Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Travelogue: Follow the Yellow Brick Road Outdoor Exhibit, the Beloved Story of the Wizard of Oz



Hello and welcome! Tired of "staying-in", we broke out and took a drive with my daughter, Sara and family, on Memorial Day which turned out to be my birthday this year. So we had two great reasons to head out to Holland, Michigan, about one hour from our home.
Lighthouse at Holland


Sara wanted to see the famous tulips albeit late in the season. Ben wanted to look at Jeeps. Read no further if you are looking forward to a tour of the car dealerships featuring Jeeps. 


The characters in the Wizard of Oz along the yellow brick road in front of the Herrick Library.

Why would the city of Holland feature the beloved story, The Wizard of Oz, in their downtown area? Because the author of the book, L. Frank Baum, spent summers along the shores of Lake Macatawa in Holland. I wish I could tell you all about him and how some of the folks in his neighborhood can be seen as the characters in the book! I'll save that for another day because we're here to tour through this amazing exhibit.  It's FREE and Open 24 hours every day.

The 10' x12' open book is made of thousands of annuals a living "floral mosaic. I snapped this photo in September 2017 when we visited. On Memorial Day 2020, the book had not been moved from its winter home in the Holland City greenhouse.

Follow the yellow brick road across the road kitty-corner from this display to the amazing bronze sculptures of the cherished characters in the book. Interaction with the characters is encouraged. In fact, one cannot help but pet the lion, hug the scarecrow and tin man, and adore sweet Dorothy and her darling dog.

Sculptor Nick Christenson and his crew at Brodin Studios have made an outstanding exhibit that will make visitors smile and remember their experiences when reading the Wizard of Oz or seeing the movie based on the book.

I hope you will someday be able to visit when you're in the West Michigan area.
This little host greets you as you walk across the street from the park.

See what I mean? You can't resist the scarecrow!

The perfect word to describe Dorothy is precious. So is her lovable companion. Who can tell me the name of her dog? Leave the name in a comment below and I'll send you a surprise!

Sara and I wanted to climb on the lion, but the hot sun made the bronze sculpture very very hot. I bet little kids wouldn't care. His broad back invites you to sit!

The tin man wins for the best grin.

Now the Fighting Tree was scary, just as in the book. But I ended up laughing.
Sunset over Lake Michigan--Photo taken on the shore of Lake Michigan, one of the best places to view a breathtaking sunset.
****

Click here for my blog post about more places to visit in Holland, Michigan.
****

Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Cozy mystery
A handsome detective, a shadow man, 
and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.
Deadly Undertaking is on sale during Smashwords Authors Give Back Event 
through May 31 for $1.20.  
Click here to download it at Smashwords now.

Buy Links: Deadly Undertaking is available at your favorite digital bookseller.

Universal Link for Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc.

Available in paperback and eBook at Amazon

AmazonUS  




****

Click the image in the sidebar or 
click here to sign up for all the news and giveaways 
from J.Q. Rose in the Rose Courier

Thank you for visiting today!!

🌷🌷🌷🌷






Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Taking a Break, Happy Memorial Day Weekend, FREE Quirky Short Stories by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!



#AuthorToolboxBlogHop
I'm taking a break this week from blogging. I won't be participating in the Author Toolbox Blog Hop this month, but I'll be back next month for sure. Click here to visit the May blog hop participants.
Coming in January 2021

I will be "focusing" on my memoir, Arranging a Dream. Digging deeper into my memory files to bring you a richer and inspiring story. 
####
Books We Love Publishing
I will be at BWL Publishing Insider Blog on Wednesday, May 20 sharing recipes to cook over the campfire! YUM. Easy to fix during Memorial Day Weekend. Click here to join me.
####

I have put together a collection of five quirky stories to give you a break from the burden of dealing with so many challenges, frustration, illness and sadness due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please download these approximately 1000 word stories which were originally published on this blog for the Storytime Blog Hop.

Entertaining stories in between rain showers during Memorial Day weekend in Michigan!

I've had a lot of fun re-visiting and revising them for you. Sit back, laugh or gasp for a few minutes. You deserve it.
Click here to download the file.
####

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend from J.Q. Rose!


