larson’s might be a far cry from the industry giants, but we had a firm grip on our markets.

Within five years, in addition to selling trademark items like lunch bags and t-shirts, we’d put out two Lavish Lavinia Cookbooks, with recipes for everything from Bacon Stuffed Artichokes, Bacon Brownies, and Bacon and Cheese Baked Ziti in Zucchini Boats to cocktails. After all, love made the world go round, and everybody loved bacon.

Shortly before my father’s untimely death, we’d expanded our product line, adding bacon-flavored simple syrup, candied bacon, bacon-flavored potato chips, and pre-cooked woven bacon taco shells to our list of products. We’d partnered with a micro-brewery and had given our blessing to bacon flavored beer, with Lavish Lavinia on the label, and most recently, after we’d joined forces with McPhee’s Distillery, she’d been featured on their newest product, premixed Tipsy Pig cocktails, a favorite of mine, the perfect drink anywhere, anytime. What I wouldn’t give for one of those now—I would even settle for just the three ounces of bourbon in it.

Stiffening my spine, I placed the statuette back on the desk, stood, and paced the floor, the heels of my Jimmy Choo’s rat-tat-tatting on the polished oak, sounding like some demented woodpecker, as I waited for Saul Levett, the company lawyer.

While selling Larson Enterprises had been the only thing to do, doing so had left a hole in my heart—as if the damn thing didn’t already resemble Swiss cheese.

I glanced at my watch. Where was Saul? He’d been gone almost two hours. The meeting shouldn’t have taken this long.

Nature abhorred a vacuum, and the longer I waited to hear my fate, the more worries and memories combined to fill the void.

How I wished for a do-over, a mulligan, a chance to go back in time to change something, make a different decision, run away from what would turn out to be the biggest mistake of my life—even if I hadn’t been the one to orchestrate it—but karma never gave anyone a second chance. I’d lost it all. Whatever I had left was all I would ever have, and while the Coronavirus had been the last straw, stealing my father from me, it had been my ex-husband who’d taken everything else.

I wrung my dry, chapped hands, desperately searching for answers. It wasn’t as if I wasn’t used to disappointment, but this time, there didn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.

Glancing at the mirrored wall behind the empty display shelves, I examined my reflection. I’d never deluded myself with the idea that I was a great beauty. I resembled my father, but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. While he might’ve been considered handsome in a Nordic sort of way, I was as plain as they came, with a wan complexion that could burn in the shade, a nose that might be slightly too big for my face, thin, colorless lips that had long ago forgotten how to smile, and myopic, watery blue eyes that necessitated the constant wearing of glasses. I’d tried contact lenses, but putting them in and taking them out was far more trouble than they were worth. I’d considered laser surgery, but the severity of the myopia meant I would still have to wear glasses, so why bother?

Blonde hair, pulled back into a chignon, exposed the inch of dark roots that would probably grow even longer before I could do anything about them. With this area of the province still in partial lockdown, it was almost impossible to get an appointment with a hairdresser, and the last time I’d tried to do my own, my hair had come out a most unattractive shade of mauve. Thankfully, we’d been in total lockdown, and I’d been working from home. Eventually it had washed out.

The pale face staring back at me had dark circles under overbright eyes, visible behind thick frames, and bloodless lips. I suppose I could’ve made an effort, put on some of the makeup I’d started to wear when I’d been introduced to Randy, a little blusher for color, lipstick, maybe even eyeshadow to draw the observer’s eyes away from what was really there, but to what end? There was no one left to impress.

I reached for the Financial Observer lying on my desk and glared at the headline on the front page of the rag that passed itself off as a newspaper. Larson CEO Sells to Sapphire, Cuts Randy Loose. Not quite the truth, but what had I expected? Sensationalized headlines sold more papers than facts ever did. I dropped the broadsheet into the recycling bin and resumed my pacing.

The ancient intercom on the desk, a holdover from my Dad’s years as CEO, buzzed, and I reached for it.

“Yes, Nancy.”

“Saul Levett is here, Mrs. Smithers.”

I cringed at the name. How many times had I asked her not to call me that?

“Not Smithers, Nancy. It’s Larson, remember? Send him in.”

