The Write Time & Place!











{January 1, 2010}   Happy 2010!!

Howdy!  Happy 2010 to everyone!  It’s a new year already, and it’s time I get back to thinking about writing.  The holiday season always takes me away from my writing schedule.  This year it had a lot of help with some crises.  First, I nearly lost my sister (there’s a post here all about her battle).  She’s regaining her health, but it is taking a long time, which is what she was told to expect.  Second, I have a very dear aunt–my dad’s sister–and she had her own health emergency.  She went in for a routine biopsy and when they took her into the operating room, her heart went bonkers!  Her heart beat decided to accelerate to 180 beats per minute and wouldn’t slow down.  Immediately, they took her down to the cardiac intensive care unit where they literally flatlined her, waited a few seconds, and restarted her heart.  She spent two more days in the hospital and was sent home.  We’re a) very glad she’s still with us and b) hoping the problem can be stabilized with meds instead of a pacemaker.  Lastly, I had my own bout of illness.  A teenie tiny minor bout–just to put it in perspective with everything else.  I got an infection in my jaw.  Who knew that could happen?  Not me.  The entire left side of my face was in pain and I couldn’t eat–not that that’s necessarily a bad thing!–but the sensitivity was not good at all.  Once they cleared up the infection, I went in for the dreaded root canal!  Oh well, I can eat and talk and drink and touch the left side of my face again so all is definitely well!

So there you have it…the holiday season of 2009 was packed with more than just celebrations.  And all of it lent itself to tossing out my writing schedule completely.

I don’t make new year resolutions.  Why make a promise to yourself you know you can’t/won’t keep?  Isn’t that setting yourself up for additional disappointment–this time doled out by yourself to yourself?  No thank you!

I have a writing friend–Jay–who’s put it all in plain words for me.  In a recent email he said–and I quote–“We both know that after the new year you need to get back to it!”  He’s right, of course.  I do need to get back to it.

I have a lot to be thankful for from 2009:

  1. I had 4 releases…two novels and 2 shorts, all of which were released in e-format as well as paperback.

  2. I still have a sister and an aunt.

  3. I have my health.

  4. I have my husband.

  5. I have my family.

  6. I received rave professional reviews on all of my releases.

  7. I received 1 less than stellar, but still positive review on one of my releases.

  8. I took a couple fabulous trips this year, which aided in building wonderful memories.

See?  I have a lot to be thankful for…and I could have listed many more, but I figured mostly you all would be interested in the writing blessings, with a few personal blessings thrown in.  With regards to bullet no. 2, I have my very own personal miracles for which I will be eternally grateful.

Okay, so I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season.  May your Christmas have been blessed with love and great joy.  May 2010 be the best of the best and loaded with blessings of all kinds.

Until next time…

Valerie

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{December 13, 2009}   O.K,. so it’s been a while…

Yeah, it’s been a while since I was last here with anything personal.  Thanksgiving and Christmas have kept me fairly busy, but mostly I was away on family emergencies.

My older sister, Shelley, nearly died from the H1N1.  She spent some time in ICU on a ventilator struggling for her life.  That was 2 weeks ago.  She’s home, but still dealing with health issues, which I pray end very soon so that she is well for Christmas.  She’s got a new grandson, and I want her to be healthy so she can experience this first Christmas with him.

Having her survive is a miracle, and I am eternally thankful for answered prayers and a healing touch from God.

Yesterday, my younger sister and her girls–and their friends–came for a visit.  We spent the day doing the Christmas baking.  Several hundred cookies later, we collapsed exhausted all around the living room to watch a holiday movie.  I love having family at my home.  It’s just such a blessing to be surrounded by people you love, knowing they love you back!

I’ve been scouring the ‘net for items I’ve missed regarding my work…reviews and such…which I’ll be posting throughout the week.

Another year has come and practically gone.  2010 will be here before we know it.  I’m hopeful for fresh beginnings on some works I have in progress.  I’m trying to get book one in a new series revised and completed and submitted to a publisher.  I have a couple short fiction pieces I want to submit to Eternal Press, too.  I keep saying I’m waiting for things to slow down, but I can’t wait on that…need to embrace the new year with gusto!

