Amanda Thrasher, Cereal Authors, Dellani Oakes, Karen Vaughan, Ruth Davis Hays, Stephanie Osborn

Happy New Year from Cereal Authors

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Reflections on a Year by Ruth Davis Hays

2017, what have you done to me?

I dreaded the coming of 2017. Long hours of painful work anticipated. Anxiety over payments owed or debts that would accumulate. Rollbacks of regulations and freedoms that were imagined to be permanent for our future collective good. But, nothing had braced me for the fears that did arise this last year.

In the past year, I have gone from devastation to thankful and grateful reprieve.

Let me preface this by saying that I am close to my mother. Very close. Early on in 2017, my mother was hospitalized with jaundice. That led to the discovery that she had a cancerous tumor blocking her pancreas.

Now, pancreatic cancer is one of the most pervasive and aggressive cancers. I know this because a dear friend of mine died just a few years ago after fighting pancreatic cancer for six years.

This news shook me to my core. I had to face the real possibility that my mother, the stable influence throughout my life, might not live past my fiftieth birthday this year. So many things raced into my mind of what my sister and I needed to decide on, from an estate and parental care point of view concerning our aging father and the house our parents owned. We suddenly found ourselves in the realm of having to deal with “what might happen after…”

And it was the After part that tore us to ribbons. We both love our mother more than words can say. She was our rock. She was our inspiration. We would both rather die than see her in pain. But, we both had already seen friends dealing with cancer, up close and personal. So, we dreaded having to see our mother in that position.

But, by the grace of all that is holy, her jaundice was a blessing in disguise. The cancer had not spread beyond her pancreas and she was able to be connected with the best surgeons in Florida.

It is the second week of December. It has been a long and emotional year for my family, but after chemo and surgery, my mother has been labeled as clear of cancer. I am beyond thankful to have her healing and still with us for this holiday season. I am thankful that she is celebrating the new year with us. And, through it all, I am thankful for the love and support that we have received from friends and relatives.

Politically and artistically, not much has been achieved in my personal life, but as far as my family life is concerned… 2017 was a win, because it helped my mother heal her body against a frightful foe.

© 2018 Ruth Davis Hays

To Find Out More About Ruth Davis Hays

karen vaughan scarf

My 2017 in a Nutshell by Karen Vaughan

Wow what a year and boy, did it go fast. I feel like I did a lot this year professionally and personally speaking, but lets just stick to writing and promoting.

OWL AND PUSSYCAT/OWL BRANCH PROMOTIONS:

My promotional business with Viv Drewa morphed into a partnership with Crystal Gauthier and we became part of The Owl Book Promotions. I met a lot of great new authors that have since become great Facebook friends if they already weren’t. However due to Health issues of one of the partners we went back to Owl and Pussycat Promotions.

WRITERS ROUNDTABLE saw a lot of new literary guests come to the show. In essence, my interviews were entertaining, to say the least and look forward to an exciting 4th year on the air.

WRITING, WRITING, AND MORE WRITING:

I had Dead Men Don’t Swing republished during the year through Southern Owl Publications, which is owned and run by Crystal Gauthier. I plan to do this more in 2018.

I also attempted to work on some WIP projects and get them done but alas they are still WIPS. Maybe next year! I won the NaNoWriMo this year for What the Heart Wants

I have tons of ideas for stories but again the muse is fickle.

When not doing writing related things I dabble in arts and crafts or I can be found reading and gaming.

Here’s Merry Christmas to everyone and a happy 2018

© 2018 Karen Vaughan

To Find Out More About Karen Vaughan

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Reflections of 2017 – Amanda M. Thrasher

2017 is coming to an end; shocking, since it seems like the year was a blur. As I reflect upon the past twelve months, it feels as if I lost time (I didn’t), but the year that was filled with successes, regrets, and joy, indeed flew by. My oldest daughter, now a beautiful young lady, is about to jump into the next phase of her life. As she visits colleges, I’m terrified she’s unprepared, but surely I’m mistaken? She’s as ready as every other kid about to leave home, right?

My personal work, writing, suffered this year due to a lack of time dedicated to existing projects and for that, I have sincere regrets. I am thrilled that Bitter Betrayal released, and in time for TLA, that was a huge relief. Despite my lack of writing time our company is thriving, and that is a direct result of our (mine personally) and the commitment of others to ensure that we worked tirelessly on behalf of the authors that we represent. The company is in an excellent position and will start 2018 with the most robust first quarter that we’ve ever experienced to date. Starting off the year in such a way will allow me, as an author, to take back the time I need to commit to writing and finishing existing projects. Projects that mean a lot to me and that I’m passionate about such as finishing Captain Fin.