If she couldn’t remember something as simple as my name, which was still the same damn one on her biweekly paychecks, maybe it was a good thing she was retiring—or rather being retired. While Sapphire Foods, the company absorbing mine, had agreed to keep some employees, she wasn’t among them.

I reached for the Van Gogh Sunflowers’ mask on the desk and put it on.

You can get your copy of Cute But Crazy 3, Unique and Unpredictable for any Amazon retailer. It’s also free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Tuesday tales: From a Picture

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. This week our prompts are images, and we are limited to three hundred words. I’m continuing with Trouble with Eden my Contemporary Romance. Here’s the image I’ve chosen.

Enjoy!

It was the woman leaning against the black SUV, her head back, chin pointed at the sun, her eyes closed as if in prayer. She was magnificent. What he wouldn’t give to be able to grab his sketch pad and draw her now. He would replace the vehicle with the trunk of an old tree, and instead of a baggy sweatshirt and jeans, she would be garbed in the green and brown commonly worn by his wood nymphs.

“I’ll be right back,” Nancy said, leaning his crutches against the wall beside the chair.

“Hey, Pete,” Nancy said to the guard. “I take it your Mr. Rivers’s ride?” She smiled at the man who’d been signing the form.

Jackson pulled his eyes away from the woman to focus on his new relative. The man, about his height, was in his mid-forties, with graying hair and a paunch. Somehow, he’d assumed that his sibling would be younger not older than he was. Like him, he wore glasses, but the lenses were tinted, so he couldn’t see the color of his eyes.

The man frowned. “I’m sorry. You must be confusing me with someone else. I’m here for my mother.”

Frowning, Jackson looked around. So where was his ride?

Nancy turned to Pete. “I thought you said he was here.”

“Not he, she. She’s out there, leaning against the van.” He flipped the clipboard around and read the name. “E J Walford. Easton Corners. Here to pick up Jackson Rivers.”

Jackson’s head jerked up, his jaw dropped, and he gasped at the sudden, sharp pain the motion had caused. That was E J Walford? It couldn’t be. E J was a man, his brother, not this gorgeous nymph he’d created in his imagination months ago.

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales

On Sale for the Month of May: Romance at the Beach

What’s better than a day at the beach? That would be a day at the beach with a bundle of romance novels! In the Romance Beach Bundle 2, USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano brings you three romantic books that are sure to warm your heart and put a smile on your face.

The titles included in this boxed set of romance books are:

Return of the Runaway Bride

Once upon a time… there lived a lovely young woman named Savanna who was engaged to Daniel, a handsome law student. Theirs was to be a fairy-tale wedding. But Savanna’s second thoughts were too big to be ignored, so the would-be bride ran away.

As the years passed… Daniel’s heart turned to ice. It was this unfeeling man that Savanna faced upon her return. The love of her youth is now a stranger. Can Savanna ever make Daniel understand why she abandoned him? And will she convince the man of her dreams he will always be her Prince Charming?

Take Me, I’m Yours

Sexy single dad Derek Mitchell has learned the hard way to never trust a beautiful woman. So although he would always be indebted to Lainey Adams for thwarting a kidnapping attempt on his beloved daughter, he isn’t about to show his gratitude by offering his heart on a silver platter!

But what’s the brooding bachelor to do when his matchmaking millionaire father rewards Lainey’s heroism—by giving her a share of the family fortune? Despite Derek’s love phobia, something about the beguiling Lainey touches his soul, filling him with hope…and desire. Yet he senses that she is keeping secrets—the kind that could shatter his world.

The Single Daddy Club: Derrick

The Single Dad: Ex-military man Derrick Richmond. Solitary and satisfied…until little Timmy was dropped into his lap and Derrick had to learn to be somebody’s daddy.

The Single Woman: Schoolteacher Anna Maxwell. Fate might have denied her a family of her own, but Anna still had plenty of love to give, if only someone would notice.

The Solution: Anna would teach Derrick all he needed to know about kids. Father and son would give Anna some precious memories. Then the schoolteacher and the single dad would go their separate ways. Unless one little boy figured out a way to make Miss Maxwell become his mom!

Get your copy today for only 99 cents USD

Sneezing: It’s a Family Affair

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Pexels.com

Have you ever heard someone say ACHOO! There is a little-known condition called photic sneeze reflex, or autosomal compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst (ACHOO) syndrome. That’s a mouthful for you. It occurs in response to certain stimuli: for example, when you are first exposed to bright light after your eyes have adjusted to the dark. For me, it’s a situation that tends to occur at sunset. That’s right, when the sun goes down, I sneeze.

