Sunday, July 16, 2017

DNA matters....

Welcome to my garden. Today is OFF topic of writing. DNA, gardening apparently is NOT in my DNA. Speaking of that here is today's gardening tip...

If you have a black thumb, hire a gardener. Or marry someone who does well with gardening. ~~~ words of wisdom by Mary Martinez

Designing Gardens in limited spaces. 

Question of the day... How many of you have done your DNA? I know most of you think you know your background, but you may be surprised. I am adopted so in order to find my birth parents I took two DNA tests. The first one with 23andMe, this one is a little more expensive but it not only gives you your DNA it gives you health issues, etc. Things like what you're DNA is prone to, I have a good chance to have skin cancer. WELL this would have been nice to know before I got it on my nose. But all is well.

Ancestry is all about just that... Ancestry. I'm trying to build up my tree, but the problem is this, I
have names of my birth parents and their parents now, but my father passed away before I had the opportunity to meet him. I think he would have liked me. But his mother's last name was Dolan, do you know how many DOLAN'S there are? It's the the Smith's and Jones of a American only in Ireland. And her first name is Helen, again there is almost as many of those in Ireland and in New York, where she immigrated to, as there are Mary's.

Whenever I think I have the right one, I have no one to ask if the siblings they have for her are right. It's a bit frustrating. But I'm working through it. The funny thing is, over the years people have asked me what nationality I am and I've always said I'm adopted so I can be whatever the hell er, heck I want and I say Irish. And turns out I'm 49% Irish and about 40% British which includes Scottish. My birth mother side has the Scottish Anderson and a bit of German and a few others.

I got my son's DNA because I figured I only needed to do one child and that would tell me what they were. Oh no! I found out that each child get's so much DNA from each parent and it's not always the same amount of DNA, like it's not 50/50. One child can get 90% of one parent and 10% of the other. While another child can have 40/60 or even 50/50 or even 95/5. Who knew? Certainly not me. Now I'm going to have the others done, just to see.

My sister-in-law fully expected to see that she was close to 100% Southern American or Spanish which if you're from Spain it comes up Iberian. She found out that she is 30% Greek. She has NO idea where that came from. My husband who thought he'd have all his ancestry from South American is 60% European (27.3% of that is Iberian) and 24.1% Native American. Which encompasses North and South America.

You just never know. Yet somehow I knew deep down I was Irish. And believe me I'm embracing my Irish for all it's worth!

Do you have a DNA story? I'd love to hear all about it!

And back to writing. DNA can bring in a bit of mystery to a story. I think I may use it at some point!

Have a good week.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Promotion AGAIN

Welcome to my garden. I'd like to share with you a tip for growing raspberries. Of course, it's not MY tip, but from a blog I found!

Today I'm going to video blog on my nemesis... PROMOTION! I know I have jabbered about this before, but apparently it's still giving me nightmares. Enjoy!

Here are the two banner's that I have done using a combination MS Publisher and my new Adobe Photoshop Elements 15, which I swear does not like me! Watching Jenny (I may tweak the writing on this).

Four Sisters

Visit my web site tell me what you think. Just so you know the main banner with me on it, History Mysteries, and Classic Murder: Mr. Romance banners were all done by my cover artist Sheri McGathy. The rest are all my work, these two are my creations using both MS Publisher and Adobe Photoshop Elements 15.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about promotion and PLEASE share any tips you have with us. Thank you for dropping by.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Book Launch - Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) book 4

Welcome to Mary's Garden. I got to thinking, most of you must think I'm an avid gardener. Especially as my tag line says "Mary's Garden where imagination blooms". Unfortunately that is the only place my garden blooms, in my imagination. Unless of course my husband does the gardening. I love to sit and enjoy a garden, don't get me wrong. Again, unfortunately I have a black thumb. Plants die when they see me coming to save time and misery. From this point on, I'm going to try to give garden tips (from others) or sayings. 

Tip of the day...

Today we have a special guest from the UK! Welcome Catherine Green. She has a new book out! 

OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH – Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) – book 4 –
by Catherine Green

Jessica Stone used to be a normal human. Then she fell in love with a vampire, met his identical twin werewolf brother, and her life fell apart spectacularly. Meeting Detective Jack Mason, and his brother Danny, brought about a powerful change, and Jessica’s magic was released. Now, in Redcliffe book 4, she must learn to control her ethereal animal familiar, who lusts after the alpha werewolf, and will stop at nothing to use her human mistress as a tool... Or is that a weapon?