I believe 2017 was a fruitful year, but a year where I wished I’d spent more time with my family, and as I stated wanted to finish Captain Fin (which will be a priority in 2018). My daughter, the senior in high school, should have spent more time with me (not that she would have) but I wished I’d forced the issue a little more, though I was pleased I was able to attend most of her soccer games this year. She experienced her first real heartbreak; every young woman goes through such, but it was awful to witness, and my heart broke for her. She learned from that experience to never look backward and is now excited about her future and a new relationship.

My youngest daughter continually challenges me as a mom, but in the neatest way. Learning to drive, testing those around her, she still has the sweetest spirit of any child I know. Others would not understand this statement, one of the mysteries of this young girl. 2017 was a year in which she truly blossomed, and it was a beautiful thing to witness.

Watching my son work and grow is always a treat. Continually striving to be his best, a great father, husband, and son. Spending time with him is still a joy, and one of the greatest gifts of 2017 was going on vacation with him and his family. Our family (Mike, the girls), my dad, who I adore, and my sister who I appreciate more now than ever. Having us all together at the same time, in the same place for an entire week, was the highlight of my year.

As an author during 2017, my work The Greenlee Project, a book about bullying, won the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for YA-Social Issues. Because this book is so important to me, I was naturally thrilled about this, and the news brought me to tears. Bitter Betrayal was the Gold Recipient of The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) for YA and General Fiction. The Mom’s Choice Awards® evaluates products and services created for children, families, and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products, and services. The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of items from more than 55 countries. It, Bitter Betrayal, also won the New Apple Literary Award for YA and General Fiction.

My goal for 2018: Finish Captain Fin and write the fourth installment of the Mischief series. And of course, continue my role as CEO of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press.

© 2018 Amanda Thrasher

To Find Out More About Amanda Thrasher

Bitter Betrayal buy link

The Greenlee Project buy link

 

dellani photo dark red

It Was a Fairly Good Year by Dellani Oakes

2017 has been an eventful year, in one way or another. We witnessed the birth of our second granddaughter in July, and rode out a hurricane. (When I say rode out, I really mean that we retreated to Virginia and visited our daughter for nearly two weeks) The good thing about that trip was that I got some uninterrupted time with my beautiful granddaughters. (The eldest is 9 going on 90)

Hurricane Irma gifted Florida with something to which my body has strenuously objected. I’ve been sick on and off since she roared through. Whatever it is, I sincerely hope someone takes it back, because I’m tired of it.

On a professional note, I consider 2017 more of a success. A few years ago, after looking at the queue of unfinished work, I set myself a goal of finishing a book a month. In 2014, I finished 14 books. 2015 was even better, with 25. I reverted to 14 in 2016, but 5 of those were start to finish books: two at 9 days each, then 6, 4 and 2 days. To be fair, the 2 day one was a novella, but the rest are over 50,000 words each. Shortly after writing of this article, I finished a piece for December. Making a total of 14 once again. It’s a novella, but I’m still pleased with it. Not bad, considering how much time I spent on the road between here and Virginia, and how much of that time, I was sick.

I published several books this year. So Much It Hurts, a contemporary romance, was released by Tirgearr Publishing on November 1. I also released an adult coloring book, Doodle Your Stress Away. I re-released a new and improved version of Indian Summer, as well as publishing its sequel, Savage Heart. I also published The Maker – Book 3 in my sci-fi series. Now, if they would sell, I’d be ecstatic.

Looking toward 2018, I hope for better health, and the ability to release a few more books. I’m constantly writing, creating interesting blog posts, and enjoying my days in the literary universe. I call it that, because it’s much more than a world. Books set us free from the here and now, carrying us far away from the everyday. What a blessed release, to lose oneself in somewhere completely different, even if for a short time.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

For More About Dellani

Stephanie Osborn purple top

Happy New Year By Stephanie Osborn

The Earth does orbit Sun from year to year,

And on each pass, it reaches such a place

As makes no diff’rence to the orbit’s sphere;

Still, yet the natives pause in daily chase.

Anon, the New Year comes around each pass,

Tho’ meaningless the point in orbit be.

And number’d high, the planet does amass’

And celebrations raucous we shall see.

For me, ‘tis most a time to sit and think.

Of what has passed and what is yet to come.

Of past, of present, future, all to link.

Of old and new, and stories yet to plumb.

So Happy New Year to you all, my friends!

I lift libation as the old year ends!

© 2018 Stephanie Osborn

 

For More About Stephanie Osborn

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From all of us at Cereal Authors, we hope you are blessed with a happy and healthy 2018.

