PSA: Houston and Harvey

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To all the folks in Houston, my heart goes out to you. This includes my brother and his family, and my niece and her family. They are safe for the moment, but… Please, I ask you to keep them, and all the people of that area, in your thoughts.

So why didn’t they leave, you ask? The areas where they live are considered “safe”. Other people were actually being evacuated to their areas. But who ever heard of getting over four feet of rain in just a couple of days? Yes, they are dry for the moment, but the water keeps rising and now… there’s no way out. All the roads are flooded. So they sit. And wait. Knowing there is nothing they can do to stop it.

For the rest of us, we sit and watch. But there is something we can do. We can donate to those organizations who will help these people. They will provide food, shelter, comfort, and, eventually, help rebuild. I urge everyone to donate what they can to these organizations. BUT BEFORE YOU DO… make sure it is a legitimate organization. Do your homework. There are leeches out there who prey on the woes of others. They will take your money and do nothing. Below are just a few places where you can donate and it will do some good:

The Mennonite Disaster Service: http://www.mds.mennonite.net

National Organizations

The American Red Cross is accepting donations on its website. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.

AmeriCares takes medicine and supplies to survivors.

Catholic Charities provides food, clothing, shelter and support services to those from all religious backgrounds.

Donations to the Salvation Army can be made online, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or texting STORM to 51555.

Local Organizations

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, which is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Houston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christi are asking for donations.

Carter BloodCare covers hospitals in north, central and east Texas. To donate, call 877-571-1000 or text DONATE4LIFE to 444-999.

To help animals suffering from the disaster, visit the Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society.

The Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio is asking for diapers and wipes, which can be dropped off in person or mailed to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Tex., 78238.

Check out this article by the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/28/us/donate-harvey-charities-scams.html?mcubz=1

And this one by Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-charities-hurricane-harvey-2017-8

Thank you.

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Guest Post: Natalie Damschroder

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Perfect Vision FinalThank you so much for letting me guest here at The Whole Shebang!

I am really excited to celebrate the release of the third book in The Fusion Series, which closes out the trilogy. (So those of you who like to wait until a series is done before reading it…it’s done! LOL)

 

This all began with a germ of an idea a few years ago. I looooved YA romance and other YA fiction when I was growing up, and early in my writing career, it didn’t really seem to exist. Thankfully, that’s changed, bigtime. I’m loving reading it even more now than I did then. But I didn’t think I could write it. I didn’t feel like a normal teenager when I was one! But my writer brain started playing with “what if” scenarios when Supernatural was doing the whole “lost my grace” thing with Anna the angel a great many seasons ago.

 

What if a teenager found out she was half angel?

What if her angel soul had been lost at her birth?

What if that missing soul made her feel disconnected from the world?

Well, that hit me hard. For a long time in my adolescence, I’d get this strange sensation I could never adequately describe. It was a hyperawareness of being inside myself looking out, as if my consciousness didn’t belong there or something. And I also felt out of touch emotionally. Disconnected. And I remember thinking that it would be cool to have a reason for that, beyond the boring explanation that all teenagers have to figure out who  they are.

So that’s what started everything off. It ended up putting Roxie at the center of a vast set of worlds she never knew existed. Through the trilogy, she and her friends have to save those worlds (and each other) several times. And each time, the obstacles get tougher, the enemies get scarier, and the people she loves fall further and further into danger.

I hope you’ll give the series a try! Visit my website to read the blurbs and excerpts and access the buy links. Thanks!

Guest Post: Victoria Smith

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Today, I’m welcoming my friend, chapter mate, and crit partner, Victoria Smith, to talk about her new book.

intothefireIn Olivia Sanders’ world, people like her don’t survive very long. Special
abilities are a threat to the corrupt government and those loyal. Olivia and those with similar abilities struggle to keep their secrets as new laws threaten them daily. Though hiding isn’t enough for Olivia. A healer and firestarter, she works with the resistance to ensure the safety of the people of her sector, toiling in an unforgiving world without freedom or hope with the goal that someday they will find both.

Poisoned by someone she should never have trusted, betrayed by her
godfather, the former governor, who is using disturbing methods to control
the population and grow his army, Olivia is forced to seek help from Luke Jamison, the leader of the resistance. They join forces with his brother, Matt, and Jillian Derrick, a hard-as-nails woman leading a band of “undesirables” to safety.
As conditions in the sector deteriorate and the death toll climbs ever
higher, Olivia and Luke, Jillian and Matt, cling to the miracle of found
love while facing the horror of a future without each other.

 

Victoria Smith lives in Central PA with her high school sweetheart and way too many animals. She writes paranormal, urban fantasy, and dystopian—all with romance, because who doesn’t love a happy ending? She publishes with Liquid Silver Books and Soul Mate Publishing. Visit her at http://vickismith.blogspot.com.

Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Smith/e/B00QCI2VZG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490140200&sr=8-1

Blog – http://vickismith.blogspot.com/

Twitter – @smith_victoria

 

Every Death You Take/Adventures Vol 1!

