Thursday, June 22, 2017

NEWRELEASE: Moonrising Series by KS Haigwood & Anne Conley

Here's a special little treat for you Urban Fantasy Romance lovers out there! The first TWO books in the Moonrising series are FREE June 22nd, 23rd and 24th!

There is a new Alpha Wolf in town, and she is about to change everything.
Mena had all she wanted in life: a nice house, money, a successful husband who treated her like a queen. That was, until she found out her marriage was all a lie, and things she never thought could exist, did.
Vampires are real.
Werewolves are real.
And Mena is not human anymore.
Accepting the Moon - Prequel - FREE

Midnight Moonrising - Book 1 - FREE

Andromeda's Reign - Book 2 - $3.99
ME? I already got my copies...better grab yours!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Getting to Know You: #BlogFest

It's been a while since I posted (thanks to a family wedding, grand baby birthday and two eye surgeries to remove cataracts).

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and came across this fun blogfest on a blog I follow. It's open all summer, so feel free to jump in and join the fun!
  1. What did you want to be when you were a kid? 
    Initially I wanted to be a nurse, like my mother. By my teens, I wanted to be a dancer. Then life intervened along with marriage and two children by age 22. I stumbled through several jobs until I truly stumbled into my career into IT. Who knew?

  2. Which “Friends” character do you relate to the most? Why? 
    While I am most like Monica, I would have wanted to be Rachel but with a dash of both Phoebe and Monica. Rachel was the cheerleader I wanted to be as a kid, the popular one but with a kind heart as she grew older. I share Monica's obsession with neat and orderly but would love to be a little more unconventional and able to not care what others think of me.
  3. Do you like your name? Why? 
    It's okay. I disliked it in my tween/teen years, thinking it was too plain. Most of my adult life, I rarely ran into another "Donna" but since my 60's, I have found a lot more. I have over twenty Facebook friends named Donna.
  4. Are you messy or neat? 
    Way too neat at times, I tend to be OCD in some things but I've gotten a little looser with age. I let more things go that would have driven me nuts when I was younger.
  5. How tall are you? 
    5' 3"
  6. How tall were you when you were 10?
    Shorter than I am now.
  7. What is your guilty pleasure?
    Silly SciFi disaster movies and Hallmark channel romance movies.
  8. What are you saving money for right now?
    We want to build a pole barn on our property for hubby's future hobbies. he's always wanted to build a hot rod as well as restore old cars and trucks.
  9. How many Pringles can you eat at once? 
    On a good day, half a can. On a bad day, the whole thing.
  10. Tea or coffee?
    Coffee but every 5-10 years, I switch to tea for a couple months.
  11. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? 
    I've always said I was an introvert but after reading a lot, I acknowledge that I'm more of an ambivert. I can socialize when needed but definitely need my down time. I could easily become a hermit, if allowed.
  12. What will be your Halloween costume this year?
    No costume...haven't done one in several years.
  13. Sweet or salty?
    Yes...the mix of the two is the best!
  14. Favourite social media?
    Facebook, mainly because most of my extended family and many, many friends are on there. I also am on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram but pretty much ignore them other than to share blog posts.
  15. Who is the last person you kissed?
    My husband!
  16. What is your favourite breakfast?
    It used to be bacon and eggs but that's been replaced with fresh fruit and Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla yogurt with crushed walnuts.
  17. When is your birthday?
    September - and whether you believe or not, I'm not only a Virgo but a double Virgo (moon and sun signs). The characteristics are SOOOOO me!
  18. When did you start your blog?
    My first official blog, now closed and merged into my main personal blog, was started in 2006. I was widowed in 2004, rode cross country on my Harley-Davidson motorcycle in 2005 (42 states, 27k miles across a couple of trips) and in 2006 decided to sell my house and become a full-time RVer so I could continue travel. Since that first blog I have several others, some closed and some merged into my current personal blog.

    I now have this blog, DB McNicol, author,  our personal blog [Our Prime Years], a shopping/gift blog [Shopping, Just for Fun], and recently started a personal thoughts blog [Hopping Thru].
  19. What is your opinion on the Kardashians?
    Narcissistic nobodies!
  20. How would you describe your style?
    Fashion? T-shirts and jeans. I dress for comfort, for the most part. I am slowly transitioning my wardrobe into colors that work best for me.