 

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books, Cereal Authors, interviews, Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

Interview with a bad ass

NANOWTHWCOVER

Meet Bobby Mondoza

Bobby Mendoza:
age 23
dark brown curly hair.
Brown eyes
5’10”
hundred 80 pounds with a slim physique and a defined six-pack
Greek /Latino mixed heritage

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KV: who are you?
Bobby: what’s it to you?
KV: drop the attitude, Bob!
Bobby: it’s Bobby, never Bob. Get it right or else!
KV: okay fine, be a jerk. What do you do for a living?
Bobby: I’m a pizza chef. I work for my dippy do-gooder uncle. I hate the job but I get to flirt with the cute ladies know what I mean?
KV: do they let you?
Bobby: mostly, I mean face it, I’m hot! Who could resist this real estate?
KV: what about Halle Greenwood?
Bobby: who?
KV: the woman you almost raped!
Bobby: oh her, she had it coming. I was being nice and she totally burned me. I had to let her know who was the boss.
KV: did your mom teach you to be this way?
Bobby: you leave my mama out of this!
KV: no Bobby, this is important.
Bobby: fine, she’s weak. She met my dad beat us. She never stood up for me sure she gives me what I want why not take advantage of that.
KV: I bet she’d be ashamed if she knew you were drugging women to have sex with them.
Bobby: I don’t care!

KV: so what are your plans?
Bobby: I’m in a finish what I started with Greenwood. Then I’m going to get the guy who interfered with my little party.
KV: how do you feel about Hollywood?
Bobby: everyone is so freaking phony, they all want something!
KV; sounds a lot like you!
Bobby: don’t ever compare me to them!
KV: or what, you’ll kill me?
Bobby: now there’s an idea I can get behind!
KV: are you prepared to pay the consequences should you get caught?
Bobby: I’m not going to get caught. And if I were you I would watch my back! I’m outta here. Sayonara sucker!

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

Dead on Arrival by Karen Vaughan

Book cover for Dead on arrivalKaren Vaughan is currently slaving away at her NaNo novel, so she hasn’t had time to post here today. That’s okay! Dellani to the rescue. In case you didn’t know it, Karen writes some wonderful, crazy, funny mysteries. Some folks would call them ‘cozy’ but I just call them great! Below is a review of her book, Dead on Arrival.

Laura Hamilton didn’t know what she was expecting when she got up that Monday morning, but it sure wasn’t finding a dead body in her living room. Yes, a dead man! Apparently delivered sometime over the weekend, he was currently adorning her living room carpet.

Jeff Gibbons, the inspector called to the scene, isn’t quite sure what to make of Laura, but he has a gut instinct. Even if she does know the victim, she’s not guilty. A fact which is brought to light when it becomes apparent that someone’s out to get her.

Gerry, the building super, is a long term friend of Laura’s. Insisting on protecting her, he takes Laura into his home to keep her safe. Soon, he’s sharing his space with Laura and her Siamese two cats—Sean and Seamus.

No matter what she does, Laura keeps getting dragged deeper into this ridiculous set of circumstances. When more dead bodies show up, she decides enough is enough. She and Gerry do what they can to help Inspector Gibbons find the killer.

Dead On Arrival is a wonderfully lighthearted mystery that moves at a lively pace. Vaughan’s humor adds an interesting dimension to her story, keeping it from being too grim. Her dialogue is sprightly, fleshing out the characters. Even minor players have very distinct personalities.

I enjoyed Laura and Gerry’s amateur sleuthing as they muddle through, trying to keep Laura safe while they figure out who’s trying to kill her and why.

Five Golden Acorns for Vaughan’s debut book. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a lighthearted mystery with plenty of intrigue.

© 2012 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Karen’s Books

For More About Karen

Character Quotes, Karen Vaughan, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized

SARCASM IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD BY KAREN VAUGHAN-EXAMPLES OF SARCASM IN MY WRITING.

SARCASM IS A COMIC TOOL USED IN LITERATURE.  MY BOOKS ARE FULL OF SARCASTIC BITING WITT —THIS IS A SKILL LAURA EMPLOYS REGULARLY WHEN DEALING WITH PEOPLE SHE DOESN’T LIKE –SPECIFICAL STELLA STADYLMEYER!

AS SEEN IN DEAD MEN DON’T SWING AND LEFT FOR DEAD STELLA IS A GREAT FOIL FOR LAURA.

FROM DEAD MEN DON’T SWING

“Ya know Stella, you’re usually an astute woman but right now you are down to two brain cells and they are limping.  I am only going to say this once so listen closely! You can shove your eulogy! I don’t know the guy. The other tenants aren’t being forthcoming with details except for stuff I refuse to put in a tribute to the dead man. I also don’t have the time for this crap and it’s not my job.”

LEFT FOR DEAD–PETE IS DEALING WITH THUGS WANTING THEIR MONEY OR ELSE

Pete managed to garble out some words, “Let go Walter!”

 

“Yeah Walter, let him go so he can beg. I want to hear him grovel before I teach him a lesson in punctuality of payments and a thing or two about loyalty.”