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adventures-in-ghostsitting-paperbackHi there! Super excited to bring you two things today 🙂 Every Death You Take – the third novella in my Adventures in Ghostsitting series is here in ebook format! And at the same time, the lovely Wild Rose Press has also made available a paperback that complies the first three of the novellas – Desperately Seeking Salvage, Don’t Dream It’s Rover and Every Death You Take. I hope you’ll check them all out. I love these stories 🙂 Have a great day!

Here are the links:

Adventures in Ghostsitting Paperback! Buy it now

 

every-death-you-takeEvery Death You Take Buy it Now

Adventures in Ghostsitting Book 3

They’ve faced a crazy ghost and a madwoman, gained new friends, and sent foes to their final resting place, but Mel Hargrove and her boyfriend Becker are not sure what to do with this new situation.

Every year Mel takes a reliable (and portable) ghost to do a routine bad-mojo cleaning for a lovely woman who lives in town, and all goes well until she comes out to the car and finds a new, unknown ghost sitting in her back seat. How can she be just roaming around unattached to any object, unlike any ghosts Mel knows? Is she a brand-new ghost? Where did she come from? And why is she singing a theme song from an ’80s television show? Mel and Becker will have to find the answers — and the dead girl’s body — before it’s too late to help this lost maiden-ghost in distress.

Rating: non-romance
Page Count: 75
Word Count: 18695
978-1-5092-1518-8 Digital

Excerpt

Dougal shot through and held up six fingers.

He was fast, he was awesome, and if they could get out of there soon, before Mrs. F tried to dig into any other pockets that Mel wasn’t ready to examine, she might just survive the afternoon.

“But silly me,” Mrs. F went on. “You asked about the family.” She placed a finger sandwich on her own plate, then poured herself a cup of tea from the silver tea service. “It was fine. I don’t think they want to come around anymore, since I seem to be taking too long to die.”

“Oh, Mrs. F, don’t say that.”

“No, dear, don’t worry about it. I’ve known it for years, but I kept hoping I might be wrong. However, some things were said this time that I just can’t ignore. I don’t believe I’ll be inviting them back. I do hope you’ll still come to visit me, though. The only time I see you in my house is right after they leave. Your attempt to make me feel better after they go is much appreciated, but I hope your visits won’t stop just because the relatives don’t come around anymore.”

“No, of course not. I love to spend time with you.” And surprisingly enough, that was true. Plus, Mel might ask her some questions about this whole thing with Becker. Not today, of course, because she wasn’t ready. Another time, though, and at least she knew she had someone alive in town who cared.

Dougal swooped through and flashed a thirteen at her—ten, then three. That was more than normal. And he was moving fast. Soon she’d be leaving. No matter how she’d felt earlier, now she wasn’t sure she wanted to.

“Your dog is handsome,” Mrs. F said between bites. “I heard he came to you through that lovely Becker.”

Mel launched into the revised version of the story, since she couldn’t tell her about the evil woman turning to dust and the crossing that they’d had to do once she was dead. But she’d become adept at telling only the fringes of stories, and that was just fine with her.

Dougal flashed through again and made a zero with his hands. So they were done, quicker than they ever had been before. He was good, really good. So good that she didn’t feel any negative energy left in the place at all. Nice. She’d known bringing him was the right thing. Originally, it had been just to see how he would do on his own on a relatively easy cleaning. Now, she was extremely pleased that he’d passed with flying colors.

Time to make her excuses and her exit.

“Mrs. F, I’d better get back. It’s time for doggie treats for Mumford, and he usually takes a nap in the afternoon.”

Mrs. F smiled, and it crinkled her blue eyes. “What a cutie he is and, really, so well-behaved. Aren’t you, sweetie?” She bent over to give him a scratch behind his ears. “I admit I was nervous when you first arrived, but now, I must say, I feel so much better. Perhaps I should think about getting myself a dog. They certainly do brighten a place up.”

Or destroy a home, if she didn’t get a good one. Mel couldn’t imagine all this refinished furniture surviving a brute of a dog, but she’d leave that to Mrs. F. And maybe the local vet, who had a heart of gold. “Let Becker know if you’re looking. He could help you out.”

“I’ll certainly keep that in mind. And you remember that if you need anything, I’m right here. I won’t have many people coming around anymore, so I’d welcome the company.”

Mel waved on her way out, then was pleased to see Dougal already in the car. What she wasn’t pleased about was seeing someone—or something—in the back seat with him.

Guest Author: Susan V. Vaughn

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Romance Author, Susan V. Vaughn understood the meaning of sarcasm before she could walk.  Her childhood in the suburbs of Detroit was spent mainly trying to outwit her six creative siblings.  When she wasn’t working on the next soul crushing jab, she sharpened her imagination on romantic literature and day dreamed about her knight in shining armor.

It didn’t take long for this hairdresser by trade to turn her passion for reading romances into writing her own unique love stories. Susan lives her life finding laughter in all situations, and delights in marrying sarcasm with romance to create realistic falling-in-love stories in the unlikeliest of scenarios.