Happy Sunday!



{November 16, 2009}   Writing News…

I’ve received fan mail from several readers expressing a strong desire to read more about the United Universe and Spade.  So I am very happy to report that I’ve discussed book two with my publisher, Asylett Press.  As soon as I have run a cursory edit, the sequel will be sent to the publisher for release in 2010.

As I’ve said before, I am quite pleased with the reader reaction to GeeWhiz.  And I’m thrilled with reviewer reaction!

I’m also working on the final edit of book two in the Myerson Mystery series so that I can submit that to BookStrand for a release in 2010.

I’m writing a new book set in St. Ignace, too.  My husband and I visited St. Ignace a couple years ago and I fell in love with the area.  The community just seemed so close-knit.  I loved the live shows at the public marina.  It’s simply stunning, too.  I hope to have it written in 2010 and submitted for release the following year.

Of course, I’m always working on short fiction.

A lot coming up.  A lot to look forward to!



{November 14, 2009}   Another new video!

Okay, I’m enjoying creating these short little promotional videos, so here’s a new one for Montana Reins!  When Montana Reins first came out, Icouldn’t decide what to put in the book trailer.  I compiled a folder of royalty-free photos, but just couldn’t seem to get them all to mesh into a book trailer.  Finally, I think I have it right!  😛



{October 13, 2009}   Good News Indeed!
Spy/Suspense/Humor

Spy/Suspense/Humor

Hi There!

Just had to share the good news! My 2009 Asylett Press release–GeeWhiz Meets S.H.A.F.T. has its first review and it’s fantastic! The review is furnished by Readers Favorite Book Reviews.

Here’s the book’s blurb: Milton “Milo” Gee, the only surviving partner of the Gee-Whiz Detective Agency, is determined to solve the murder of his partner, Chaz Whiz. When he’s approached by two gorgeous dames-er, women-who want to enlist his talents to save the life of a Canadian Mountie, he’s not overly interested. But a man has eyes and dames have gams and Milo’s were fixed on these dames’ long, shapely legs…when he wasn’t gazing deep into their bedroom eyes. His resistance begins to crumble once they use their powers of persuasion…some of which might actually be considered violent. Turns out, these ladies are members of the United Universe-a secret agency dedicated to maintaining world peace-and the Mountie is one of their top gents, a.k.a. The Ghost. Once Milo passes his physical, he’s christened with his new UU operative codename: “Spade” and they set out to reel in the Mountie. But this operation is not going to be so simple-The S.H.A.F.T, an organization bent on world domination, wants the Ghost, too. Armed with cool weapons James Bond would love to have, Spade is determined to get his man…but he never expects to end up with a dame-er, woman!

And here’s the review: This James Bond spoof is hilarious. Valerie J. Patterson has a winner! I’d love to see this made into a movie with Ben Stiller in the starring role. The characters are over the top. This is sure to be a laugh out loud funny hit. The cliches remind me of an old Humphrey Bogart movie.

Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about! 😛 😛

Here’s the thing…I was sincerely worried my sense of humor would not be everyone else’s sense of humor, which led to me worrying about how well the book would be received. Reader feedback has been stupendous…and a pleasant surprise. A woman stopped me on the street about two months ago and demanded a sequel to the book! She said–and I quote–“There had better be another book for Spade.”

After I picked my jaw up off the street, I broke out into a wide smile and told her there was a sequel on the horizon!

A writer is nothing without her readers. Thank you for accepting Spade with wide open arms! We both appreciate it!

Until next time…

Valerie



{October 11, 2009}   Woot! Woot!

I don’t know when it happened, but it happened!  And I’m very excited about it.

My Eternal Press book page for That Taste of Orange is up and active.  You can find it here!  Yay!

The excerpt and blurb are there, too.  I just love the cover!  Make sure you pop on over and read all about my November 7th release!  Can’t wait for the launch party in November, either.