 

Walter let go, but pushed Pete to a submissive kneeling position in front of Lewis Parker. Mr. Parker had helped himself to a kitchen chair and was leaning his forearms across the back of it, so he was eye to eye with his prey.

 

“Now, Pete when I tell you a date by which I need a payment, it is not a suggestion, it’s pretty much set in stone.”

 

“I know Lew.” Pete uttered.

 

“Let’s not get too familiar here, it’s not a social call. We’re discussing your unwillingness to cooperate and not having a beer at Tony’s.”

 

“Fine …. Mr. Parker!” Pete spat out. “I’m sorry I’m late, but I got laid off. You know, no work no pay.” Pete was letting his sarcasm slip out. He knew it might get him killed to say too much, but these goons were annoying him by not listening. If he had to go out, he would go out fighting.

 

“I’m not interested in the excuses Peter. Just pay what you owe and I’ll be out of your hair.”

 

“And if I don’t?” There went his mouth again but he couldn’t help it.

 

“Well that’s easy really, if you refuse to pay I’m going to let Walter here take a few chunks out of your hide.”

 

Peter had made the mistake of not taking Mr. Parker seriously and Walter went to work on him.

 

Peter took the beating as a sign not to mess with these people again. Mom always told him gambling was the work of the devil and damn it if she wasn’t right.

DAYTONA DEAD LAURA DEALS WITH CREEPY COP DAVE MEECHAM AT THE PHOTO KIOSK

“Ok, this is getting old really fast. Do you have an odd fixation with following tourists around? Or are you just being a jerk?”

 

“Mrs. Fitz, dear, no need for a meltdown. I just happen to be at the same photo kiosk as you “

 

“Ya, I bet!”

 

“Oh my, someone is paranoid.” he laughed, “Maybe you really are guilty of that guy’s murder and used the road kill scenario as a cover up. Maybe, you staged it to divert attention. I may have to take my thoughts on this to the detective on the case.”

 

People were staring at us and backing away out of the store. The police officer was in his civvies and couldn’t do anything at that point.  He was grinning evilly, thinking he was getting the better of me.

 

I stood straight up, “Too late Fife, we’ve been cleared of all charges so don’t even go there.”

 

His weasel-like face turned bright red, “Quit calling me Fife, my first name isn’t even Barney! It’s Dave, Dave Meecham. With that he turned and stomped away from the kiosk.

 

 

Karen Vaughan

A Review of Dead on Arrival by Karen Vaughan

Dead on Arrival – Karen Vaughan

Book cover for Dead on arrivalLaura Hamilton didn’t know what she was expecting when she got up that Monday morning, but it sure wasn’t finding a dead body in her living room. Yes, a dead man! Apparently delivered sometime over the weekend, he was currently adorning her living room carpet.

Jeff Gibbons, the inspector called to the scene, isn’t quite sure what to make of Laura, but he has a gut instinct. Even if she does know the victim, she’s not guilty. A fact which is brought to light when it becomes apparent that someone’s out to get her.

Gerry, the building super, is a long term friend of Laura’s. Insisting on protecting her, he takes Laura into his home to keep her safe. Soon, he’s sharing his space with Laura and her Siamese two cats—Sean and Seamus.

No matter what she does, Laura keeps getting dragged deeper into this ridiculous set of circumstances. When more dead bodies show up, she decides enough is enough. She and Gerry do what they can to help Inspector Gibbons find the killer.

Dead On Arrival is a wonderfully lighthearted mystery that moves at a lively pace. Vaughan’s humor adds an interesting dimension to her story, keeping it from being too grim. Her dialogue is sprightly, fleshing out the characters. Even minor players have very distinct personalities.

I enjoyed Laura and Gerry’s amateur sleuthing as they muddle through, trying to keep Laura safe while they figure out who’s trying to kill her and why.

Five Golden Acorns for Vaughan’s debut book. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a lighthearted mystery with plenty of intrigue.

© 2012 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Karen’s Books

For More About Karen

Amanda Thrasher, books, Cereal Authors, Dellani Oakes, JD Holiday, Karen Vaughan, Rachel Rueben, Ruth Davis Hays, Stephanie Osborn

It’s Our 5th Anniversary & We’re Celebrating!

 

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I can’t believe it’s been five years!  You know they say for a 5th anniversary you’re supposed to buy wood but the only thing I can think of that a writer would want that’s wooden is maybe a pencil?  Okay, how about a paperweight?  Hey, you know paper is technically made from trees, imagine it, I can be the Oprah of loose leaf paper…

Oprah Meme

Call me crazy but I don’t see anyone getting excited over paper products.  As you see, tradition isn’t very helpful when it comes to a fifth anniversary.  However instead of going on about how lame these gift traditions are, I’d rather explain why we decided to do this blog in the first place…

Once upon a time, a group of authors got together and decided form a collective blog where we shared book excerpts, writing tips, or just plain ranted.  Today, with over 1,100 posts, we’ve surprised even ourselves by the amount of work we’ve done and I can only speak for myself but I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished here.  If it weren’t for this blog, I wouldn’t have started, let alone finished my romance novel, Fedelta.