Books by J.Q. Rose
Click here to learn about each one.


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Deadly Undertaking: Call 9-1-1. There's a dead body out here! #MFRWHooks


Book Hooks Blog Hop 
#MFRWHooks
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from their book. I'm sharing from my romantic suspense novel, Deadly Undertaking.
🌷🌷🌷🌷
Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Cozy mystery
A handsome detective, a shadow man, 
and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.


Back of the book:
Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother and keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life.

Welcome home, Lauren!
🌷🌷🌷🌷

Excerpt: Deadly Undertaking, Chapter One
“Lauren, quick, call 9-1-1, there’s a dead body out here in the garage!” 

Dad and his bad jokes. This is a funeral home. Of course, there’s a body here. 

“Lauren, did you hear me? Call 9-1-1.”

 Hearing the urgency in his voice, Lauren grabbed her cell phone from the desk, kicked off her high heels, and ran toward the garage. Lauren skidded to a stop in the doorway. A man lay sprawled face down in a pool of blood on the garage floor between the black funeral coach and SUV. Her father looked up and shook his head. 

Bile rose to her throat, and she turned away from the ghastly scene. Trying to steady her hands long enough to punch in 9-1-1, she breathed deeply and squeezed her eyes shut to block the image from her mind. 

“What is your emergency?” a nasal voice on the phone asked. 

“There’s a man in our garage. I think he’s dead.” Her voice sounded unusually loud and high pitched. 

“What’s your name and location?” 

“Lauren Staab, Staab and Blood Funeral Home, 405 East Main Street.” 

“Is this a joke? If this is a prank call, there are serious consequences, Ma’am.” 

“No, no. It’s true. There’s a dead man on the floor of our garage.” Lauren’s stomach churned. “Hurry, call the police.” She knew she was going to be sick. 
“Get the police here now!” 
Clamping her hand over her mouth, she raced for the other side of the funeral coach. 
***
Deadly Undertaking is on sale during Smashwords Authors Give Back Event 
through May 31 for $1.20.  
Click here to download it at Smashwords now.

Buy Links: Deadly Undertaking is available at your favorite digital bookseller.

Universal Link for Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc.

Available in paperback and eBook at Amazon

AmazonUS  



****

The May edition of the Rose Courier will be delivered this week. You still time to have it delivered to your inbox. Click the image in the sidebar or click here to sign up for all the news and giveaways from J.Q. Rose. Thank you.

🌷🌷🌷🌷


Click here to visit bloggers who are participating in the Book Hooks Blog Hop. Enjoy meeting new authors and visiting your favorites. 
Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

IWSG Blog Hop: My Memoir vs COVID-19


Hello and welcome to the 
Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop!
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

IWSG Blog Hop
🎕🎕🎕🎕
What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.

The awesome co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

🎕🎕🎕🎕

May 6 question - 

Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

I don't know as I would call it a ritual but I discovered I trim my nails before tackling my WIP. I don't do it on purpose. I've noticed a perk though when I'm writing. My fingers perform nimble acrobatics across the keyboard without the nuisance of long nails slowing me down. I haven't tested to discover if my storytelling or perhaps my spelling and grammar is improved by nail length. But I'm sure my word count explodes on the pages. How about you?
🎕🎕🎕🎕

My Memoir vs COVID-19 by J.Q. Rose

When the news of the coronavirus made headlines and restrictions were imposed, I did not accept the reality of the moment. We were in Florida for the winter, but shutting down the beaches and bars in Florida had no effect on my life. Then the governor's decisions did start leaking into my life. 
  • No more than ten people in a group. 
  • No restaurants open for breakfast after church and no more church services in the building. 
  • No getting together at friends' homes for pegs and jokers board games and delicious party food.  
Each order beat a chink in the armor I had put on to protect myself and my feelings about the reality of this life-changing pandemic for me and the entire world.

A community-wide yard sale in our over 55+ park scheduled for Saturday, March 21 really brought home the fact how serious this disease was. Our friends wanted to participate in the yard sale, so they brought their items over to our house and I added some of our "white elephants" to their tables they had set up in our carport. 