The Redcliffe novels series follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she meets a man and falls in love, only to discover the hidden werewolf secrets of her close friends. Who knew the Cornish coast could be so deadly?

Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) – available in bookshops, libraries, and online now!

Buy from Amazon UK; Amazon US, and other major online retailers.

Find Catherine Green and her British paranormal novels in the following places:

Have you discovered the Redcliffe novels? Sign up today, and receive your fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

Thanks for visiting my blog, Catherine! I wish you much success! 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Why does it take me so long to write a book?

Welcome to the Garden! It's beautiful this time of year. It's so nice to sit out and enjoy the flowers and blooms in the evening. Sip on a glass of wine... That being said, grab some goodies from the table and of course pour a glass of your favorite beverage. Today I'm going to tell you WHY it takes me so long to write a book.

First, I work a day job 40 hours a week, and if that isn't enough I ride public transit because I HATE the thought of using a car we really don't need to pay insurance on, then have the wear and tear on the car only to SIT in a parking lot all day. At least I can read on the bus/Train.

I have a large family and a large circle of friends. I'm even friends with my critique partner's UPS man, who was at my house for a party on Saturday night. Anyway, between family, friends, life events, like concerts, library events (they are at least writing related), etc. etc. etc. I have to schedule a full day out of my life to write or I never would have time.

Here is a typical weekend for me. My daughter says I'm a nerd, so excuse my nerdiness!

And there you have it! My life... It's a good one though.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Jessie Rider from The Daily Gazette Interviews the Storytime Characters

Welcome to Mary's Garden. Grab some goodies and fill your plate, and of course a beverage. We have a wonderful interview today.

Reporter Jessie Rider from The Daily Gazette has heard a great deal about the Storytime that takes place every week at the Villa Maria Senior Citizens Apartment House . Her Aunt Constance had visited a friend at the Villa and all she could talk about afterwards was the Monday night Storytime when many of the residents of the Villa gathered in the library to hear one of their neighbors tell them a story from his or her own life. essie, sensing it would make a good article for the Sunday paper, had called to ask if they would welcome a visit from a reporter and was pleasantly surprised when she got a return call a week later inviting her.


I looked around the room and smiled at the senior citizens.

“Thank you, everyone, for letting me join you for your weekly storytime. I’ve heard wonderful things about it and I hope you don’t mind my questions.” There were murmurings and a great deal of head nodding, but no one spoke. I really hoped it wasn’t going to be like this throughout the entire interview. I glanced at my prompt notes, decided I wasn’t going to follow a script, took a deep breath and launched right in.

“I’m going to ask each of you a bit about yourselves, and after, I’m going to sit back and listen, and I’m sure, enjoy your Storytime.” I looked at each of them -- trying to decide who would be the best opening for my article. “Artie?”

“That’s me.”

“I hear you like ghosts.” At his puzzled expression, I decided to rephrase. “Or, maybe it’s not that you like them so much as they won’t leave you alone?”

Artie looked down at his boots and then up. “It’s not so much that I like them – it’s that I never really thought about them – about them being real, I mean, until that one day. I still think about it – if it really happened or was it my imagination. My Uncle Billy – he reads a lot and knows more than me and he says lots of things in this world can’t be explained.” Artie looked down at his scarred hands. “I kinda think he’s right.”

I waited and when the slight man didn’t volunteer more I figured he was finished.

“Thank you, Artie – I’ve had friends who think the same way.”

The woman sitting next to Artie nodded her head. “Believing is something you sometimes have to do – no matter what, and no matter what others say. That’s sometimes the only thing people have. You know what I mean?”

I briefly looked at my notes.

“You’re Ella?”

“Yes, I am.”

“I hear you make wonderful apple pies.”

“She does.” A man’s raspy voice interrupted. “We’ve all tasted them.”

“And you’re?”

“Dominick Ricci. Like I was saying, Ella’s pies are the best. Got to be that there ‘secret ingredient’ she puts in them.”

“Don’t you tell on me, Dom. You folks here in Villa Maria are the only ones who know about it. I never told anyone before.”

“Make us another one, Ella, and I promise never to reveal the secret.” He laughed and touched Ella’s arm. “Deal?”