This blog keeps me accountable, it forced me to take my career seriously.  It also keeps me surrounded by other authors who are also pursuing their dream and that’s infectious.

As I look back on the last five years, I noticed that many of the authors that started out with us are no longer around.  Some had health problems or money issues, while one of us actually died!  It’s been quite the journey nonetheless and the fact that we’re still here, and still writing, tells you about our determination.  This isn’t our hobby, we’re serious!

Anyway, enough of my babbling, I wanted to showcase the works of our authors here and hope you take the time to pick up one of our books.  Just click on the graphics, and it will take you to that author’s Amazon page.

Dellani Oakes Author of Sci-Fi & Romance:

Dellani s Sci Fi 1

Dellani s Romace Collage

J.D. Holiday: Author of Children’s Books & Short Stories:

JD Holiday Collage 1

Karen Vaughan: Author of Cozy Mysteries:

Karen Vaughans Collage

Amanda M. Thrasher: Author of YA & Children’s Books:

Amanda Thrasher s Collage 1

Amanda s YA Novels Collage

Ruth Davis Hays Author of Fantasy Novels:

Ruth Davis Hays Book Cover Collage 1

Rachel Rueben: Author of Romance & YA

Rachel Rueben Collage 1

Stephanie Osborn: Author of Sci-Fi & Mystery Novels:

Stephanie Osborn s Book Collage 1

Stephanie Osborn Mystery Collage

I guess the moral to this story is, to always surround yourself with people who are doing the thing you want to do.  Despite what the naysayers tell you, you can succeed at a career in publishing.  It just takes time and dedication.  A few years ago, there was a TED Talk concerning the subject of grit and how success is usually determined not by intelligence or talent, but by grit.  Grit is often defined as determination and/or resolve.  After seeing that video, this blog immediately came to mind, because I can say without a doubt, that the Cereal Authors are some of the grittiest authors you will ever meet and I mean that with all the love in the world.  ❤

Anyways, happy anniversary guys, it’s been a privilege to know you all and to be part of this blog.  And here’s to the next chapter of our journey…

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Most of the images in this post are courtesy of Pixabay

 

 

 

Excerpts, Karen Vaughan

AN EXCERPT FROM DEAD TO WRITES –LAURA & GERRY #7

THE PREMISE:  LAURA AND GIBBONS ARE ON THE CASE AGAIN! AN UP AND COMING AUTHOR IS BRUTALLY MURDERED WHILE ATTENDING A WRITERS CONFERENCE.  JANINE HARPER IS FOUND POISONED IN HER ROOM.  THE SUSPECT LIST IS LONG BUT THE SAVVY DETECTIVE FERRETS OUT THE REAL WRONG DOER WITH THE HELP OF THE DEAD AUTHORS FRIENDS.   THE STING IS ON AS THE HELLCAT FRANCESCA IS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR FRAUD AND MURDER.

CASSIE AND SYLVIE  ARE MEETING WITH OSCAR A WOULD BE HITMAN TO NAIL FRANCESCA

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Oscar replied “I suppose she would want me to kill you too if you got in the way.  I’m not going to do any of that.  I want you ladies to call Carolyn Crawford at 22 division and meet us here.  I have information for her with regards to the Janine Harper case.

Cassie sat up straight.  I remember you now!  You were there the day I bought the hemlock bush for Francesca.  She told me that it was a gift for a friend.  I remember you took it from me and said you would handle it.

yes, and I feel guilty about what I did.  Oscar replied.  I took it to a shop that handles black arts.  Poison potions spells and all that.  The man who worked there extracted the poison from the roots of the plant and gave me a vial of hemlock to give to Fran.

Cassie continued.  Yes, and then she gave me the gift basket with the poisoned wine in and told me to take it to a delivery service.  The rest, as they say, is history and Janine is dead.

Right and if that bitch gets her way you will both be dead by nightfall.

Sylvie spoke.  “This is something out of SNOW WHITE where the woodsman takes Snow White into the forest to kill her but leaves her for the dwarves to find.”

Oscar laughed.  “Interesting comparison Sylvie.  I’m going to make it look like I’m going to kill you both.  However, we are going to call your friends at 22 division and fill them in on what’s going on.

Sylvie laughed and responded.  “Good, because neither Cassie or I have any intention on cleaning house for a bunch of short dirty men with the help of Woodland creatures.”

Cassie agreed.  “Certainly not!  I didn’t get my degree in Pub. relations just to be a housekeeper.”

The whole group laughed and moved onto working out a plan to trap Ms. Lewis.