The funny thing is, I never paid much attention to it, although the several loud sneezes in a row can be disturbing to others. Some researchers believe the ACHOO syndrome affects between 18 and 35 per cent of people, and while the genetic aspect of the disorder hasn’t been studied in detail, they do know that it is inherited from one of your parents.

My father was the sneezer, and his loud sneezes always occurred about the same time of day as mine. ACHOO isn’t dangerous, but it can be embarrassing, especially in this age of COVID! Since I also suffer from seasonal allergies, that running nose combined with the ACHOOS can make like pretty miserable. And since the sneeze sneaks up on me, well you should see the way some people jump.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/lastword/mg24632794-300-achoo-why-do-some-people-sneeze-so-many-times/#ixzz7SPWDr5Cy

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Monthly Blog for May 2022

WOW! May already! It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies, but we’re finally into spring–at least I hope so. On the calendar, that season may have started in March, but it appears Mother Nature doesn’t pay any attention to calendars. Who knew? We had a snowstorm a week ago, and anything is possible. Temperatures are still in the 30s and 40s F at night or 3-4 C.

This month’s question is an interesting one, especially since I used that quote from Dickens myself not too long ago.

May 4 question – It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

I suppose like all authors, my good times are those when I’ve finished a book, and it’s ready for publishing. There’s an indescribable joy in knowing that I’ve fleshed out an idea and turned it into a story for others to enjoy. The next moment of glee comes when the book sells or has pages read, and I can see the fruits of my labor. Finally, there’s immense satisfaction when the book gets helpful reviews. Sadly, it’s hard to get people to post those reviews. Telling me how much they enjoyed a book in person or in an email or a message is great, but for some reason many of them can’t seem to figure out how to post a review on Amazon or Goodreads where it can actually help with sales. That can be frustrating.

The worst times are exactly the opposite of the good ones, like when I hit a roadblock in a story and have a hard time working my way around it to finish the story. As well, when I’m editing and those unintentional but huge plot holes present themselves and force me to go back to the beginning to fix them. Finally, it’s when books for whichever reason don’t sell and don’t get pages read. And of course, I can’t forget the trolls, people who leave bad book ratings without reviews or worse, send the book back to Amazon so that I lose money.

But don’t get me wrong. On the whole, I have more good times than bad one. I hope you do, too.

Read other May posts here. https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Walking on a Treadmill, Yes or No?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

For years I used to laugh at all the exercise equipment on sale at yard sales. I often saw people using them as clothes racks, but I’d never felt to urge to buy one, new or used, until recently. The difference? I started a walking program. If COVID taught me anything it was that I needed to take better care of my health. To that end, I started watching my weight and exercising.

As far as the weight goes, in the year since I began watching what I eat, I’ve lost 25 pounds and I’m hoping to lose 25 more. I recently added exercise to the mix, and we’ll see how that goes. The problem was that as much as I wanted to walk every day, the weather wouldn’t cooperate. It may be May, but April has as many cold and miserable days as February and March. I needed a solution. My sister has a treadmill and uses it every day, so, I bit the bullet and bought one of my own. Yesterday, I used it for the first time.

Walking is walking, right? Wrong! It took me a while to figure out how to walk without feeling like an awkward duck. I started at the lowest speed for 15 minutes. Two hours later, I added to the speed for another 15 minutes. Two hours after that, i grabbed my music and walked for 20 minutes, adding to the speed once more. Each time i used it, it seemed to get easier. So, later today, I’ll be back on the treadmill.

I still plan to walk outdoors to get fresh air and vitamin D, but now, thanks to my treadmill, I’ve got a chance to get all my steps in each day.

Tuesday Tales: From the Word CHIN

Welcome to May and this week’s Tuesday Tales. I’m continuing with Trouble with Eden, my newest Contemporary Romance.

“I can be nice,” she bit off angrily. “The only reason I lost my cool with that insurance agent you sent out here was because he talked to me as if I were a moron. I’ve had it with guys like that.”