I’m excited for many reasons.  One: this is my last release of 2009 <sigh>  Yes, I’m sighing with relief!  This has been a jam-packed year for me with new releases, and I’ve not had a chance to finish any of my other projects.  Two: this is my last release of 2009 <wistful sigh>  As busy as it’s been–and it’s been busy–I’ve enjoyed each and every new release from start to finish.  2009 brought me to Eternal Press and to Bookstrand, and the experiences have been wonderful.  I’m enjoying getting to know everyone at each place all while I keep active on the Asylett Press authors’ loop as well.  I almost hate to see the 2009 release madness end!  Three: That Taste of Orange is one of my favorite short fiction pieces.  I truly enjoyed writing the story, creating the characters–who are fabulous, by the way–and resolving the conflict between them in a somewhat steamy way (but not so steamy some of my regulars would not want to read this terrific story).  Four: have I mentioned that cover?  Great covers always get me revved up for a release, and this is a great cover.

So please join me in my excitement, and get ready for my November 7th release with me!  Leave me a comment after you’ve had a chance to read the blurb and the excerpt and give me your thoughts.  Email’s always another option, too!  I love getting your emails so keep them coming!

Until next time…Happy writing!

Valerie



{October 6, 2009}   Cover Corner: Patricia Lieb

The Write Time & Place is so very pleased to welcome the very accomplished and talented author, Patricia Lieb.  Patricia is an award-winning journalist this writer is happy to see make the transition to fiction and non-fiction writing.  Her work has taken her to many places, to meet many interesting people, and enabled her to turn those experiences into wonderfully written books.  Settle in and enjoy getting to know Patricia!  When your journey ends–at the bottom of the post–please leave her a comment with your thoughts! … Thanks! … ~Valerie

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BBL_BookFront_LRG

An Excerpt:

Down in the Caddo Parish marshlands, a young Indian stood in a tiny back room adjoining the butcher shop at Jake Minor’s Fish Camp. She clutched a tarnished knife handle in her fist and rested the sharp blade against the feed-sack dress draped from her shoulders and over her protruding belly. The knife, hidden in her bedding the day before, had been a tool used in butchering a hog for one of the camp’s regular customers. He had come late in the evening to pick up his pork. He had then left a steer—a steer that might hang in the smokehouse forever. Within the hour, neither she nor Jake Minor would be on hand to butcher it. She’d be gone and he’d be dead.

Her thoughts briefly touched upon the familiar face of the handsome young Mexican, Rowe…the only man she had ever trusted. Or loved. If only he could have taken her away. Now she had no choice but to continue this path.

On the other side of the rustic log wall, Jake’s skeleton key scraped inside the door lock. Shanna braced herself, each screech freezing the sweat beads bubbling from her forehead. Then came the familiar click as the brass lock slid from the doorjamb. In less than a moment, Jake pushed and the door sprang open.

Shanna was too terrified to move.

The flames in Jake’s icy-blue eyes flared at her through strands of straw-colored hair. Hair that circled his head like a fallen halo. Her body jerked in fear. What had she planned to do? But the knife seemed to have a mind of its own. Quick as a snap, her hand raised and the blade plunged into flesh covering Jake’s heart.

Vacantly, she watched blood spew from his hairy chest like muddy water from a broken dam. For an instant, a scene of the Red River flashed through her mind. Her father, mother and brother had camped along its shore. That day, she was nabbed and brought to Jake’s place by a terrorizing group of masked horsemen.

“You…c-crazy…sq-squaw,” Jake stammered, barely able to speak. He stumbled, his white hairy arms reaching for her.

Her body seemed still, yet she felt herself backing into a crate box used for a nightstand in the dim room. Her focus stayed glued on the one who had owned her half her sixteen years. Now, she watched the scene unfold: the fat man gasped, his white stare rolling over something on the dingy plank ceiling above her. And then—WHUMP!—his belly smacked hard onto the dank floor, humping twice before it sank to a final climax.