This is better than the plan we worked out with Carolyn and Laura. She went to explain plainly the sting operation to take place at the writer’s conference the following day.

DEAD TO WRITES IS STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS.

Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes, Karen Vaughan, Rachel Rueben, Ruth Davis Hays, Sassy Sarcasm

Sassy Sarcasm with Dellani, Karen, Rachel and Ruth

We’re doing something a bit different today. Instead of just one author, you’ve got FOUR! There’s a reason for this, so please bear with us but a moment and read on.

Sassy Sarcastic
Sassy Sarcasm

Sarcasmˈ/särˌkazəm/ Noun: The use of irony to mock or convey contempt. Synonyms: derision, mockery, ridicule, scorn, sneering, scoffing….

And the list goes on. It’s important to define this word, because not everyone knows what sarcasm is, but we all use it to one degree or another. I’m convinced my family would be unable to communicate without it. In fact, my youngest son was, without doubt, the most sarcastic five year old in his kindergarten class.

Sarcasm is a tool that, when used properly, can add interesting dimension to an author’s dialogue. Imagine your favorite characters on a TV show or in a movie, chances are, they’ve got a snarky side. These characters, and their lines, are memorable because they really spice up the chitchat. This witty repartee is fun to listen to, read and to write. I’ll be honest, I don’t think my characters could communicate without sarcasm, either.

I’ve been told I’m sarcastic. I shall neither confirm nor deny this allegation. Instead, I’d love to share some of my work with you and you can judge for yourself. Over the next few weeks, a few of my (supposedly) sarcastic friends are going to talk about using sarcasm in our work and in life. Rather than giving them a big introduction, I’ll let their work speak for them. If you’d like to find out more about these ladies, click the Guilty Parties link above.

Sit back, sip your favorite beverage, (I find that sarcasm is best with lemonade, but you be the judge) and be prepared for some dry humor, wise cracks and a tad bit of sarcasm. Just a little…not too much….

© 2017 Dellani Oakesdellani photo dark red

Undiscovered – Dellani Oakes

Someone wants movie producer Kent Griswald dead. Unfortunately, the first attempt is foiled by the fact that it’s not Kent on the beach, but his younger brother. In broad daylight, in front of dozens of witnesses, someone takes a pot shot at Connor. Detectives Weinstein and Scott are dispatched to investigate.

Detective Vanessa Weinstein came on the scene ten minutes after the shooting. Aggressive and competitive, she was an up and comer. She knew how to play the game and used her femininity to her advantage. Dressed in a black power suit and a very white shirt, she stood out clearly on the beach. Somehow, in some mysterious way that Walter Scott couldn’t explain, the woman didn’t sweat. Her black hair was sleek, unmoving in the wind off the ocean. Her skin was perfectly dry, not even a bead of sweat on her full lips.

Undiscovered by Dellani Oakes - 200

“The rest of Daytona’s in hell in this late season heat wave and you stand there looking like the Sugar Plum Fairy,” Scott complained, wiping his face with a handkerchief.

“Don’t sweat in my crime scene,” she said in a bored tone. “What’s going on upstairs?”

“Got two perps, one actual shooter, one decoy. Second guy left his weapon. Your guy left a shell casing. Looks like both had the same kind of gun. No serial numbers on mine.”

“Why would they make it easy? You didn’t find my gun, huh?”

“Nope. But the shell’s a 5.56mm, so we’re figuring they both had identical weapons. MSSR.”

She nodded, taking a sip of hot coffee from an insulated mug. Scott slurped water from a rapidly warming bottle and wiped his brow on his fist.

“Jeez, can we at least get outta the sun? I’m gonna fry.”

“You should try getting a tan, Walt.”

“I’m Scottish and Scandinavian, Ness, I don’t tan. You could put me out here all day, I’d burn red as a beet.”

“They’re purple.” She moved into the shade of a cabana bar where they’d set up their command center.

“Whatever.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

KAREN TIMMYS 2013

Dead Men Don’t Swing – Karen Vaughan

My characters wield sarcasm like well-sharpened sword. Laura Hamilton Fitz uses sarcasm to deal with sticky situations when faced with bad-asses trying to kill her and annoying people she has no patience for. Many people will tell you she has an attitude but as a busy mom, CSI and corpse magnet extraordinaire. (see I used sarcasm there) Laura doesn’t have time for BS.

Stella is Laura’s nemesis (next to her mother of course) and knows how to push the girl’s buttons. I am surprised that Stella herself hasn’t made it to Laura’s hit list…. Anyway, in one scene from Dead Men Don’t Swing Laura puts Stella in her place after the pest gives her a hard time about doing a eulogy for a dead, and might I add, not well liked tenant.

Dead Men Don't SwingI went down the hall to the laundry room. I couldn’t even fathom doing a load before checking the traps and washing out all the machines before using one. I was just putting my loads in when Stella flounced in. I gave her a look that said, “Don’t start lady.” She’s either dense or doesn’t care and got on my case about the eulogy.