Susan lives on the shores of Lake Huron with her real life knight in shining armor and enjoys watching their three children learn the art of sarcasm and wit.

UndeniableLove.v1-Amazon

 

Shane Reed won’t be swayed by love. He’s a city boy with a passion for tattoos and melting women’s hearts. Until he finds his bachelor status threatened by a beautiful news reporter he just can’t seem to forget.

Josie Brooks won’t let anything get in her way. She’s in Chicago to make her weather correspondent dreams come true. But when a dashing stranger comes crashing into her life, can she really ignore her heart’s desire to save her career?

 

When two paths entangle…resolves can be broken, hearts can be stolen, and a love can become undeniable.

EXCERPT FROM UNDENIABLE LOVE

“Shane.” She sighed, hating herself for enjoying this man. For allowing his touch. “You are so completely full of it.”

“Full of it? I’m telling the truth.”

Even if Megan hadn’t told her about the bet, the man was such an obvious player. He was used to getting his way with women. Too bad for him she wasn’t an easy target. “If this is your sad attempt at flirting with me, then I’m here to let you know that it’s not working.”

“Is that so?” He pulled her fingers to his lips and kissed the tips. “I’m sorry to disappoint you so much, my dear. I guess I just lack that southern gentleman charm.”

“That’s true. The men in the South definitely know how to treat a lady.”

“How’s that?”

“Where I come from, if a man likes a woman, he uses flattery instead of teasing.” She pulled her fingers from his clutches. “What are we? In grade school, Shane? If you like me, just say so.”

“I said you were beautiful, didn’t I?”

She blushed. “In a teasing way.”

“No, I said, the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.” His eyes deepened with intensity, capturing her own. “And I meant every word.”

Oh, damn. Her heart seemed to stop with the world around her. Suddenly, it was just Shane, with his intense brown eyes and sincere, handsome face.

ISBN (ebook): 978-1-945910-19-7

(Print): 978-1-945910-20-3

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071HP12PZ/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/undeniable-love-1

Five Authors, One Sentence!

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A Collection of Romance Novellas

a collection of romance novellasSeveral years ago, five authors met at a a conference and got to talking about stories, as authors do. The premise: That if 5 authors start with the same sentence, they will all write vastly different stories. So we did. The results: made of awesome. From contemporary to futuristic, these novellas have a little bit of everything, but most especially—love-filled happy endings.

Rebound by Allison B. Hanson
After wallowing in agony for weeks after a bad break-up, Reese is set up on a blind date. Reluctantly, he goes and meets the girl of his dreams. The only problem? He was at the wrong place and met the wrong girl. Now, desperate to find her, he scours the campus as fate weaves an impossible journey.

Lost and Found by Misty Simon
When Mike Emory sees his ex’s post on social media that she’s looking for her lost dog, he’s out the door in a flash. Their break-up was not amicable, but he loved that dog and can’t imagine him on his own. Elsie Hews has been scouring the streets for hours when she runs into the last person she wants helping her—the guy who never seemed to think she was capable of doing anything herself. This is her dog, though, her baby, and she’ll accept Mike’s help to find him, then say goodbye again. Or that’s the plan, at least…

Frozen Dreams by Victoria Smith
When a dangerous weather anomaly strikes, Jane will do whatever it takes to travel to be with her family. Even if it means getting stuck with her husband, Adam. Instead of talking to him about how they will never have a family, she took the chicken route and left, despite being deeply in love with him. Now they must face the storm and their emotions.

Through the Void by Natalie J. Damschroder
There’s only one thing Vix can do when she finds out about the secret life that has led to her husband’s coma—make that life hers. When she goes on her first mission through the void, however, she finds not only a new self-purpose, but her lost husband, as well. She did the impossible once. Can she do it again, and bring him home?

A Real Boy by Vicky Burkholder
Jillian Night is on the hunt for inter-planetary kidnappers. Her bosses demand she have a partner, but Jillian has had enough of human ones. She prefers to work alone so Fleet assigns her one of the new androids. Zeus is a little too real for Jillian’s comfort and she finds herself attracted to him—until she meets the real man pulling the strings. Maybe having a real, live partner wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Download for Free Now (universal link) or at the following vendors:

Amazon
Nook
iBooks
Kobo
Smashwords
Google Play
24 Symbols
Sribd

Goodreads

Non-Fiction Writing Book

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I’ve been writing and editing for a lot of years and the one comment I always get about my books is how good my world building is. A few years ago, I taught some classes on world building for fiction writers. In those classes, I gave out a short version of what I do when I’m creating a science fiction or fantasy world. From that handout grew this book. It’s now available at Amazon. If you do any kind of fiction writing, especially fantasy and science fiction, you might want to take a look. It’s in a question/answer style – I ask the questions, you answer them. And you can pick and choose what you want to use. It will help you build a better world.

World Building for Fiction Writers by [Burkholder, Vicky]

Buy here: Amazon

Thank you.

Vicky