On the 2nd day of Christmas…

Didn’t get the gift you wanted this Christmas? Like to read but didn’t get enough books? Not to worry, get a free eBook copy of Jake’s first book of love, The Unintended: R u sure??. Free from 12/26 through 12/30. Just go to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MIBTNVG to get yours and feel free to tell all your friends.

–despite all our faults and foibles, in the end it’s our love that matters.

The Winner is…

The winner of my LAST OF THE MOHICANS trivia contest last Friday at the Writer’s Group event at the Akron Barnes and Noble was….drum roll….Rui (Ray) Xu. Congratulations! He will receive a gift card to Barnes and Noble for his winning effort. Ray is also a writer with the group and has contributed “Now with Page numbers” and “The forthcoming anthology” to the groups anthologies. He says he is in the process of publishing a book of his own. Wish him well and success.
And thank you to all those who stopped by the table I was at to talk about and purchase my two books, The Unintended: R u sure?? and A Secret Lies Deep. (Available on Amazon in eBook and Print-on-demand format, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MIBTNVGhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/0692500278https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XMZ83D1https://www.amazon.com/dp/154324257X)

Recent Art Works

The first two images are stained-glass inlaid stepping stones that I have been starting to make. The designs are from pictures I’ve taken in my gardens around my home. With any luck I’ll will have created enough by next Spring-Summer to place in an area that’s near my grill that’s shaded and difficult to grow grass. I’ll then hopefully add a small bistro table and a couple of chairs – another relaxing place.

The last picture is my latest acrylic painting. For now, at least, I call it, SOAR.

Just a bit too odd…

Would any of you find the following the least bit peculiar, odd, interesting, coincidental?Following the release of my second book I decided to add a dimension to my advertising – I decided to take a western U.S. book tour by car. The trip ended in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, a place where much of the story was centered. A few months later I decided to then take an eastern U.S. book tour, scheduling it to coincide with the Fall foliage color change. I first headed directly to the town in upstate New York where another good portion of the story took place, booking lodging at an old Victorian Bed and Breakfast, one that could have been the home where my main female protagonist would have stayed while she visited there. Okay, so nothing peculiar yet, right?! Or does something about the Victorian have something to do with what I’m about to tell you. Let me say, I still don’t know, although I can tell you that just as in my story, the Victorian B&B with its woodworking and collection of 19th century furniture could cause one’s mind to wonder about living in a bygone era.While I did promote my book and did happen to sell some copies, one of my other major goals was to check out some of the landmarks, some of the sites, that I included in the story. So, I found the old blacksmith’s shop which had survived at least three fires in the town’s history. When I found it, it was being used as a bridal shop. It had also been used as a car wash before that from the history I received from the bridal shop owner. The wood-beamed ceiling still had remnants of char from the fires. I also found the feeder canal that was used to transport goods to the Hudson River and up to Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence Seaway. It no longer transported goods but there was now a hiking and bicycle- riding path running the length of it. I found the Living History Museum which accepted my offering of a copy of my book. It was the museum where my main character did her research and where she first met the person she had been meant for – that first meeting was very peculiar in itself. There were other things I saw, like the famous cave on the Hudson River where James Fenimore Cooper’s character, Hawkeye, had his secret hideaway; Fort William Henry, where the British surrendered to the French during the French and Indian War and where a massacre occurred when the Indian allies of the French attacked the defenseless Brits. But the odd event, the peculiar event, happened when I paid a visit to an old historic church – a church I described in my story that had an immense and wonderful amount of stained-glass incorporated into one of its multi-storied walls. In order to understand what I’m about to tell you, you need to know that the city of Dallas, TX has a professional hockey team by the name of the Stars. Well, in my story, Eryn, the main character, is taken out on a date, which also turned out to be a business meeting, and the meeting just so happens to take place at the Star’s stadium while the team was playing the New York Rangers. Don’t get confused now – the Star’s stadium is in Dallas, TX, not in New York! So, I’m in the church, having found an open door to get in. It’s empty save for the pipe-organ music pervading and echoing off the ornate vaulted ceiling and walls. I’m then approached by a middle-aged man (not from behind, so I wasn’t spooked) who introduces himself as an associate pastor. He asks who I am and my reason for visiting. Of course I explain that I was looking to see if this was the church I described in my book. He could not verify if it was or was not but went on to say that the organist was practicing for an event that would fill the church to capacity that afternoon. Seeing my interest, he went on to explain that a funeral was to be held for a long-time sports announcer that was born and grew up in in the town. The announcer, Dave Strader, had done the play-by-play for the Dallas Stars for many, many years. Now, I know I felt something shoot through me when he said that. I’m too far removed from the event to remember it exactly, but I’m sure I was thinking, “How can this be?” It was really surreal that on the same day I come to visit, to search for a church I describe in my book, I find that a long-time announcer for an NHL team I include in my book is to be honored and interred in that same very church! Lest you think I set this up, that I knew of this announcer beforehand, you’d be absolutely wrong. I had never ever heard of him before this time.So, it is now 2019, about one and a half years removed from that trip, but there is one more very odd thing that has occurred. I finished writing A Secret Lies Deep, the book I’m speaking about, in late 2016, and editing in early 2017, finally publishing it in April of 2017. Since I’m a hockey fan and watch my share of games on TV, I come to find out that the Dallas Stars now have a player by the name of Miro Heiskanen and he was drafted by them in July of 2017. “So what,” you might say. Read on. Now, I don’t pay attention to collegiate or minor-league players much, unless they play for the Chicago Blackhawks, and I had never heard of Mr. Heiskanen before the 2017-2018 NHL Hockey season, so it struck me that how could it be that this player who plays for the Dallas Stars, again the Dallas Stars, and again the team that my protagonist, Eryn Heiskanen, goes to see in A Secret Lies Deep, has the exact same surname that I gave to Eryn’s character when I first introduced her in my first novel back in 2014? PECULIAR? ODD? INTERESTING? COINCIDENTAL? Who knows! I just felt I had to share this.

My latest painting – I didn’t initially plan for it to coincide with Easter, but thanks to a combined event that combines dance, jazz music, and a display of art by local artists, I strove to complete it for the event. If anyone is wondering, I did this in acrylic. The event is in Ashland, OH on April 6. Look up M.A.D.E. in Ashland or Neos Dance Theatre.

Anyone going to Homecoming?

man kissing woman s right hand
Photo by Andrii Nikolaienko on Pexels.com

“Hey, you want to go to the dance?”  Whether you have or haven’t asked or been asked, or you’re still hoping you will, you might want to check out The Unintended: R u sure??

It just may get you in the mood or may stimulate you to ask that boy or girl you’ve had your eye on.

Go for it!  You won’t regret it.

(This book will be available at Amazon.com for free starting on Thursday, Sept 6 and running through Monday, Sept 10.  After the 10th, it will revert back to $2.99 in eBook format)

Don’t miss your chance.  Direct link in the U.S. is   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MIBTNVG.  In the U.K. it is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MIBTNVG

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Are you a teen about to start or return to high school?  Perhaps you’re a parent of a teen.  If you are, you may want to consider reading The Unintended: R u sure??  In this fictional story which contains much truth you will find issues dealing with learning styles, parental expectations and parental love, dating (including homecoming), bragging peers, manipulation, uncertainty, and conflicting views within family.

This isn’t only a story about the 21st century.  You will also be introduced to a young couple in the mid-19th century as they deal with emerging changing social thought related to women’s rights and privilege.  Be prepared for some scoundrels, some flamboyant actors, and some paranormal activity, as well as the conundrum the heroines of both centuries face when their passions cloud and overcome their better judgement.