“Jake Minor is dead now,” she whispered, her unsure words bouncing from the four walls encasing her. Her psyche spun in and out of the scene. She stared at the bloody knife in her trembling hand. At the body lying on the floor alongside the narrow unmade bed where she had lain awake most of the night comprehending freedom. Now this panorama was surely a nightmare, even though she had accomplished this mission many times in her dreams. Jake Minor was an evil man, and death became him. Getting a grip on herself, her mind settled somewhat and she inched closer to Jake’s motionless body. There had been so many nights over the last eight years she had wanted to destroy this bad man. And now that she had, she was mystified. She must run away from this Caddo Lake marsh, from this parish, from all Louisiana without hesitation. She must find the main stream of the Red River and follow it north through the Arkansas backlands, and then northwest to the Land of Indians.

She watched as blood slowly formed a pool around Jake’s lifeless body. His obese lard-white trunk was now splattered with maroon, the muscles in his big arms useless to fight, and the thick pee-stained underwear covering his buttocks and legs now darkened with blood and muck. She had seen Jake passed out many times, but always from his consumption of too much corn-mash rather than death. During some of his blackouts, she had run away but had never made it out of the marshlands. Times when Jake had slept through her absence, his outlaw and whisky-making friends had hunted her down and brought her back like a trapped animal. After a painful flee attempt last winter, she had become too frightened to try again. Rather than for herself, she now considered the destiny of the seed ready to sprout from her womanhood.

Shanna put her hand to her stomach. “Soon you will be safe Little Soul.”

Unexpectedly—was it stomping on the plank porch outside the store? And then the cowbell on the screened door dinged as somebody entered. Heavy boots jarred the soft pine floor so the joists cracked. Shanna slapped her knife-filled fist over her mouth.

Run, she told herself. She peered wide-eyed around the cluttered room. There was no exit. The only door led to the storefront. And Jake had nailed wooden bars over the window opening after her last escape attempt.

Her body stiff, she analyzed the knife in her hand, the body on the floor, and the four walls penning her in like a bound swine in a slaughterhouse. She saw two, now four, now numerous broken images of her life, of this room, of Jake zapping here and there. These fragments seemed to keep time with the thump of boot heels stamping through the storefront.

She had killed one man today. She really didn’t want another notch on her knife, but should the intruder be one of Jake’s Raider Outlaws there surely would be trouble.

Bert, from way down in the parish, was due in next week. Perhaps he had come for his meat early. But Bert’s steer was hanging in the smokehouse and yet to be butchered. He would know that.

“Minor, you here? Might as well show your face.”

Oh no! The demanding voice jarred Shanna like a lightening bolt.

Oh my Ayimat Caddi, she cried silently, and more to herself than to the Great Spirit. Why had this bad man returned? Yesterday, he and Jake had done business, trading guns, animal skins and whisky. It wasn’t like one to return so soon.

“Minor,” he called again. “You held out on me. You still owe me.”

Shanna trembled at his words, then the silence, and then the ruffle of products being shuffled about over store shelves.

“You here Minor? Better come on out. I’m taking what you owe me with or without your presence. Come on out if you’re not too drunk. Else I might take the wrong stuff.”

His boot heels clunked louder on the plank flooring. Then Shanna heard his stepping onto the gray slate surrounding the black cast-iron stove. She heard the soup ladle sloshing in the crock-pot. The thick aroma of day-old gumbo steam and the shocking taste of human blood blended in her nostrils. Gagging, she refused to vomit, and swallowed the sour matter bubbling in her throat.

The intruder sipped and slurped loudly.

This time she heaved, and everything inside her flew from her mouth and scattered with the bank of blood. She held her hand to her chest and hoped the man in the next room had not heard the commotion.

As seconds passed, blood flowed less and less from underneath Jake Minor. Suddenly, Shanna’s gaze fell to the sticky dark liquid now oozing like a nightmare underneath the door. To Continue Reading

The Reviews:

“Bridged by Love,” by Patricia Lieb – Spring Hill resident Lieb has written a historical adventure set in the late 1880s in Texarkana, a city that straddles the Texas-Arkansas line. Lieb draws on a bounty of historical knowledge to craft a tale of two women – one native American, the other white – linked together in a fight against injustice. ~ Tampa Tribune

* * * *

Bridged By Love by Patricia Lieb is aptly titled, and represents the connection between a young Native American girl who was kidnapped by an abusive white man, and a strong, independent western woman who makes her living as a lumberjack.

