Cherries, Gears, and Ordinary Bitching


Erma Bombeck said, If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits. This adage was also a novel title of hers. One of the most humorous writers ever. I’ve read every book she wrote. Life can be a struggle and slogging your way through the day can prove to be a challenge. I’m no different. Half of the time, my smile is painted.

No September blog post, allow me to apologize if you waited patiently only to be disappointed. Yeah, sure, okay. A busy and eventful month. Sadness struck my realm. My cat, Mr. Kitty, aged 15, passed away Monday, 12 September. The cancer took him away from me. I hate cancer.

sequence_cover_1In between the hustle and the bustle, I’ve completed seventy-five percent of my current manuscript, Sequence, volume two of the Sideways Eight Series. It’s moving right along. I want to offer a shout to those who have taken the time to whack me upside the head critiquing and offering excellent advice after reading each chapter. Without them, I wouldn’t be as far as I am. To Claire, Joe, Lynne, Norm, Randy, and Rikon, I tip my hat and here’s some chocolate.

gears_of_war_4The next few chapters may suffer. Next week, the video game, Gears of War 4 releases, and I can’t resist meeting Marcus Fenix’s son JD (James Dominic). The graphic creators did a marvelous job on this animated character. He’s an amazing blend of his father Marcus and mother Anya Stroud. What a love story those two had that spanned over ten years until they tied the knot. I miss Marcus and Dom. May Dom rest in peace. I hope he found his Maria. Heartbreaking.

asphofieldsGears of War is also a novel series. One wouldn’t expect it to be so well written and an exciting read. Remove the stereotype that video games can’t jump into another section of the fine arts world. Author Karen Traviss, shows just how awesome women can write futuristic combat thrillers. The first novel, Aspho Fields, is one of my favorites. And people think gamers can’t read or have a brain. Wrong. Some of the most intelligent people I know are gamers.

killing-floorThe other day, my little hands snatched a copy of Killing Floor, the first book in the Jack Reacher series, authored by Lee Child. I scarfed ten novels at a secondhand bookstore. A dollar each. Okay, I’m not trying to be mean, but his writing is … no comment. The story, excellent. His dialogue a masterpiece. Character creation better than most, but the style suffers.

Worse, I wish Hollywood would get with the program and cast characters as close as possible to the writer’s vision. Jack Reacher is a six feet four, blondie. Tom Cruise? Really? He’s a five feet five rabbit with hideous hair. Armie Hammer would have been an excellent choice as Jack Reacher. I’d settle for Thor, Chris Hemsworth in a pinch. Not a fan. Sorry, Australia. However, I loved him in The Heart of the Sea. Aka Moby-Dick. Tom Cruise? Proof movies are political. Don’t get me started on politics. Our country is going to hell in November.

Soon the leaves will change colors and mother earth will declare fall is here. So happy. I hate summer.

From Updates to Dirty Water


A busy two weeks behind me, but the weekend, I’ll be inundated with writing new chapters for my work in progress, the second book in the Sideways Eight Series, Sequence. I spent most of last week, updating Mindfield and uploaded a new Kindle version on Amazon. The cover artwork was slightly redesigned to make it more visually appealing. This change also includes the paperback. For those of you who own the Kindle version, hop over to Amazon and download the free updated file to your tablet, PC, Mac or smartphone.

I’ve taken on the task of learning Adobe In Design, hence the edited cover. Heck of a learning curve, but the more I use it, the more I love it.

My current reading remains the same, In the Shadow of the Judas Tree, by Norman Morrow. It isn’t possible for me to get enough of Father James Brennan. Such a vibrant character. Easy to love.

To my surprise, I’ve completed the rough draft to the final chapter of Sequence. Now to finish the rest, about fifteen more chapters to go. YEAH! Fretting for the past six months, not knowing how to close the story, I’ve learned staring out the window while it’s raining, helps. The rains so heavy, lakes and streams went from algae green to brown. Dirty water. Yes. Dirty water. Boston. The Red Sox love their dirty water. They love their home. They love their town, where the lovers, muggers, and thieves are cool people. What better place for Murphy and Charley to be, than Fenway Park, after an afternoon stroll at the Charles River Reservation, while Charley compares the Boston Strangler to Tangerine.

Until next time, good health.

Ron Vergona Publishes His Fourth Amber Restrained Series Novel


I am thrilled to announce, Ron Vergona  published the fourth installment of the Amber Restrained series. On 31 July 2016, Targeted Validation launched, continuing the story of Steve Casella and Edie Pauling. The star of the series  is Amber, a white German Shepard. Below is the preferred synopsis by the author. All four novels are available in paperback and the Kindle version on Amazon.

Steve Casella is a firefighter with unique responsibilities. His wife, Edie Pauling, once a journalist, is now an advisor to the president. They’re driven into a dangerous game of corruption when a close friend becomes an unwitting victim in a controversial government-sponsored healthcare study. Edie presents the president with a bold plan that could destroy his legacy and compromise the nation’s strength in fighting terrorists. As Edie’s past comes back to haunt her, new enemies seek to silence her. With help from his canine sidekick, Amber, Steve, her husband, works against time to save Edie and prevent a massive attack on American soil.

Amber Restrained Series – Available at Amazon

Tuesday – 9 August 2016

Someone told me, a writer I believe, that I must blog. I wondered, blog what? Do subscribers really want to know my cat tossed up two golf ball sized hairballs yesterday? Didn’t think so.

What am I to write to entertain my bloggees? Is that a word? It is now.

