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The stories here change from time to time. Please return to visit often!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Introducing Heather B. Moore


Today I want to introduce one of my most prolific (and kind and helpful!) writing friends. Have you read the work of Heather B. Moore? If you haven’t, you should. You’d probably enjoy her work as much as I do. If you have, you already know what I’m talking about.
Heather writes as both Heather B. Moore and H.B. Moore. She has an interesting background, which shows up frequently in her novels. Her dad, now retired, was a university professor with expertise in middle eastern records, history, and culture. Heather grew up in some interesting locations in the middle east. She was baptized at age eight in the Red Sea.


Because of that background, Heather has produced some wonderful thrillers set in those exotic locations. I love her Omar Zagouri novels. If you like a good mystery/thriller, you will too. LOST KING and SLAVE QUEEN are two excellent examples.


One of my favorite of her books, BREAKING JESS, is just now coming out in Audible, as have many of her other books.

Because she is prolific, she has written some excellent novels about iconic scriptural figures. One of my favorites is ESTHER THE QUEEN. She also has a series of stories about Moses and the exodus. 


As I said, she’s prolific. She also writes some lovely, sweet romances. One of her recent books that I thoroughly enjoyed is FINDING US, part of a series set in a fictional Pine Valley. I have just downloaded the eighth book in that series, ALL FOR US. Much of her work is available in both e-book and paperback and she almost always has something available free or for sale. Just now, several such books are available. 

Did I mention she’s prolific? She has a number of other books available as well. Find her at any bookseller or at www.hbmoore.com, also at www.facebook.com/heather.b.more. I believe you'll be glad you did. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Goals

After years of setting New Year's resolutions which I largely ignored, I reached a point where I no longer set them. This year, my ambition was up and I promised myself I would publish at least five books in 2019.





So far, I'm on track. A MONUMENTAL LOVE, a novella in the Timeless Romance series, was released February 7. It is set largely in the Navajo Nation, in and around Monument Valley. Since my husband and I lived there recently, this was a fun book to write and something of a homage to our time working in and near Monument Valley among the Dineh.



Yesterday, March 20, the e-book appeared on Amazon for PARIS IN THE SPRINGTIME, the first book in my new Seasons of Destiny series. Lest the title confuse, my heroine's name is Paris. The story is set in a fictional town in the Sierras, called Destiny by the Gold Rush miners who first struck ore in this spot, now struggling to stay relevant in the twenty-first century. The paperback should be available by early April.

Now I'm at work on the second book in the series. SUNNY'S SUMMER picks up one of the people in Book 1 and tells her story. Unlike most of my stories, this one is definitely time-tied. We live in Butte County where the Camp Fire, which burned through most of last November, devastated Paradise and laid waste to much of the ridge above our town. More than 14,000 homes were lost, 50,000 people displaced, and at least 85 people died.

Here in the valley, we didn't suffer the same losses, but we had evacuation warnings, saw the fire burn without a few miles of our home, and lived under dark clouds of smoke for most of three weeks, wearing heavy masks to protect our lungs whenever we left home. We also saw the suffering of our friends and neighbors. For me, SUNNY'S SUMMER is an attempt to work through my own emotion about this catastrophe. I hope it brings healing to others.

As the year moves along, I hope to introduce AMBER IN AUTUMN and WINTER SKYE. I'm also considering a fifth book for this series.

So far, so good! If you wish, you can follow me along, checking up on me to see if I'll achieve this year's goals. As always, thanks to my readers. You keep me going.


Susan Aylworth is a wife, mother, former university professor, and author of 17 published novels with more to come. She loves to hear from readers. Contact her at www.susanaylworth.com or susan.aylworth.author@gmail.com, or on Facebook: https://facebook.com/SusanAylworthAuthor.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Keeping perspective

An old joke says you know it will be a bad day when you turn on the news to see evacuation routes out of your city. It isn't a joke when it happens.