Ya know Stella, you’re usually an astute woman but right now you are down to two brain cells and they are limping. I am only going to say this once, so listen closely! You can shove your eulogy! I don’t know the guy. The other tenants aren’t being forthcoming with details except for stuff I refuse to put in a tribute to the dead man. I also don’t have the time for this crap and it’s not my job.”

© 2017 Karen Vaughan

Ruth Davis Hays

Ruth Davis Hays – Translations from Jorthus Series

Tools of the trade Sarcasm can be a fun and useful tool. It can be brought up in different ways. It can be presented in the narrative to express a character’s particular view of the world:

High school locker rooms. Every kid’s favorite place. The arena to expose our physical flaws to our worst critics like exposing our jugular to a vampire. (Watchdogs, a young adult novella in progress)

Or it can be a personality trait displayed in speech:

The Illusion by Ruth Davis HaysA snow storm in the desert? Nothing out of the ordinary here!” Keinigan tried to pry a laugh from his dour companions.

Yet, his question was taken in earnest by the good dravan scholar, who proceeded to educate him on climate aberrations and how a reoccurring anomaly marked over a span of documented time can be construed as an ordinary pattern.

Keinigan groaned and pulled his cloak down over his head to block the freezing winter winds. The amount of snowfall was indeed strange for this area, but he made a mental note not to attempt humor around Master Calbraum anymore. (The Illusion, a Jorthus novel in progress)

My favorite, from time to time, is to use it to quickly convey a relationship between characters:

Before Dharromar could open his mouth, Keinigan’s fist smashed into his jaw. When the stars cleared from his brain, he was blinking up at his attacker. “I get the feeling you’re not happy to see me,” the changeling groaned from the dirt.

Actually, I’ve been waiting to do that for a long time.”

Feel better?”

Little bit. You?”

Wonderful. Your concern for me is truly touching. Now if you really want to be a help, you could come down here and suck my bolls.”

Maybe later. I’m too busy celebrating.” Keinigan shuffled around the tent randomly as he listened to the voices of Lylith and the magda councilors filtering through the fabric. “Didn’t you hear? The changeling has returned to save us! Hoorah! The darquone are already retreating just hearing you’re back. I feel folching fantastic!” (The Illusion)

When the bite of sarcasm is set in contrast to more sincere narrative or dialogue, it stands out to the reader and punctuates either the writer’s opinion of the character or the situation. I find it incredibly irresistible at times, but must remind myself to read it not as intended but as written, in order to find out if the words are successful. If the sarcasm does not come across, either I am not doing my job or I need to rethink my use of the tool.

© 2017 Ruth Davis Hays

Rachel Rueben

Fedelta – Rachel Rueben

Disheartened, Cassie began to make a quiet retreat when she turned around and saw a homeless man who put his hand over her mouth and dragged her towards an abandoned building behind the brownstones. Biting his hand, and elbowing him in the face, she managed to free herself from his grasp. Turning around, she kicked him right in the yam bag when the homeless guy yelled in agony, “Damn’ it Cass!”

Doing a double take, she looked closer at him only to realize it was Amato. “Jesus, John, what the hell you doing walkin’ up on me like that?”

Tryin’ to get you out of trouble!” he said through gritted teeth. Doubled over, Amato took deep breaths trying not to vomit in the alley.

Blushing, Cassie tried not to laugh. She was tempted to apologize but that wasn’t happening. Besides, it was nice to know she could still handle herself even in her messed up condition. A few minutes passed before she asked, “Ya gonna be alright?”

Fedelta 2He looked up at her bewildered, “No wonder we broke up.”

Shrugging her shoulders, she answered right back, “Not every man can handle a strong woman.”

Not every man wants a ball buster.”

Straightening up, Amato signaled for her to follow him as he limped away. Not feeling all that great herself, was starting to feel a sharp pain in her head. She had forgotten to take her meds and was now paying the price for it. As the two of them hobbled away from danger, the sounds of the city permeated the air playing a soundtrack to this ridiculous love story. Sirens, barking dogs and Amato’s bitching rang loudly in Cassie ears as she wondered how the hell they were ever gonna make it through this?

© 2017 Rachel Rueben

Join us the 15th of every month when one (or more) of us will share snippets of our stories — focusing on sarcasm, of course! We will comb through our work and find the best bits for you. You have our promise on that! Would we lie to you? ~Dellani

books, Cereal Authors, Fiction, Karen Vaughan, Mystery, review

A LOOK AT LEFT FOR DEAD BY KAREN VAUGHAN-ONCE A CORPSE MAGNET ALWAYS A CORPSE MAGNET

Left for dead 2 for Amazon  Things are really starting to heat up in the Fitz family. Gerry’s cousin, and best buddy is left for dead after a beating. When the thugs responsible find out he didn’t die, the game is on to keep Pete safe until he has to testify. After finding a body on a mountain trail in cottage country Laura helps a local police officer solve the crime while waiting for the birth of her first baby.