Eli chuckled. “Well, Jackson is a writer. I’m sure he’s more broad-minded than that. Besides, you would’ve had to meet him eventually since he’ll be staying with you until he can return to Toronto. It’ll give you time alone to get past the awkwardness of meeting a sibling neither one of you knew you had. If he insists on going to a hotel, there won’t be much you can do about it, but since he can’t fend for himself … Maybe let him know that you have a nice motherly housekeeper ready to help him and make his meals. If he thinks you’re the one who’s going to help him in and out of the shower—it might be awkward. And don’t forget, you want him to give you his half of the house. This is your chance to get to know him without a whole lot of extra eyes listening and watching.”

She sighed. He was right. Once he was home, everyone and his cat and dog would want to get a good look at Dwayne’s son. “I’m offering to pay for the house. It isn’t as if I expect him to give it to me.” Although that would be nice. She shook her head. Pipe dreams. Nothing good ever came of them. “Listen. I have a job to finish here. When do I have to collect him?”

“I told them someone would be there by three. I’m sure they need the bed.”

Glancing at her watch, she frowned. It was eleven. This job would be done by half-past one. That wouldn’t give her much time to clean up and get into the city.

“Okay. I can get there by then. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

“I’m sure it’ll be fine. Keep an open mind. I’m sure he was as surprised to learn that he had a sibling as you were.”

She scratched her chin, leaving grease marks on her face. “I suppose.”

“Who knows? You two may hit it off and be great friends. Stay positive.”

“Yeah. I’ll try. Good luck in court.” More than likely they’d be like oil and water with nothing in common.

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales

This Weeks’s Box Set Deal: Tempting Protectors

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVELS FROM NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHORS

When duty and desire clash, the men and women sworn to protect must fight evil while tempting fate and their hearts. It’s a deceitful world out there, but Tempting Protectors must live by their wits and guard their hearts. Who to trust and who to love? Between gunfights, devious killers, eerie murders, a voodoo priestess, and high stakes international terror plots, the twists and turns are nonstop when Tempting Protectors take the leap of love before it’s too late.

TATIANA, THE TROUBLE SISTERS by Taylor Lee
Tatiana Trouble is never going to be abused again. She’s created a women’s shelter to help others survive. Unfortunately, her ex-husband doesn’t agree. When he’s hideously murdered, District Attorney Zane Wilder is faced with prosecuting the woman he loves—none other than Tatiana who swore she’d kill the despicable man.

SIDEWINDER by Patricia Rosemoor
When detective Libby Tate returns to the lawless New Mexico town where her father and brother were murdered, she has a single clue—an S carved into the earth. And a single suspect—Reies Coulter. She can’t trust anyone, least of all the mysterious rancher. After meeting this human sidewinder in the flesh, Libby is targeted by someone who wants her dead and is torn between her suspicions and desire.

THE STRATEGY OF LOVE, Guardians of Refuge by Alyssa Bailey
Photojournalist Kayla Rhea is abducted while exposing international traffickers, bringing Army Strategist River Bennett back into her life. As the threat closes in, Kayla must make a life-changing decision to save those she loves, while River joins forces with other operatives to keep both their heart and future happiness safe.

ALL YOU WANT, DESIRING DANGER by Rachelle Ayala
Busybody Tami King can’t catch a break—at least with the town sheriff, Todd Colson. Perhaps a murder will do the trick. Her sorority sisters are in town for the grand opening of her haunted hotel. When one of the ladies goes missing and another guest turns up dead, Tami finally has the complete attention of the sheriff. Unfortunately, a ruthless stalker also has her in his sights.

CURSED, DECORAH SECURITY by Rebecca York
Morgan Kirkland of Decorah Security is invited by a mysterious man, Andre Gascon, to investigate the eerie murders plaguing his estate deep in the Louisiana bayou. Unfortunately, he refuses to trust her and keeps to his rituals like disappearing into the swamp at twilight and drinking a strange home-made tea. Morgan has enough to deal with, including a voodoo priestess showing up every night with her drum. Can she break through to Andre before evil forces doom them both?

COLLATERAL DAMAGE, SILENT WARRIORS by J.L. Saint (Jennifer St. Giles)
Lauren Collins’s life takes a turn for chaos when her husband is assassinated and a military operative, Jack Hunter, arrives on her doorstep demanding answers. Thrust into a world of political treachery and treason, Lauren has no choice but to trust Jack with her life and her children’s lives. Jack puts everything on the line to survive, except for his heart…it already bit the dust the moment Lauren opened her front door.