Take, for instance, last Sunday evening. We were on our way to the nearby town of Oroville, headed to a son's birthday dinner, when we received a message. Our county sheriff had ordered the evacuation of Oroville due to the "expected failure" of a spillway on the nation's tallest dam. Almost immediately, the traffic going the opposite direction went from sparse to heavy to bumper-to-bumper as people fled the city where we were headed on their way to the city we had just left. Uhhh...?

Phone calls and text messaging moved the dinner from one son's home below the dam to the home of another son above the lake. Then the traffic slowed in our direction as we joined others heading into the foothills.

As a reporter for the local newspaper, my hubby had covered the Department of Water Resources (DWR). He knew the dam inside and out, quite literally, and understood what the risks were and weren't. Like most other drivers, we stayed calm, maintaining normal traffic patterns and even letting others into the lane in front of us.

Not so with the folks who panicked. As we drove east, a car whizzed up the fog line on our right, going west at about twice the speed limit, backing up down the shoulder. Another car flew by on our left, possibly going as fast as eighty m.p.h. on a city street, dodging cars from both directions in the center turn lane. Those were only two of the people who behaved foolishly, even dangerously.

Keeping perspective, we took a back-door route to go home that evening only to find the national news showing images we had just seen along the way. I promise we weren't laughing, but we weren't panicked either.

Most of a week has passed. So far the spillway has held, the lake level is down, the evacuation order has been lifted, and things are back to what passes for normal. The only big difference for us has been a "sleep-over" with the three cute grandbabies in our downstream son's family. Although about 188,000 people are still under an evacuation warning, we're no longer in the national headlines (although we're still in the news) and it looks like the greatest risks may be behind us.

So far the only people who have been injured were those who lost perspective, the folks who panicked and caused mash-ups along the evacuation routes. The lack of perspective on the part of the DWR is a matter for the politicians to unravel.


Susan Aylworth is the author of 14 novels, all available as e-books. She loves her northern California home which she shares with her husband of 46 years and the two spoiled cats they serve. When she can't be with her seven children, seven great kids-in-law, and 25 grandbabies, she loves hanging with her fictional offspring, the children of her mind. She also loves hearing from readers. Visit her website at www.susanaylworth.com or find her @SusanAylworth, at .facebook.com/Susan.Aylworth.Author, or on Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sensational Scents of the Season

That holiday time of year is upon us again and, even if we weren't aware of the calendar, the aromas in the air would remind us.

Nature starts the process. Here in northern California, some trees still have leaves although the process of "deciduating" has begun. (We have used this term ever since our brilliant five-year-old granddaughter decided to turn the word deciduous into an active verb. Why not? It fits.) The leaves on the ground, spattered by yesterday's light rain, smell like autumn--that light scent of mouldering that, at least in its early stages, is rich and vaguely herbal. While some trees still have leaves, my roses still have flowers which add their scent to the mix while the last of the lavender blossoms chime in, the underlying leaf scent mixed with deep, vivid florals.


This is the rainy season where I live and, this year at least, the weather is cooperating. (I'm secretly holding out hope that this will be the drought-breaker year.) When the breeze picks up, blowing out of the south, the scent of fresh water is in the air. As a side benefit, these mixed-weather days also provide us with heart-breaker sunsets, almost impossibly beautiful.

Holiday baking has begun in my kitchen and elsewhere, adding scents of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, yeasty breads, fresh-ground wheat and citrus. My husband has begun lighting his favorite holiday-scented candles, adding their hints of spice and pine.

Apple pie, the classic all-American favorite, is one of my favorites too, but enough work that I usually reserve its creation for the holiday season, that delightful time of year when the aroma of baking apples mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg fills the kitchen and diffuses through the whole house. Hence the visions of sugar plums that dance in our heads as we sleep.

Of course the stores have to get into the act. Each shop we enter has its own version of holiday scent to share. It's often said that scent is the most evocative of all our senses, calling to mind our past experiences with that same aroma. No wonder this scent-sational season fills me with nostalgia.

As I move through these coming weeks--cooking and baking, humming carols and swimming in nostalgic memory--I will be enjoying the sights of the season, but it's the scents that will bring autumn, Thanksgiving, and Christmas home. I will breathe deeply, smell, and remember with joy.