The book opens with a day in Shanna’s tortured life with Jake Minor—her owner—the man who stole her from her family when she was just a young girl. He uses her as a slave, as a whore for his friends, and as a means of pleasure for himself. To use a trite and overworked cliché, what doesn’t kill Shanna serves only to make her stronger and more resolved to find her way back to her people—back to her family.

Shanna—a full nine months pregnant—puts a plan into motion and leaves the fish camp where she’s been a captive for years, but she must constantly keep one eye on the way before her and one eye on the way behind her. She can’t risk being caught and brought back to the fish camp—to a way of life that only brought her pain and suffering. It’s shortly after her escape that she gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. All alone and with no safe haven to run to, Shanna forges on ahead in her goal of finding the one woman she hopes can help her.

Kathryn Williams is no stranger to pain and heartache, either. A failed marriage. A miscarriage. A divorce during a time when it was virtually unheard of. And a life that’s lonely for a woman who truly wants a husband and a family. Kathryn has much support in her life. Her mother resides with her plus there are several people who love and protect her. There’s one man who’s loved her all her life. There’s another Kathryn loves and wants to share the rest of her life. One knows her pain. The other knows she’s divorced and is allowing that to stand in his way. One wants nothing more than to shower her with affection. The other can’t seem to see past her strength and independence. Kathryn’s heart has room for both men in different ways.

When Shanna crosses paths with Kathryn, she immediately places her trust—as well as her son—in Kathryn’s hands. Shanna knows men are coming for her to take her back to the fish camp. She knows her son will not survive in that type of environment. If only she could get to the land where her people have relocated—to where her family is—she’ll finally find peace and happiness. But peace and happiness have a price for a woman on the run. Shanna must leave behind her son.

When Kathryn’s ex-husband, Alex returns, Kathryn immediately suspects he’s up to no good. Shanna knows Alex as well, and knows for a fact he’s up to no good. When Alex promises to take Shanna to the land of her people, she has no choice but to go with him. She walks away from Kathryn and from her son, and endures more mistreatment from Alex during the journey to her family. Soon after her departure, her son—now named Aaron by Kathryn—takes ill. Out of desperation, Kathryn takes the baby, hitches up a wagon, and heads out to find Shanna, knowing the young woman was the only one who could provide what Aaron needed.

The journeys both women take are riveting, pulling the reader right into their stories. You can’t help but cheer each on to happiness and the futures they deserve. If this reviewer had any complaints it would be that the man Kathryn chooses is not worthy of her. He’s too caught up in the reveries of another woman, in the fact that Kathryn can provide for herself and doesn’t need a man to make her a woman, and doesn’t truly get past her past to love her in the way she deserves to be loved.

If you’re looking for a book that brings you history, a hint or two of mystery, romance, and good strong characters that you’ll willingly love and dislike then Bridged By Love by Patricia Lieb is the book for you. Leave your cares behind and travel inside the lives of Shanna and Kathryn. Their stories will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

Bea

Reviewer, WritersWall.com

4 bricks out of 5

Buy the paperback!

Buy the e-book!



{September 1, 2009}   Cover Corner: Harvey Tate

Welcome to Cover Corner. Please join me in welcoming a talented writer and an all around decent chap…Harvey Tate. Harvey’s busy promoting his current release As The Wind Walks with Asylett Press, and preparing for a new release with Champagne Books. Take a moment to read a blurb of As The Wind Walks, learn a little about Harvey, and leave him a comment to let him know you liked what you saw and read. Thanks so much! …Valerie

As The Wind Walks…

ATWW_BookFront_LRGAs The Wind Walks is an epic tale of two men who represent two different eras, their wars and loves. Both grow and mature in crucibles of conflict–the Civil War and World War II.

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David Werner is a ninety-four year old veteran of the American Civil war. His great grandson, Edmund Carter faces maturity in 1940s Baltimore.