PARTNERS, VEGAS SERIES by Mimi Barbour
Meet partners who are attracted, but don’t trust each other… not for one minute. Detectives Aurora Morelli and Kai Lawson are forced to ignore the irritating explosions between them in order to make a slimeball pay for his sickening crimes.

ROLL THE DICE, VEGAS SERIES by Mimi Barbour
Two detectives with differing agendas are after the same rapist. Kai, the purse-carrying cowboy, tries to wrestle control from the gorgeous yet grumpy Aurora. Right till the shocking end she fights him… and then things really deteriorate. Get yours before May 3, 2022. Only 99 cents USD or free to read in Kindle Unlimited

The A to Z Challenge Blog 2022: the Letter Z

Well, we’ve made it to the end of the month of April. last day, last post. Mother Nature has been kind and we have sunshine once more to finish on a positive note. I’ve enjoyed sharing quirks from my writing with you as well as my weather challenges. It’s been like speaking to an old friend each day, and I’ve enjoyed it. Some of you will be following my blog from here on in as I follow yours. For others, maybe we’ll meet again next year.

Today’s letter and the last one in the alphabet is Z. In my writing, Z stands for Zeugma. Bet you didn’t think I had one. Neither did I!

Zeugma, which means joining or bonding in Greek, is the act of using one verb to refer to two different objects in an ungrammatical but striking way. While I’ve done this, I’m by no means an expert at it. There’s a fitting example in Shakespeare’s Henry V, when Fluellen cries, “Kill the boys and the luggage.” (Normally, one doesn’t kill their luggage, so it counts a zeugma.) This construction and literary device are extremely common in seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth-century literature. Here are a few examples.

“If we don’t hang together, we shall hang separately!” (Ben Franklin).
“The queen of England sometimes takes advice in that chamber, and sometimes tea.”
“. . . losing her heart or her necklace at the ball.” (Alexander Pope).
“She exhausted both her audience and her repertoire.” (anonymous)
“She looked at the object with suspicion and a magnifying glass.” (Charles Dickens)
“Miss Bolo went home in a flood of tears and a sedan chair.” (Charles Dickens)
[King Charles I was . . .] “Circled with his royal diadem and the affections of his people.” (Mistress Evelyn)”I fancy you were gone down to cultivate matrimony and your estate in the country” (Goldsmith)
“Her beauty pierced mine eye, her speech my wo[e]ful breast, / Her presence all the powers of my discourse.”

So, there you have it. I’ll pay closer attention to my words and see when I use zeugma in my writing.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s A to Z challenge as much as I did. Find the other Z posts here. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nuoAOJ-BUAXE1Yl2yIArhUHInj902PHVX6_gL4oKiSo/edit#gid=1195767304

The A to Z Challenge Blog 2022: the Letter Y

Two sunny days in a row? It’s a miracle. Now, if it would just get warm.

Today’s letter is Y. For me, Y stands for Young Adult. I have only one book that officially fits into that category, and it’s a suspense called Prove It! I wrote the book several years ago and named the heroine after my granddaughter. The difference between a young adult novel

High school sports can be more dangerous than you think!

YA suspense

Ivy Hill’s track star, Liam Howard, has his future all mapped out: date Hannah Connors, win the New Horizon scholarship, get a spot on the next Olympic team, and then go to medical school. Sounds simple, especially when he’s well on his way to achieving his dream. But someone else has other plans. Ignoring the most recent threatening note, Liam goes out for his regular practice run and is struck by a vehicle and left for dead.

Hannah refuses to believe Liam will never walk or run again, especially when she learns the person behind the accident may be her own track coach. Working with Erik Jenkins, Liam’s best friend, she searches for proof, but Erik vanishes on his way to see the coach. Now, it’s up to her, Liam, and their friends, to find Erik and the evidence they need to put a hit and run driver behind bars. But time may be running out for both Erik and Liam as someone tries to finish the job they started, regardless of collateral damage.

That’s it for Y. Tomorrow is the last day and the Letter Z! Find more Y posts here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nuoAOJ-BUAXE1Yl2yIArhUHInj902PHVX6_gL4oKiSo/edit#gid=1195767304