The Crotchety Old Man

Dec 18, 2014
By Elizabeth Noble

Look into the past with ‘A Barlow Lens’

Hello and thank you Michael for hosting me today! Since this is the first official stop for A Barlow Lens I thought I’d begin by talking about the title of the book and the series. When I wrote Run for the Roses I intended it to be a standalone story. It sort of ended on a tiny cliff hanger, but the story itself was wrapped up. Then somewhere along the way between submitting and release I had an idea for a series. So, Circles was born. The series tagline is ‘every life is a circle’ and that is also an underlying theme of the series. Each book introduces one of two of the characters in the next book in the …
Dec 17, 2014
By M.J. O'Shea

M.J. O’Shea

Hi there! This is MJ O’Shea:) I’m here to talk about some of the characters in my newest book Corkscrewed! Corkscrewed is a twisty romantic comedy about one vineyard, three con artists, a very smart older lady, and a whole cast of minor characters who might be after all her money. Two of them just happen to steal each other’s hearts in the process. First we have our two main characters: Cary is a master con artist. He’s only in his early 30s but he’s been active for years. He’s cynical but sophisticated, excellent at slipping into whatever persona his current con requires. He’s tall and blond and golden skinned, which of course doesn’t hurt when it comes time to …
Dec 15, 2014
By Michael Rupured

More Sadism!

A few months ago, an author friend said she thought most writers are inherently narcissistic, masochistic, and sadistic. I’m inclined to agree. You need to be at least a little self-absorbed to devote the time to writing a novel, and the source of the story is often something from the writer’s life. Self-inflicted pain and suffering is a huge part of the process — especially for writers who bother to read reviews. My writers group taught me about conflict, stakes, and tension — the reason readers keep turning the page and where the sadism comes in. Fictional characters must suffer. The author needs to beat the living shit out of the hero, drag them through hail and high-water, and kick them when they’re down. Concern for …

Dec 08, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Perfect Little Dog

Few things are more adorable than a six-week old chihuahua puppy. Within days of my ex getting a dog I didn’t especially want, I accepted the little darling and took an active role in his upbringing. Early socialization is important, especially with nervous breeds like chihuahuas. Perhaps as a result of all the early attention, Tico is a smart, fun-loving, and courageous little dog who has never met a stranger. Tico is also unmistakably the ex’s dog. Despite my early crotchetiness, his preference for the ex sometimes hurt my feelings a tiny little bit. Yeah — the dog hurt my feelings. I’ll own it. Enter Toodles. As with Tico, we took her everywhere. Fearing she too would prefer my amiable ex over her crotchety daddy, …

Dec 01, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Guilty Pleasure: Home Renovation Shows

Until Trading Spaces caught my attention, I didn’t watch home improvement shows. Paige Davis, the host, was absolutely adorable. The show’s stable of designers worked miracles overnight on a limited budget, with notable exceptions, most by designer Hildi Santo-Tomas. While You Were Out was good too, mostly because of hunky Evan Farmer. After Paige and Evan left, I quit watching both shows and moved on to shows about food. The pendulum of my interests has swung back. Home improvement shows once again dominate my TV viewing time. These aren’t the decorating shows of the past where paint, wallpaper, and fabric were used to transform a few rooms, with frequent complaints afterward about shoddy workmanship. Designers on the new shows gut some or all of the target …

Nov 27, 2014
By A.E. VIA

A.E. Via Introduces Her New Troublemakers!

Hello All and Happy Thanksgiving!! It’s so nice to be back on Michael’s blog again. Thank you so much for hosting me again, love. I truly appreciate it. And thank you out there for showing up today to see my two new releases coming out tomorrow! Black Friday! The biggest shopping day in the country and the start of the countdown to Christmas. So when you’re out at the crack of dawn trying to catch the door-buster sells, why don’t you take a second out to one-click a couple gifts for yourself too. For the past couple months I’ve been working on the next installment to my bestselling series ‘Nothing Special.’ The third installment is entitled ‘Here Comes Trouble,’ and …
Nov 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Social Network Fatigue

Once upon a time, the only social networking options were snail-mail, rotary dial telephones, and face-to-face. Travel costs and long distance telephone charges made letters the preferred means for keeping up with out-of-town friends and family. When not in class or hanging out with local friends, I spent hours on the telephone talking with them. Yeah. I can be kinda catty chatty. I got my first email account in the 1980s through work. In those early days, all messages were business-related. Spam hadn’t yet been invented. Gradually, folks stopped worrying about nosey employers. For family and friends with an addy, email became the preferred means of communication. My first home computer, purchased in the 1990s, came preloaded with AOL. Dial-up access ruled out …