While his great grandfather recounts his time in the Union Army, after enlisting at the age of fourteen, Edmund considers his own immediate future in the military. As the candle burns low for David, Edmund’s flame and passion are ignited–not only for war, but for a remarkable girl.

The Civil War and World War II sagas take in the Fifty-Fifth Ohio Volunteer Regiment of 1861 to 1865, and the Marine Raiders in the Pacific. The story uncovers two loves amongst the misery of these wars–the love between grandfather and grandson, and their love for the women who guide them. It also encompasses the friendships that strengthen their characters. It is an account told through the eyes of ordinary men who stood tall at a time when their country needed them.

All About Harvey Tate:

Harvey R. Tate was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania and raised in the Canton section of Baltimore, Maryland. He stumbled into a love of learning while attending California University of Pennsylvania–graduating with a degree in education. He later earned a Master’s Degree from Towson University. He counts three children and seven grandchildren among his accomplishments.

After thirty-one years as a teacher and high school administrator, all in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Harvey retired. He and his wife Susan are recent transplants to Virginia and the Richmond area. He writes for the love of it, and to answer the questions “What are you doing now” and “What are the perfect words that fit the universal puzzle”. He has authored three novels. His writing influences include Loren Eiseley, Michael Shaara, Ray Bradbury, and early comic books.

A creature of habit, Harvey can be found on most days ordering a decaf Americano at Coffee Lane in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

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Well, my husband surprised me with a lovely trip to Delaware.  We were all over that state!  I loved every minute of it.  The beaches are simply wonderful.  We spent the most time at Rehoboth Beach, which is huge.  We also went to Lewes Beach and Slaughter Beach (yes, that’s the real–and scary–name of the beach).  We found out AFTER we were there that a swimmer at Slaughter Beach was bitten by a shark on July 3, 2009.  And, so, that explained why we were the only people on the beach the day we visited!  I really enjoyed my time in Delaware.  So much to see and do!  Such warm and friendly people, too.  We took a coastal highway route home and crossed the massive Bay Bridge.  Lovely scenery across that bridge.  As awesome as the Bay Bridge is, my absolute favorite bridge is the Mighty Mack, which goes to Saint Ignace.

So, I brought home a bottle of sand from the beaches as is my custom when visiting the beach.  I also accumulated a variety of sea shells to put in/on the sand when I display it on the buffet in my home.  I have sand from all over:  Nova Scotia, Saint Ignace, Mackinac Island, and Africa just to name a few.

Aside from the beaches, we visited Wilmington, Dover, Harrington, Lewes, Rehoboth, Milford, and a few more cities/towns.  Spent lots of time at the Dover Air Force Base’s museum, too.  Wow!  Those planes are humongous!

It was a lovely trip and we built some great memories and have some fantastic photos to fondly look back on.

In other news, I finished my edit for Honor Thy Neighbor, which is a huge load off my plate and my shoulders.  I went through the edit several times to make sure it was as I wanted it, and that I’d made all the necessary changes/revisions/deletions.  I’m so excited about the release.  I love these characters  and I can’t wait to gain some reader feedback on them!

Her Last continues to hold it’s own in sales, which I pray just continues deep into September so that when Honor Thy Neighbor is released in September, it can gain some momentum from readers of Her Last.  Every little boost helps!

My sister called today to tell me she’s been reading my other new release from 2009–GeeWhiz Meets SHAFT.  Nothing but rave reviews!  She said she was sitting on a bench on campus today laughing out loud, which just had me beaming and grinning ear-to-ear.

I got the first round of edits for my November release–That Taste of Orange–my holiday short fiction.  I’m so excited about that release, too.  This will be the final release of 2009 for me, which closes out the year with 4–two full-length novels and two short fiction pieces.  While the joy never seems to end, neither does the work involved in 4 releases in 1 year.  I told Steve last night, I didn’t think I wanted to do that again!  But who knows, eh?  If the opportunity presents itself…

Okay, there’s a storm loudly making its presence known outside, so I better end this and get it posted.  Thank you for reading my blog, and especially for visiting the days when I showcase a new author on Cover Corner.  😛



et cetera