Ella patted Dom’s hand. “Deal.” She looked around. “My husband Calvin, he loved my apple pies. And I loved making them for him – sweet juicy apples, a bit of lemon, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, cardamom and …” She winked at Dom. “The secret ingredient is just for us to know.”

“They do sound delicious. Thank you, Ella.” I quickly took notes. “Dom, I’ve heard about how you married the most beautiful woman in the world. Was she really?”

Dom held on to his cane. “She was…she really was. I wish you had met her – then you would know what I mean.” My children and grandchildren always described her as ‘The Beautiful Rosalia.’ When I first saw her in the 1940’s – we were both young then -- she took my breath away.” He smiled at his memories. “I was so lucky to have married her.”

“Isn’t that a beautiful thing to say about a wife?” The white-haired woman with a half-finished green knitted sweater in her lap, asked. “It’s like a love story – like one of those romance novels my granddaughter likes to read.”

I had to agree. “Yes, it is.” I wrote a few sentences in my notebook. “Are you Sophie?”

“I am.”

“I’ve heard you’re a very strong person.”

Sophie thought for a moment. “I am. I had to be. During the War many of us learned how to be if we wanted to survive.” She took a deep breath and looked at me. “You’re young – like my grandchildren -- and I hope you never have to learn under the same circumstances. You know -- no, you wouldn’t know -- but I sometimes talk to God and I tell Him that children should always be safe and the world should be safe. That there shouldn’t be any more wars and no more wounded or dead in far-away places.”

“You’re so right, Sophie.” Artie spoke quietly. “Almost all the men…and some women…who live here at the Villa Maria are World War II veterans. That was our generation.”

The group became quiet and I reached for a tissue my purse. “I hope so, too, “Sophie.”

“Geez! I wish I had brought my saxophone. We could use some music now.”

I looked at the tall, thin man.

“You’ve got to be Tom, and I hear you play a mean sax.”

“I don’t know about that but I did play for a lot of dance bands in the 40’s and 50’s.” Tom smiled at me and somehow that smile made me wonder what he was like as a young man.

“I was told you’re also quite a… a…”

“Yeah, I knew a lot of women.”

“And married a lot, too.” Frank’s comment made everyone laugh. “It’s one of the first things I learned about him when I came here – everyone told me about you, Tom.”

"Hey, what can I say? But, I’m glad you joined us, Frank. Didn’t think you would move in.”

“I didn’t either.” Frank shrugged. “It was such a big change. I didn’t want to leave my home.”

“Some of us felt that way, too. But, you soon learn it’s not the end of the world…or our life.” Ella smiled at her memories. “It’s just a new beginning.”

A new beginning! That was it! I had my story and my angle: Getting older, leaving long-time friendships to make new ones, moving away from the family home and all its remembrances may be difficult but it was really “just a new beginning.”

I gathered my notes.

“Thank you, Sophie and Dom, and Ella and Tom and everyone here for allowing me to join you at STORYTIME AT THE VILLA MARIA! It's been a pleasure!"



Dominick, who married “the most beautiful woman in the world”…

Sophie, who is haunted by terrifying memories of the Holocaust…

Ella, who made “sweet apple pies” for her war veteran husband…

Tom, whose music lured women into his arms…

Artie, who is plagued by the ghosts of long-dead soldiers…

Frank, who can't let go of his yesterdays, though a better tomorrow beckons…

Join them and others as they gather every Monday night in the library at the Villa Maria to share their memories, their fears, and their dreams.

STORYTIME AT THE VILLA MARIA—the unforgettable book about life lived and still to be lived, and about the mysterious threads of joy and heartache and love that are woven into every life—including your own!

A charming novel of senior citizens, storytelling, nostalgia, and a world gone by but not forgotten."

Barnes and Noble

Constance Walker is the author of THE SHIMMERING STONES OF WINTER'S LIGHT, LOST ROSES OF GANYMEDE HOUSE, IN TIME, and WARM WINTER LOVE among other works of Gothic and contemporary fiction.
Where to find Constance:
WebSite, Goodreads, Facebook

Thank you, Constance, for visiting the Garden today!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Welcome Mia London

Welcome to the Garden. It's very nice here in Utah. Fill up your plates with some healthy goodies and help yourself to your favorite beverage. Now I have a treat. Mia London is visiting again and she has a deal for you!