Susan Aylworth is the author of 14 novels, all available as e-books. She loves her northern California home which she shares with her husband of 46 years and the two spoiled cats they serve. When she can't be with her seven children, seven great kids-in-law, and 25 grandbabies, she loves hanging with her fictional offspring, the children of her mind. She also loves hearing from readers. Visit her website at www.susanaylworth.com or find her @SusanAylworth, at .facebook.com/Susan.Aylworth.Author, or on Pinterest.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

"Where do you get your ideas?"

One of the common questions asked in any author interview is "Where do you get your ideas?" Most writers I know have trouble with this one since, for us, the ideas are everywhere. Life is a constant Niagara Falls flow of ideas. For those of us who think this way, it's odd to hear people ask the question. Often we want to answer, "Don't you get ideas too?"

This makes me think of Son #5. He is a gifted musician, and by "gifted," I mean he truly got music as a gift. It was born in him--which makes Hubby and me wonder what throwback ancestor left that gene lying around. Son 5 learned to play guitar when he was barely a teen. By the time he was old enough for after-school employment, he worked in a music store where he could pick up and play any stringed instrument they had. Just. Like. That. He has since taught himself piano.


When we remarked on his marvelous ability, he usually shined us on with, "It's easy. Anyone can do it." It has taken him time to realize that no, not everyone can do it. Authors are the same way with ideas:  Coming up with ideas is so natural to us that it feels like anyone can do it.

In fact, with a little training, almost anyone can do it. It requires the exercise of imagination, but it's not that hard. If you feel imagination-challenged, just ask, "What if?" Here's how it works for me:


  • On a TV program, I heard the story of 17-year-old Julianne Koepcke who, in 1971, was the only survivor of a plane crash in the Venezuelan rain forest. After a two-mile fall, she hiked out alone. Her story percolated in the back of my mind until one day I asked, "What if a modern teen survived a similar accident, but in the Bolivian part of the rain forest where I've been? And what if she was not alone, but had a companion who required her care?" This idea was the genesis for my newest manuscript, an adventure called RESCUE.
  • A friend chatted about a woman who claims to see ghosts. I thought, "What if a teen who pretended to psychic abilities was actually visited by the spirit of a murdered girl?" That grew into my first mystery story, MAGGIE RISING: Adventures of a Part-Time Psychic.
  • After hearing friends talk about high school reunions, I wondered, "What if a young woman returned to the town where she attended high school only to find that her buddy had grown into a very attractive, interesting man?" It was hardly a new thought, but as the bits and details began filling in, it grew into the first of nine romances set Rainbow Rock, Arizona. Each of the eight that followed began when I picked a secondary character from a previous book and wondered who would be attractive to that person and how they might meet.
  • While watching a movie remake of Shakespeare's "Hamlet," I suddenly identified with his mother and wondered, "What if she told her own story? Would it sound different?" The result was my one-woman play, GERTRUDE.


Other authors I know have written stories after hearing of a racially-motivated murder and wondering, "What if it happened to my child?" or watching a documentary about Adolf Eichmann and thinking, "What if he lived among us today?" A friend watched a teenaged couple telling their families about the future they planned and imagined what might happen in a similar couple if one of them was diagnosed with a disfiguring illness. The same process, with variations, has led to the creation of just about every fictional story we've ever heard, seen, or read.

To let your own imagination create the same way, just observe what's happening around you and ask, "What if?" Now imagine Dr. Seuss saying, "Oh, the places you'll go!" May we all enjoy the journey.

Susan Aylworth is the author of 14 novels, all available as e-books. She loves her northern California home which she shares with her husband of 46 years and the two spoiled cats they serve. When she can't be with her seven children, seven great kids-in-law, and 25 grandbabies, she loves hanging with her fictional offspring, the children of her mind. She also loves hearing from readers. Visit her website at www.susanaylworth.com or find her @SusanAylworth, at .facebook.com/Susan.Aylworth.Author, or on Pinterest.