Saturday, January 17, 2015

Casting Your Characters - Using Astrology - Capricorn by Janet Lane Walters #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

As many people know, I use Astrology to understand my characters. I use three elements. I suppose I could cast a chart for each character but this might be difficult since many of my characters reside in fantasy places. Then there's the math involved. I am not a math person.

So I thought my next eleven posts will take a look at the twelve signs and some of the traits these characters might share. Since it's January and Capricorn has a few weeks to go, I'll start here. Remember that when using these traits, women are a bit different than men as far as how they use the traits. Also villains may turn positive traits into negative ones. So can heroes and heroines. Characters are complex just like those who write and read them.

Capricorn sun -- The character's inner nature. This hero or heroine would be quiet, thoughtful and serious. They have a deep mind with good reasoning ability. He or she would be generally practical and would like to investigate all manner or things. They can act with dignity. The hero or heroine is ambitious but is often disappointed but never completely disappointed. He or she often meets heavy obstacles in the path of desire and often butt their way to triumph over obstacles.

Capricorn ascendant - This is the face shown to the world. This hero or heroine would be contemplative. He or she looks after their own interests with determination and persistence. They have organizing ability and can be cautious and calculating. This character would not be demonstrative in showing their feelings. They find sympathizing with others hard. They are self-reliant. He or she can meet with delays and disappointments in their search for wealth, power and position.

Capricorn Moon - This is the character's emotional nature. This hero or heroine would come before the public in a positive or negative way. They are often cold and calculating. He or she can have administrative ambitions. There is often a poor control of appetites. He or shecan also inspire confidence.

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While I have many books, This is my favorite cover.
Amber Chronicles Kindle edition. Magic, dragons, amber towers and more in this fantasy collection,

Amber Chronicles Collection: Emme, a witch and the heir to the throne of the world called Amber is banished from her home to find love. She believes she can command a man to love her but this does not work. Angry at being told no by the...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Monday Was Wash Day by Roseanne Dowell

      Dedicated to my mom who taught me more than how to do laundry. This was my second published work, published in Good Old Days Magazine in May 2004. 

      Bright and early every Monday, Mom and I went to the basement. As I stood by her side she taught me the proper way to sort clothes- whites, towels, colors, work pants and jeans. We pulled the old wringer washer from the corner  to the stationary tubs. She filled it with scalding hot water and turned the machine on to start it agitating. After she added whatever soap was on sale at the time, she always added a bar of Fels Naphtha that she
let me grate on an old grater. The long curls of soap slid off the grater into the water. I loved
watching the scorching water swallow them up as it agitated into suds.

Once the soap dissolved, we put the white clothes in first. Mom pushed them into the water with her wash stick, an old broom handle, being careful not to splash herself with the steaming hot water. She closed the lid. While the clothes washed, we strung the clothes line in the basement on cold or rainy days and outside in the warm sunny weather, which was limited in Ohio.
 Back in the fifties, we didn't have a dryer so everything had to be hung. Besides, Mom said there was nothing like the smell of fresh laundered clothes straight off the line in the warm weather. She climbed on a stool made especially for her and pulled that line so tight someone could walk across it and then gave it another yank before securing it with a knot.
Back into the basement, we scrubbed the two stationary tubs, and filled them with water.
Mom added bleach to the first tub and the other held plain rinse water. After the clothes washed for about 15 minutes, Mom used the wash stick and pulled them out of the washer, the water still being too hot to touch. She put them carefully through the wringer. My job was to make sure they didn't wrap around the rollers, which sometimes happened anyway causing it to pop, separating the rollers. We untangled the clothes and she re-tightened the knob. It was always very frustrating when that happened and took valuable time away from a busy day.
We let the clothes soak for a few minutes in the bleach pushing them around with the stick, so we wouldn't slop the bleach water on ourselves. After we rinsed them, we drained the bleach water and added fresh water and rinsed the clothes again, changing the rinse water after every load. We rinsed the clothes thoroughly by lifting them in and out of the water up and down repeatedly. It looked like fun until she let me do it.  I found out how hard it was and how heavy wet clothes were. It was backbreaking work. After the last rinse, Mom sent the clothes through the wringer and I guided them into a basket that sat on a bench next to the washer. The next load to go in was the towels, as most of them were light colors or white. While they were washing, we hung the first load.
I helped by handing my mom clothespins and the clothes, saving her from bending over. She
always tried to make a game of it, singing and teasing to help make it fun. About halfway through she sent me to the garage for the wooden clothes props which we hooked under the line and raised it up, so the clothes didn't hit the ground. No matter how tight Mom pulled that line, the wet clothes made it sag. The clothes props had a groove in them to hold the line so it couldn't fall out as it flapped back and forth in the breeze.
She hung the work pants with pant stretchers in the legs, to keep them taut and made the
crease. As soon as the clothes were dry, we removed them to make room for new ones.  Most days the last load of laundry was on the line by noon. It usually didn't take them long to dry. We snapped them hard when we removed them to get rid of excess wrinkles and folded them immediately, then Mom sorted them onto piles for each of us kids to put away. The clothes that needed ironed were sometimes taken off the line damp or sprinkled with water, rolled into a ball, and stored in a plastic bag. Tuesday was ironing day.