Mia loves to write!

She’s been reading fiction for years and finally decided that the images and scenes floating around in her head needed to make it to paper.

She’s a huge fan of romance, highly optimistic, and wildly faithful to the HEA (happily ever after). She’s inspired by most anything around her. And her biggest obstacle is not having enough time to get it all down on paper (or computer, as the case may be).

Her goal is create a fantasy you will enjoy with characters you could love.

She lives in Texas with her attentive, loving, super-model husband, and her perfectly behaved, brilliant children. Her produce never wilts, there are no weeds in her flowerbeds, and chocolate is her favorite food group.

And then she wakes up.

Title: Wanton Angel
Author: Mia London
Links: Amazon  - ONLY $.99 

A one-night stand shouldn’t change her life…

Piper Diamond has it all. A thriving, successful career, amazing friends, and her love life is right where she wants it—by the balls. Anyone can see she’s smart, sexy, and not afraid to speak her mind. To Piper, men are bracelets to slip on and off at will. So why should one night with a handsome stranger tip her world off its axis?

Scott Reid is ambitious, confident, and handsome. And when a gorgeous blonde needs to be rescued from a slimeball in a bar, he’s just the man for the job. Little does he know, Piper needs a hell of a lot more than an instant hero.

Other tid-bits: This novella is the prequel to Life To The Max. After Max was on sale for a while, I got feedback from some readers that they wanted to see more of Piper (a secondary character in Max). So here she is, and I have to admit, it was fun to write about her!

Thank you for dropping by again Mia!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Stanalei Fletcher introduces her new book!

BREAKING THE HONOR CODE, and a Giveaway for You

Thank You, Mary, for sharing your blog and your audience today. I’m excited to be here to post a bit about my latest book, BREAKING THE HONOR CODE, Book 4 in my Northstar Security Series.

While other girls my age, were reading romance or mysteries, I gobbled up stories about alpha heroes and espionage by Alistair MacLean. Sometimes, he even threw in a dash of romance. Not much, but enough for me to want a bit more. Thus was born my desire to write a techno-thriller romance. I can’t claim to have accomplished the techno-thriller part, but I hope readers enjoy the rush of a fast-pace action story with a bit of romance. Northstar Security Firm was conceived with that goal in mind. An elite private security agency whose mission is to bring truth to the wronged and closure to those who need justice. When Northstar is targeted by a cyber-terrorist determined to bring down the firm, agents Sloan Cartland and Allison Richards search out wrong-doers, even at the risk of own lives. But the cyber-terrorist doesn’t only want the firm’s destruction, he wants the director to believe one of their own has betrayed them. It’s up to Sloan to uncover the truth. Readers can meet Bryon O’Neal, the Northstar Security Firm’s director, and many of the other agents in the previous books in the series.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your valuable time with me today. For more information about the upcoming stories in my Northstar Security series, you can check out the book’s website page here. Or sign up for my newsletter here.

I have a Goodreads Giveaway going on now until July 14th. Click here for BREAKING THE HONOR CODE.

A little bit about Breaking The Honor Code:

Reformed playboy Sloan Cartland doesn’t work that hard to live down his reputation, especially when it gives him an advantage as Northstar’s profiler. But when the company’s network is hacked, he puts on his game face and joins forces with the firm’s cyber queen, Allison Richards, to track down the cyberterrorist.

Sparks fly between the total opposites as Sloan moves past Allison’s geeky-persona. The passion is unexpected but pleasurable, until Sloan receives evidence that implicates Allison as the hacker, compelling him to question her loyalty and his feelings.

Allison must choose between her heart and honor and find a way to use her formidable skills to turn the tables on her enemies before Sloan decides she’s a traitor.

Stanalei has over twenty years of training in the martial arts and holds the rank of Sandan, a third-degree black belt, in Aikido.

After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, she now resides near the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with her hero, who just happens to be her best friend and husband. . Together they enjoy backcountry dirt trails on a RZR, visiting our National Parks, or exploring museums and ghost towns. You may visit Stanalei at:
Thank you for stopping by Mary’s blog to visit with me. I’d love to hear from you. You can find me at any of the following locations:
Twitter –  @StanaleiFletch

Thank you for joining us, Stanalei Fletcher, I've read this book and HIGHLY recommend it!