After finishing the displays of goods, my friend and I hopped in the car a list of the addresses of sales scheduled to be open on that Saturday. We noticed only a few cars and golf carts were out and about. Unusual for the first hours of yard sailing day. I drove and my friend navigated to the next stop. We were surprised at how many people had opted out of participating in the sale fearing the Coronavirus could be spread throughout our senior community. 

On our way back to our house, we discussed how people were accepting the precautions. That was the eye-opening moment when we knew it was time to get serious about the impact this virus could have on our community.

I accepted the changes and kept up with housework and writing, looking forward to our trip back north in April. Then, the rumors about traveling out of Florida flew through the snowbird community--borders closed, no rest areas open, no places to eat along the highways that we would travel on to get home. When Florida closed its borders to anyone traveling from states highly infected with the disease, we decided we'd better get OUT of Florida while we could and get back IN to Michigan before they banned travel from Florida. Everything was up in the air, not knowing what stories from locals were true and how much of the media coverage could be trusted.

I never agonize over packing up to move back north. We've moved from this place in Florida every spring since 2006. But this year, my brain was scattered. I couldn't decide what to pack, how to pack, what to bring on a trip where I feared no restrooms and no food would be available. And would the gas stations be open for us along the highways when we needed them? My heart is pounding even now just remembering the anxiety I felt that week before we left on the 22-hour trip north. I wasn't crazy about spending the night in a motel not knowing how carefully they sanitized it, so we decided to spend just one night on the road rather than two.
Downtown Atlanta,Georgia, April 5,2020
Eerie scene driving through the city which is usually bumper to bumper and stop and go traffic
Thankfully, the trip was smooth and easy. Light traffic on the Interstate meant no traffic jams as we sped through the big cities. Gas stations were open all the way along the route. The rest areas were open so most of the time I was the only one in the ladies' room--just me and 20 toilets. The motel in Kentucky was clean. In fact, the clerk who greeted us sanitized the pen GT used before and after he signed the papers and the desktop where we signed in. 

We arrived safely home in the late afternoon of the second day on the road. Our daughter and son-in-law had the electric and heat on, so the refrigerator was cold and ready to load up with food and the house was warm and comfortable. I sighed a relief we were home.

I tried to settle into our normal life, again with housework and writing, but I couldn't focus on the memoir I was trying to finish for a June release. Evidently, other authors had the same problem because our thoughtful publisher, Jude Pittman, sent a note on the authors' group FB page that she understood it was a difficult time for authors to get their books ready for publishing in 2020. So if we needed to re-schedule to a later date, we could. I blew off the idea. That pandemic was not going to interfere with my writing.

However, after realizing I just couldn't focus on writing the best book I could for BWL Publishing and for my readers, I finally asked Jude to re-schedule.  I felt horrible about changing the release date since I had shouted about it so much. But when Jude said she could re-schedule the release to January 2021, I felt the cloud of anxiety lift and float away.

I know many of you are dealing with stress, anxiety, sadness and loss brought on by this devastating event. You are not alone. Reach out for help because we all need help getting through this, but getting through this, we will! 

After all, this is the Insecure Writers Support Group--there for each other in supporting our writing efforts. After many years of taking part in the group, I have witnessed the caring and kindness offered to each other than just writing. 

Please leave a comment below with a helpful tip on how you focus on your writing during stressful times. Thank you.
🎕🎕🎕🎕

FREE

Lighten Up with Time Out While Staying In: 5 Quirky Short Stories

I put together a collection of five quirky stories to give you a break from the burden of dealing with so many challenges. So Take a Break. Download these approximately 1000 word stories which were originally published on this blog for the Storytime Blog Hop.

You are not signing up for anything other than having some time to escape reality!

Time Out While Staying In: FREE--
Five Quirky Short Stories by J.Q. Rose


I've had a lot of fun re-visiting and revising the stories for you. Sit back, laugh or gasp for a few minutes. 
You deserve it.
Click here to download the file.

We will get through this difficult time. I think we'll be surprised at how many things will change for the better as a result.

Hugs from J.Q. Rose




The May edition of the Rose Courier will be delivered next week. Still time to have it delivered to your inbox. Click the image in the sidebar or click here to sign up for all the news and giveaways from J.Q. Rose. Thank you.