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Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Polish Heart. 
Kayelle, thanks so much for having me here today. I wanted to talk about inspiration, specifically, inspiration for my latest release, ‘A Polish Heart.’ The story is a 99 cent, 16K ‘sweet’ international contemporary romance set in Warsaw, Poland and has a family/Easter theme, perfect for this time of year.
Believe it or not, I’m not one to find inspiration in dreams. I very rarely dream. When I hit the pillow, I’m out until the alarm clock buzzes the next morning. I find a lot of my inspiration in research. When Rebecca Vickery put out a call for short stories for her Spring/Easter anthology last year I knew I wanted to be a part of it. With that in mind, I decided to draw on my Polish roots, as the strong traditions I held as a child growing up have stayed with my heart.
I grew up in New Hampshire and generally spent my Easters with my mother’s family, which were Polish. My grandmother, Bopie, (short for Bopshie, Polish for grandmother) loved to make ethnic foods. There were pierogi, homemade breads, hams, stuffed cabbage, and even beet soup. The family ate the Easter meal after mass and then we’d go “up the hill” visiting. We’d eat some more, and the twins, Stanley and Johnny, would play their guitar and accordion. We’d dance to old-fashioned polkas and have a great time.
I enjoyed our Easter traditions, going to mass with my family, cooking, and visiting. As I look back, I don’t think I appreciated those times as much as I do now. This upbringing really instilled in me a love of traditions and I want to pass onto my sons. Just recently, I started making pierogi with my boys. It’s an all day affair since they’re made from scratch, but both Andrew and Joe really get into the different aspects of cooking from making the dough, rolling it out, and stuffing it.
In ‘A Polish Heart’ the hero, Darrin, is a hard worker and loves being architect, but he’s out of touch with his faith. He accepts a project to go overseas to Warsaw, Poland. Darrin meets Sofia, his interpreter, and what he finds is a sense of family, customs, and traditions he’s been lacking, but does he want these changes to resonate in his life?
BLURB: Will Sofia’s faith give Darrin his heart back?
Reviews:
5 Stars, Joy Cagil, Amazon Reviewer:
“A heartwarming tale.”
‘A Polish Heart’ is published through Amazon Select program and is available through Amazon.

Perry Martin 
Ah, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s immortal words: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Really? Actually, yes. In my opinion, at least. Why?
Well, without giving too much away (since I look very young for my age) I’ll admit to being old enough to have loved and lost; quite a number of times actually and one or two of them were hard to bear. But, here I am, still alive and kicking. It didn’t kill me to lose and it didn’t stop me from loving again. And I carry the memory of those experiences with me as a reminder of how it felt to be madly in love.
Loving, and being loved, is an integral part of life – – or at least it should be if you want to really feel alive. To deny yourself the glorious feeling of falling head over heels in love for fear of losing is to miss out on one of the great experiences of a lifetime. After all, losing, or the threat of loss, is as much a part of life as winning. Without it there would be no point to football, baseball or tennis. There would be no thrills or suspense in books and movies. There would be no fist-pumps and enthusiastic “whoops” at overcoming the obstacles and achieving one’s goals. If one never takes a chance, for fear of losing, then one is really only half alive.
Let’s face it, if it was better never to have loved at all, then nobody would be buying Nicholas Sparks’ novels, or lining up to see the subsequent movies that have been made from his books. And that’s just one, modern-day example. There are countless others. How many books, movies and songs have there been that have as their subject – – love? Some of them with tearful happy endings, others with tear-jerking sad, or bittersweet endings. Yet we never seem to get enough. The songwriters keep composing, the directors keep directing and the authors keep writing for audiences who never seem to tire of the feeling that can sometimes give our heart wings and other times break it in two.
However, I choose not to dwell on the losses, despite the tears and heartbreak I have personally endured, but rather to revel in the memory of the almost indescribable feeling of giving your heart completely to someone. It’s a scary, even risky proposition but the payoff is well worth it. And, if you’ve never experienced that feeling, then let me tell you – – you’re really missing something!
 So is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Absolutely. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
About the author – In his long and varied career as a musician, songwriter and producer Perry has worked with such people as Lefty Frizzell, Hank Snow Jr. and Sheb Wooley. Over the years as a solo performer or with a band he has also been the supporting act for such show biz luminaries as the Bee Gees, Ambrosia, Little River Band, B.J. Thomas, Hal Ketchum and Lonestar – – to name just a few.

More recently he completed his first novel, Pretty Flamingo. Based on actual personal experiences the book is essentially a mystery/love story that takes some very unexpected twists and turns. Learn more about Perry on his website http://www.perrymartin.com/

Tundra 37 by Aubrie Dionne. 
I’m here to talk about Tundra 37, the second book in my New Dawn series, which releases today!!! Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book. Each installment can be read separately and still make sense. So here goes my guest blog…
Why I chose a frozen planet…
For Contrast:
The first book, Paradise 21, was mainly set on a desert planet. I wanted a completely different landscape for the next book, Tundra 37.
In Homage to Hoth:
Some inspiration came from the frozen ice planet of Hoth in Star Wars. I loved the abominable snow monster-called the Wampa, and the horned tauntauns, which Luke Skywalker and Han Solo ride across the frozen plain. I wanted to create my own ice world with its own unique inhabitants. In Tundra 37, you’ll see alien mammoths with hair that can extend and pull you into their mouths, and tentacled beasts that live in an underground ocean, covered by ice.  They were immensely fun to write and provided great obstacles to torture my characters with.
Because of My Personal Experience with Cold Weather:
Living in New Hampshire can sometimes feel like living at the North Pole. Temperatures fall below freezing from December to March, and we get Nor’easters that can dump up to ten feet of snow. I wear pants underneath a long skirt, two of more sweaters, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and knee high boots all winter long. Suffice to say: I hate being cold.
I remember one day way back in high school where I almost passed out from the cold. I was playing piccolo in the marching band at the Turkey Bowl, which is always way too far into November to sit outside for several hours. First came the shivering, so bad that my teeth clacked together, then a hazy dizziness, and then numbness all over. A clarinetist kept yelling my name to keep me awake. He may have been teasing me, but he also kept me from passing out that day. People say write what you know: and in this case, I know a lot about being cold. 
My question to you: Would you rather crash land on a desert planet or an ice world? 
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About Aubrie Dionne
RLF Gems 

This is the second in a series of posts about the “Top Hits” on this website, who draws readers, and what types of articles are the most read.

I’ll list them in order of “page loads” — the number assigned by StatCounter.com via a small html/java script on this page.

Not surprisingly, the top post of the month of February was the first “RLF Gems.” I won’t list it in the top five below, which has two entries at the number four spot in a tie.

#1 Victoria Lynne – With This Kiss (Book Release)
https://rlfblog.com/with-this-kiss-victoria-lynne/

#2 Linda McMaken – Interview
https://rlfblog.com/interview-with-linda-mcmaken/

#3 Xavier Axelson – Interview (Xavier was in the top 5 for 2011 posts)
https://rlfblog.com/interview-with-xavier-axelson/

TIE
#4 Vonnie Davis – Interview
https://rlfblog.com/interview-with-vonnie-davis/

#4 Frances Pauli – True Grit
https://rlfblog.com/new-grit-with-frances-pauli/

#5 Kharisma Rhayne – Sexcation (a truly fun post) ^_^
http://romancelivesforever.blogspot.com/2012/02/sexcation-kharisma-rhayne.html

Other authors included Marcia James, Jasmine Aherne, Evan Jacobs (founder of Kindlegraph), and Karenna Colcroft. I had several posts as well.

Congratulations to each of these writers for great posts and interviews during the month of February.

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