    Decor? Country but not too rustic, a little eclectic but definitely comfortable.
  21. What colour is your hair?
    Grey...I quit coloring when I turned fifty and haven't looked back.
  22. What colour socks are you wearing?
    None - it's a flip-flop day!
  23. What is your dream job?
    I had my dream job in IT, it suited me. Now retirement is my dream job and I'm loving it!
  24. Dogs or cats?
  25. What makes you weird?
    I think you'd need to ask my husband that question. LOL!
  26. Celebrity crush?
    Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, John Barrowman...the list could go on and on.
  27. Opinion on cigarettes?
    Never smoked, now allergic to smoke so avoid being around it as much as possible.
  28. Do you want/have children? How many?
    I have three children and seven stepchildren (six living, one deceased). I also have over twenty grandkids (we lost count with multiple blendings) and have number six great-grandchild on the way!
  29. Three favourite boy names?
    Hunter, Jeremy, Sean
  30. Three favourite girl names?
    Jillian, Samantha,
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#IWSG for June 2017: Quitting

Once again, it's the first Wednesday in the month and time for a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

If I thought April was crazy, May was just as bad. Full of medical appointments, a family wedding, catching up with family and friends here in Maryland, lots of rainy weather to keep us housebound and more.

This month I'm going to use the prompt shared by our hosts at the Insecure Writer's Support Group because it fits what has been at the back of my thoughts these past few months.

Did you ever say “I quit”?
If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I haven't quit writing - yet. But I have been considering it. I turn 70 this year and I find myself treasuring my time with my husband as well as pure "me" time. When we first got together back in 2008 and on through 2012, I wasn't writing (other than a blog or two). We spent a lot of time doing things, seeing things, riding through beautiful scenery and more.

Since I took up writing, other than our two years in Ecuador, I find I have to schedule time off. And at 70, time is getting shorter. I am finding it harder and harder to choose between family time and writing time. So I hibernate, getting/giving too little to each.

I am committed to finishing and publishing two novellas in the Lei Crime Kindle World series, the third book in my Klondike Mystery series and one children's short story compilation of fantasy stories.

Once that is done, I think I am going to quit....

What about you?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Love romance novels? Cowboys? Military Vets? Horses?

Here's your chance to steal a new box set of six full-length novels (pre-order for $.99), get some good books AND help a wonderful charity, Heroes & Horses.

The authors of this box set write military heroes (or plan to real soon!) in our Western romances. While they guarantee happy endings for our heroes, they know that the men and women who serve our country often aren’t so lucky. Twenty-two veterans commit suicide each day, and countless others are grappling with PTSD.

There's no easy solution, but every little bit helps. That's why they decided to put this box set together and to donate the proceeds to a program that helps veterans adjust to life after the military. They want to raise awareness and make a positive impact for our real life heroes. What better program could they choose than Heroes & Horses?

Heroes and Horses is a three-phase reintegration program that uses the remote wilderness and the horse/human connection to challenge and inspire personal growth in veterans suffering from mental and physical scars.
*All proceeds go to Heroes & Horses, an organization helping veterans in a new way—with horses and wilderness.
Also available at iBookstorekobo, Barnes&Noble

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Understanding Cemetery Symbols (Book 1) PRE-ORDER

PRE-ORDER - only $2.99

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards
(Messages from the Dead Book 1)

Even though many of our ancestors were illiterate, they often placed symbols on their headstones with meanings that have become forgotten over time. Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards is a photo-filled field guide people can toss in their car, then reach for when they visit a historic graveyard. 

Learning the meaning of these forgotten symbols can greatly enhance your visit to a historic cemeteries. Not only is it fun, but it creates a unique connection to history.

Perfect for history buffs, genealogy searchers and anyone with a love for obscure trivia!

Price goes to $9.99 once live!

My Random Musings

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Old News & New News

Just a short update - really no new news. Sorry! Due to my impending eye surgery, I haven't been writing or editing.  Yes, I'm falling way behind but once July hits and both eyes are healed, I will be able to really tackle my backlog.