Nov 17, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Flying Solo

When I joined the gym two years ago, I paid extra for weekly sessions with a trainer for two reasons. First, having not set foot in a gym since high school, I needed someone to show me what to do. Second, the extra cost kept me going. I’m way too cheap to let my pricey membership go to waste. After watching several seasons of The Biggest Loser, I was nervous about working with a trainer. Getting up in my face a la Jillian Michaels is counterproductive. I’ll pout and go all passive-aggressive on your ass. Based on my experience, trainers are much less confrontational than what you might expect. Outside of the military and reality television, they have to be nice …

Nov 13, 2014
By Brynn Stein
Brynn Stein

Brynn Stein: Blog Tour for Through the Years

Hi Michael, Thanks so much for allowing me to stop by your blog today. You are the last stop on my blog tour for Through the Years. I’ve been having a ball with the tour and am kind of sorry to see it end. I’ve been talking about all sorts of things and really love getting the feedback and getting to know some of the other writers and readers out there. I would like to ask for some advice on the kinds of topics to address for my next tour in March for Ray of Sunlight. Obviously the typical: getting to know the characters, the back history of the story itself, excerpts, etc. But what other topics do you, as …
Nov 10, 2014
By Michael Rupured

I’m so Fancy…for Now

As with my brain, I use a fraction of the full capability of the technology at my fingertips. My smartphone and Macbook Air mock my ignorance, and think they know more about my needs than I do. Both are forever doing me little favors, like importing contacts from Jobs only knows where into a huge, useless directory with dozens of duplicates and unwanted entries. Same with pictures I snap from my phone. Thanks a lot. When FAX machines were new to the workplace, I was one of the more tech-savvy folks around. After the department store where I was employed in the late 1970s switched from cash registers to computer terminals, I taught the other employees how to use them. A few years later, …

Nov 03, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Real Time

Time is my master. I’m a slave to the clock and my calendar. Whether I go to work or get the day off, my schedule is full from the time I get up until I go to bed. The time change twice a year totally rocks my world. Smartphones, computer displays, and cable boxes are arbiters of the correct time nowadays. They spring forward and fall back automatically, and synchronize with millions of devices all over the world. I wonder about the impact of this massive time sync on society. For hundreds of years, clocks were set by the location of the sun in the sky. Before the advent of instant mass communication and transportation options faster than a horse, differences from …

Oct 31, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Spooktacular Blog Hop

Happy Halloweeen! Thanks a million to writer pals Julie Lynn Hayes and M.A. Church for organizing the 2014 Spooktacular Blog Hop and Giveaway. I’m excited about the opportunity to meet new readers and honored to be associated with so many wonderful writers. Everyone is doing their own giveaway. CLICK HERE to visit all the participating blogs to enter. You’ve got nothing to lose, and you might even win! I’m giving away an e-copy of one of my three novels (Until Thanksgiving, After Christmas Eve, or Happy Independence Day) to three lucky winners. To enter, leave a comment below. As a kid, I really got into Halloween. Mom wasn’t terribly creative, so my costumes were always one of those highly flammable …

Oct 30, 2014
By John Genest

Samhain and Witches and Bears, Oh My!

Hi, everyone.  My name is John Genest, and my paths recently crossed with Michael Rupured and the other authors of the A Taste of Honey anthology this summer in promoting the book.  During that time, Michael offered several guest posts here on his blog and I chose October 30 because it was closest to a holiday near and dear to my heart: All Hallow’s Eve,  the Celtic Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”), or just plain old  Halloween. Though my story, “Just Breathe,” was about a cub going in for a sleep study on Valentine’s Day evening (can you imagine?) and the woofy technician that monitors him, in my other writing endeavors I follow the adage “write what you know” and I know of  two …
Oct 27, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Writing Demon

In honor of Halloween, I’m dedicating today’s post to my demon. He’s possessed me for as long as I can remember, compelling me to write, whether anyone reads my words or not. Over the years I’ve sacrificed vast quantities of time, ink, and paper to appease him. My demon makes me write for an hour or two every day. Fortunately, he’s easy to please. As long as I’m writing something, he’s happy. Letters to friends, email messages — even making a list counts. Waiting for replies annoyed the demon, and one can only make so many lists. Eventually, I had to write something else. The personal journal I started in 1979 to appease my demon fills twenty volumes. The quantity is far more impressive than the content. …

Oct 23, 2014
By Christopher Hawthorne Moss

From History to Herstory to Our Story: GLBT Historical Fiction

By Christopher Hawthorne Moss, author and editor oof Our Story GLBT Historical Diction at GLBT Bookshelf www.glbtbookshelf.com I remember when feminists coined the expression “herstory” to counteract the overt and subtle masculinism of the word “History”.  Of course, we all know that the “his” in “history” is not actually the masculine pronoun, but it was an acknowledgement that what we were taught in school was, in fact, the history of men.  Women were a side issue.  The impetus for developing “herstory” was to bring to light the equally central role of women in our past.  The impact of this effort did more than just add female names and faces to the story of humanity.  It helped change the way we …
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