WHAT ONE READER SAYS ABOUT LEFT FOR DEAD

Left for Dead by Karen Vaughan, is witty and intelligently told mystery story. It’s the 6th in the Laura and Gerry mysteries series and a delightfully penned book.

It seems even pregnancy will not stop Laura Fitz from being a corpse magnet, as she stumbles yet again onto another dead body. While Laura is talking to the police, she receives a phone call from hubby. Apparently, Laura’s gift or curse for discovering the dead and becoming embroiled in the nasty affairs of the murder has rubbed off on to Gerry, for he has found his cousin near death.

The Fitz’s have once again become entangled in murder, mayhem, the lives of others along with the danger it entails. But, through it, all Laura remains her witty self. Gerry doesn’t fair as well as his love for Laura and their coming baby upset his judgment at times. After all, it is difficult to be objective when the life of one’s wife is on the line.

REVIEW FROM AMAZON BY MARTA MORAN BISHOP

LIKE A BOSS.jpg

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON FOR $2.99

Cereal Authors, Character Quotes, Karen Vaughan, Laura & Gerry series

A SHORT EXCERPT FROM DEAD TO WRITES BY KAREN VAUGHAN(UNPUBLISHED W.I.P)–LAURA HAS A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH SOMETHING STRANGE!

pizap.com14711837548421   A SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR IS KILLED IN HER PRIME TO KEEP A NASTY DEED FROM BEING EXPOSED! 

A NEW TENANT WITH A SPECIAL SET OF SKILLS!

LAURA ADJUSTS TO MOTHERHOOD AND PETE AND ELAINE MAKE IT OFFICIAL.

AS USUAL COOKIE THE CORPSE MAGNET HAS HER HANDS FULL.

The door wasn’t closed well so I stepped in and called out, “Myrna, are you here?  It’s Laura.  Can I come in?  I just wanted to check on you after we talked yesterday.”

 

There was still no answer.  She might have been napping but I wanted to be sure.  There was no one in her room, but I could hear chanting from the second bedroom.  Maybe she was meditating.  The door was slightly ajar and I could see her standing there in front of some sort of altar.  What surprised me was that Myrna was buck naked, holding a scepter over her head in her left hand, and doing God knows what with the other one as I couldn’t see it.  Part of me did not want to disturb her ritual, but I just had to know what was going on.  Maybe Mrs. Rodriguez was right thinking that Myrna might be a witch.

 

I knocked a bit louder this time.  Myrna jumped and turned around, startled.

 

“Oh damn, you caught me!  This is most embarrassing.  Can you wait in the living room while I get dressed dear?”

 

“Sure.”  I backed away uncertain whether I really wanted to know, but me being the curious one, sat down in her living room trying to pull myself together.  I remembered then I’d left Maggie in her crib, so I yelled out to Myrna,  “Just meet me down in my apartment.  We can have tea and talk about it then, okay?? I have to go check on Maggie.”

 

“Okay Laura” she hollered.  “I’ll be right down.”

 

I ran to the elevator.  Maybe I should just forget this whole thing, but the image of a septuagenarian standing naked in a room chanting was a lot to take in and some things just cannot be unseen.

 

I was holding Maggie while getting her bottle warmed when Myrna knocked and walked in.  I put the kettle on for tea and deposited the baby in her bouncy chair as she drank her bottle.  Myrna sat at the table but didn’t say much until I brought the teapot and the cookies over.

 

“I am so embarrassed,” she said.  “I didn’t realize my door was unlocked.”

 

“That’s okay Myrna, I really should’ve come back later.  I was concerned about you after you talked about seeing and hearing Larry’s spirit in the apartment.  I just wanted to check on you, to make sure you’re okay.”

 

 Myrna looked at me.  “Oh sure he’s there, but I’ve just accepted the fact that I kind of have a roommate.  I’m just hoping that Roger doesn’t get jealous.”

 

I just had to ask.  “Myrna, are you Wiccan?”

 

She just looked at the table and nodded.

 

There’s nothing to be ashamed of Myrna.  A lot of people practice that but I’m just not really sure what it involves.”

 

“Well, what I was doing there, not too many people practice.  I was having a conjugal visit with Roger.  I might be 75, but I still get my urges every now and then.  He might be dead, but I’m not.  The scepter I was holding was a representation of his phallic symbol and I was… well, you get the picture.”

“Let me get this straight.  You were having sex with the ghost?”

Myrna smiled at the memory.  “A very spirited one at that!”

COMING SOON AS SOON AS I FINISH IT.