Here's my current WIP list, in order of projected completion and publication:

  • Paradise Dead, novella two in my Lei Crime Kindle World trilogy - writing first draft
  • 7 Days of Seven, compilation of middle grade fantasy stories - final edits
  • Almost a Touch, book three in my Klondike - starting edits

My goal is to have all the above live on Amazon by early fall. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Once these are done, I will be tackling the third Lei Crime Kindle World novella, Paradise Drift, which I hope to have out by early November.

At that point it will be holiday season as well as the time of year when we move our rolling home from our house in TN to our RV lot in Florida. At that point, I will be deciding if I will continue writing (other than my blogs) for publication. So I guess that's the new news, I may retire from writing after this year. Not definite, but under consideration.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

FREE BOOK: Just in time for Mother's Day

Home Again, FREE romance book
from 5/14/17-5/18/17

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I'm happy to announce my small town, clean & wholesome romance book, Home Again, will be free starting tomorrow, May 14th, and through May 18th. If you haven't read it, I hope you will grab a copy. Please be sure to share with all your friends, too!

Tomorrow, be sure to join in the fun at my new blog, Shopping, Just for Fun, and enter for chances to win one of three Amazon gift cards. Pass the link along to all your family and friends, as well.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Commenting Change Effective Immediately

Well, the vote is in and I think everyone who participated. I will be moving away from Disqus commenting and back to the standard Blogger commenting. What does this mean to you? Hopefully things have improved since I made the change in 2015 and you will be able to comment without issues. Also, hopefully you will start commenting again.

I had noticed in the last year that comments were rare. After participating in the A-Z challenge, I realized (based upon input I received) that Disqus might be the problem.

Sooooooo - effective today, I am making the change. The biggest downside is all the comments from the last 18 months or so will be lost. All my recent IWSG comments are the biggest loss, but there is no way I can change that. Blogger stopped synching to Disqus some time ago.

Thank you for understanding!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

#atozchallenge My Look Back

Well, the challenge is over and thanks to my writing and pre-scheduling, I survived. This is my third successful A to Z and probably my last, for several reasons. But first, here are some conclusions about the event from my perspective (your mileage may vary, if you participated).
  1. I'm still not a fan of the new 'leave a comment' method of linking. For one thing, it meant I had to post every day, part of what I was trying to avoid by pre-writing and scheduling (due to my heavy schedule).
  2. I found I spent less time finding new blogs from the comments (both in Facebook and on the A to Z Challenge blog. In the first few days, I browsed and clicked. About half of what I looked at was of interest, partly because there was no standard way people were categorizing their blogs.
  3. I did comment on 6-8 blogs every day, some regulars and some new. Many never visited back to comment.
  4. I had way fewer visitors and comments posted than in previous A to Z challenges. Most were from:
    • Facebook friends who were in a support group I created for the event
    • Blogs I visited and commented on
    • The least amount were from random visitors
  5. I had fun connecting back with friends from 2012-2013 A to Z challenges. We had lost touch since I rarely use Twitter other than sending out posts from my Facebook author page. Now we are friends on Facebook and I have their blog links again.
So, while it was fun and definitely worthwhile to find old friends, I doubt I will do it again. The payback for me isn't there, this was time I could have spent working on my current WIP.

A to Z - thanks for the memories!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#IWSG for May 2017: Resilience

I almost missed the last two months posts for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Imagine my surprise when I dreamt about the one for May coming due soon!

It's been a crazy April. First we moved the RV from our lot in Florida to our new house in Tennessee. We shuffled things in and out and quickly got settled. Chores galore, but I was getting in some good writing time.

Then I got sick. Twice. The writing stopped. The stress started. I had a May first deadline to have my new novella, Paradise Dead, ready to publish for the Lei Crime Series. We had company coming. We had things, financial and legal, that had to be done. We had...well, you get the idea.

I finally realized the deadline was artificial. It was a personal goal, set for a reason, but still personal. What was the worst thing that could happen if I didn't meet the self-imposed dealine? Would I lose sales by not making the deadline? Yes. The push from the marketing promotion I planned to join would give the book a big boost. But I knew that wasn't the end of the world. There would be another promotion in the fall and I could use the push then.