Current Reading

I have a long list of works I want to read. Some by well knowns, others by new authors, trying to make a dent in the publishing world. I’m one of them. They have one-hundred percent of my support. Patricia Cornwell doesn’t need my help. One of my favorite authors, she helped pave the way for women writers of crime/thriller novels. Never stop Patricia.

Last week, I completed a novel by UK English writer, Rikon Gaites. I reviewed the book on this site. Titled, Mummy’s Little Soldier, it is one of the best dark crime thrillers I’ve ever read. Grab it on Amazon, in paperback or Kindle by clicking the purple text. If you have interests in serials, check out her first of the Odenkirk Series, Darius Odenkirk. An excellent read, of a too wealthy man, whose evil practices go beyond the imagination. Oh, and he likes to kill people, a lot. Darius is one scary dude. I’ve read the draft to the second installment. Once again, Rikon has proven she can keep up with the big boys. Good work Ms. Gaites.

From here, I’ll turn left in a different direction. Norman Morrow, a true Irishman in … well … Ireland. This gent’s writing will dazzle the most persnickety reader. Style, humor, provocative characterization is the backdrop of a disturbing reality which did and, okay I’ll say it, still exists within the Catholic Church. Sexual and physical abuse of prepubescent children, targeting boys. I refuse to imply these tragic events occur only in the Catholic Church. Read the news, it’s out there and it happens every day. We must never forget.

My current read drives reality so deep, Mr. Norman, will have you in tears, reliving the deviant behavior forced upon children or chatting with the delightful and sarcastic humor of Seanie at the local pub. In the Shadow of the Judas Tree, captivates the reader with a unique prose that tickles your ear and from out there somewhere, it slaps one so hard in the face, they must stop to breathe. The characters jump out, grab you, and demand your attention. Which isn’t hard. The main character Father James Brennan, is one any reader will walk beside and join him in his determination and his constant need to decompress what he learns on his journey for the truth.

Weekly Goal Met

For the first time, I completed a short story. One of the most difficult writing attempts for me. I thought poetry was tough. This put me to the test. I hope to publish it in a short story anthology. The tale is based on a true-life event. My first dog, Spot. The cutest beagle ever. Precious to the tip of his tail, he was the smartest canine I’ve ever encountered. He had one habit he refused to give up, eating my godmother’s, who was my next-door neighbor, purple petunias. Nope, he never touched any of the others, just the purple ones. Why, we never knew. The adventure reveals how his vice was resolved and all were happy … especially Spot.

Sideways Eight Series Update

Book 2 of the Sideways Eight Series is in progress and nearing sixty-percent completion. I expect to meet the fall deadline. I want to thank those who have stood by me since Mindfield. I couldn’t have done any of it without you.


Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll return as I become more blog savvy.

Blog Post – Friday, 29 July 2016


Me, when I complete a chapter.

I’ve succumbed to the inevitable. Word Press. I would prefer to build the site which I’ve done before, but my needs exceed my coding abilities. Stop laughing I can’t hear my chuckling.

Many writers declare, their lifelong dreams since childhood included completing or publishing a novel. Not me. I was too busy, playing, growing up, and punching my neighbor Benny McGee. Okay, I was older and larger. I swear I didn’t try to break his arm. Good thing his mother had a sense of humor. Nurses are cool like that. High school came along, and busy is an understatement. Drove my incredible mom nuts. She forced me to acquire my driver’s license as soon as possible. With me, she learned being a taxi driver is not her forte. On my sixteenth birthday, Mom handed me a set of car keys. In the driveway, sat a cool, silver Mustang. I lovingly called it Silver Streak. I still couldn’t stay between the road lines. But, I learned FAST. I had to live up to my car’s name.

I sucked in English class. My senior language arts teacher, the awesome and incredibly brilliant Ms. Mary Sue Dean, was determined to open my head and pour some knowledge, or sense, not sure which, inside. Yes, I was resistant. What I didn’t know, she succeeded. My first year of college, I had to write a short story. I did, begrudgingly. You bet it included murder. My professor requested a meeting with me. I thought, “Oh, hell, I failed that paper. Geez, I should’ve paid attention in high school.” So, my mom, a formidable English teacher, didn’t have to hang her head in shame. To my surprise, my professor declared it was the best story she had ever read. She called it, clever. I liked the title, The Complexion of Murder. The grammar and punctuation was deplorable, but the story … perfection. Okay, so I got one out of two things mastered. Despite her encouragement, I dismissed her words and continued my adult life.

After eight years in the United States Air Force, civilian life handed me meager employment, and I returned to college. It’s hard returning to school with a bunch of ‘children’ running around. Yep, I was surrounded by those pesky teenagers and young adults. Somebody, please kill me. But, I friended many and built lasting bonds. Yes, I’m old enough to be their mother, but hey, I never said I matured, just aged.

After trudging through years of acquiring two degrees, I stopped to take a breath. A long one which included my mom badgering me to write. I resisted. I’d flip my hand and poo-poo her. A regret I’ll never overcome. On Thursday, 5 July 2012, my delightful, comedic mom left this world. I wasn’t ready. I had things to say. Give me one more moment with her sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee. I was so stunned and in shock. I couldn’t cry. I turned into a zombie. The Walking Dead has nothing on me.

Two weeks later, I opened MS Word. I typed, and I typed some more. I know I ate. I’d never dismiss food. Sleep was optional. I couldn’t stop. Obsessed. Determined. I inherited my strong will from my mom. After three years, Mindfield published.

That’s my story. What’s yours?