 You can find Roseanne's books at   Books We Love or Amazon 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

These are a few of my favorite covers ...

As promised, here are five of my favorite BWL covers that I have created.  Now keep in mind, I said five of my favorites - not my top five favorites.  As a cover artist, I often pour a little of myself into each cover.

It's just so pretty!


Seriously though, one of my favorite covers to date would have to be Ring Around the Rosy by Roseanne Dowell.  I love the way the red and the gold compliment each other.  The background has a nice kind of mysterious focus to it.

The bleeding rose just enhances it.


* * *

Up next is Into A Dangerous Mind by Tina Gerow.


With this one, I quite simply love the couple.  They are sexy, mysterious, and I love the holding hands.

Again, we have a nice contrast of red with another color, in this case black and the peach skin tone.

Here's the full print wrap - just for fun.

* * *

 Changing focus, let's look at a futuristic - Vijaya Schartz's Alien Lockdown.

With this one, the black is nicely contrasted with the grey/blue of the text and the stars in the background.  The futuristic corridor is faded into a star field to give it that kick.

I also love the woman - she is sexy and sassy and has attitude.

Plus - leather.  Yeah.


* * *

 Another nice cover with a black focus is A Novel Murder by Ginger Simpson.  In this case, the background is black and white, then the foreground of white and peach.

I love the image of the woman with the guy, the couple is so sexy, and I love the almost innocence of the woman on the computer.


* * *
 And for my fifth pick ...

Victoria Chatham's His Dark Enchantress.

It's bright, sexy and the woman makes this cover for me.


Here's the print edition.

Favorite Cover: Yellow Moon by Ginger Simpson

Juliet Waldron asked for this to be posted for her.

My favorite cover by Michelle Lee is that of "Yellow Moon" by Ginger Simpson. Here is the scene and the setting and beautiful Indian maiden whose story we'll definitely want to read. It's period correct and yet mysterious and beautiful, too.

I'm jealous of this cover.

It was a tough pick, tough, and "The Barbers" by Katherine Pym and Kathy Fischer-Brown's "The Partisan's Wife" would be my runners-up!


Jude Pittman's Favorite Covers

My favorite covers are twofold, one that everyone might not have seen yet, is Ron Crouch’s The Weatherman  and the other my all-time favorite is Witch Resurrected. 

The Weatherman cover absolutely speaks the story. This guy’s deadly. He’s also Native American and not “old time” this is a contemporary hard edge thriller. Coming Soon!
And Witch Resurrected. What’s there to say. This is fun and magic, sexy and dangerous.  Wow, witches, black cats, and a sexy hunk with a big gun, this is going to be a rollicking good read – and it delivers as promised.

Jude Pittman


Favorite Cover--Here Today Zombie Tomorrow by Connie Vines

Michelle Lee's covers are all so good that it was a hard task to pick just one favorite. But this one stands out for me and in my opinion contains every element required to sell a book.
The cover expresses the storyline perfectly—it’ s sassy, fun and you just know this is going to be a crazy ride. Meredith is certainly not what I would expect a zombie to look like. Zombie stories are not usually my choice of read but this cover urges me to give it a try.

Here's the buy link:

Posted by Tricia McGill, proud Books We Love author


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