So I sat back and relaxed. The book could and would wait. I took a huge jump and I landed okay. The stress is gone and I'm taking care of all the personal things I need to address right now. Getting ready to move the RV to Maryland for two months and dealing with cataract surgery on both eyes. I have no idea how much reading or writing will get done during that month.

So my word for the month's IWSG is RESILIENCE, because that's what I need to have right now.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

"Oh, the places we will go" - Zippo & Zion National Park #atozchallenge

Zippo, in Bradford, PA, is very near and dear to my heart. Having lived just "up the hill" from Bradford for three years, this is where my Klondike Mystery books are set.

Zippo Lighters have been around for a long time and even though they aren't used much in the US anymore, they are overseas and they have a HUGE collector base. They are located in Bradford, PA and the tour is free. But even if there were a small charge, it would be worth it to see the collections and displays.

The first time I visited Zippo, my late husband and I were living just outside Bradford. In fact our first ever motorcycle poker run started out at Zippo. But back to the tour, this was around 2001 and the main display was WWII and Korea based as well as a movie section. Amazing display.

When Stu and I visited in 2008, the movie section had been expanded and the war display updated. It was still amazing and worth the time to visit. Oh, and did I mention that it's FREE?

BONUS: Zion National Park

Saturday, April 29, 2017

"Oh, the places we will go" - Yucatan & Yellowstone #atozchallenge

Yucatan, Mexico is a peninsula , in southeastern Mexico, that separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. It is famous for the Chichén Itzá ruins as well as the tourist destination of Cancun.

Shortly after Stu and I got together, we flew to Cancun for a week in our timeshare. I had only been to the border town of Los Algodones and wasn't sure what to expect in Cancun.

Royal Solaris was a great resort with no need to leave for anything unless you wanted to. We did a couple of excursions. One to Señor Frogs and one to Isla Mujeres. We had a great time although I admit we were fairly isolated due to staying at the resort. Oh, we did take a bus to Walmart. LOL!

BONUS: Yellowstone (I really wanted to be able to put Yosemite here, but our attempt to visit after our Rt 66 ride was thwarted by the government shut-down. Sigh...

Friday, April 28, 2017

"Oh, the places we will go" - Xtraordinary, Xtreme, Xciting, Xhausting #atozchallenge

X is the toughest letter, so I'm cheating a bit. I'm going to write about an event we participated in back in August 2011.

We participated in the America's 911 10th Anniversary Ride to Remember. This ride was to commemorate the 2996 lives lost on that fateful day. We rode in special honor of those First Responders who gave their lives without a second thought... fire, police and EMS personnel.

The ride started in Shanksville, PA then progressed to The Pentagon and finally to the World Trade Center in NY. It was a completely police escorted ride with a maximum of 2996 riders.

It was Xtraordinary, Xtreme, Xciting, and Xhausting and will never be equaled. You can read our entire account and see our photo albums HERE.

BONUS: Xhilarating! I can't top the above!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Oh, the places we will go" - Wyoming & Washington #atozchallenge

Wyoming, where the W stands for wind. It's also a very special place to us since it's where we met - at an RV rally in Gillette, WY.

It's home to our favorite national park - Yellowstone. Together, we've been through it several times and I've been through it several more. It's also home to the Grand Tetons. We had one particularly notable visit to Wyoming. We boondocked not too far out of Jackson Hole in Moran, WY. Talk about a view! The Tetons greeted us on one side and down the hill on the other we watched the elk come to the river for water.

For motorcyclists, Beartooth and Chief Joseph highways are the way to approach Yellowstone from the northeast side.

Here are some of our Wyoming photo albums.
BONUS: Washington - Mt. Rainier & Mt. St. Helens

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Oh, the places we will go" - Virginia & Valley of the Fire SP #atozchallenge

Virginia is for lovers. Must be true, it's where we got married. But other than than, the most time we have spent is traveling through on our annual trip between the north and the south east coast.

One of our favorite stops is the Lee-Hi Truck Stop, just off I-81 on US 11. They have a campground but with our solar, we use the HUGE parking lot for the night. But we always take time to have dinner in Berky's Restaurant aka peddle car heaven!

BONUS: Valley of the Fire State Park (NV)