Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Summer Readers Circle: Tricia McGill's Annie's Choices Book 4 in the Settlers Series, Giveaway


Summer Readers Circle
Hello and welcome to the Summer Readers Circle. I will be hosting guest authors the last Tuesday of the month. These talented storytellers will let us in on why they wrote their books and share an excerpt from the books to hook you on that story. Yes, there will be prizes too just as in previous Readers Circle events. A lucky commenter will win the prize, so be sure to enter!!

Talk about talented storytellers.  Multi-genre author Tricia McGill is back in the Readers Circle. She is passionate about reading, writing, and animals. Her latest release from BWL Publishing is historical romance Annie's Choices, Book 4 in the Settlers Series. She says it's the last, but I am having my doubts about that. What do you think after reading why she wrote Annie's Choices.

Be sure to leave a comment because Tricia has generously offered to give away a PDF copy of Annie's Choices to a lucky commenter! Deadline for entry is Sunday, August 30, 9:00 pm ET. 

Thank you, Tricia!

Why I Wrote Annie’s Choices by Tricia McGill

Annie's Choice, Settlers Book 4
by Tricia McGill
Historical romance
Challenging Mountains, Book 3 in my Settlers Series, was meant to be the last in the sagas about the Carstairs family. I always intended Tim’s story to be the final, but as so often happens, his sister Annie started nagging me to tell her story. Fellow writers know what I mean when I say a character is telling me (Usually in the early hours of the morning) that I must get their story told. I guess it was only natural in a way, as I knew the Carstairs clan inside out by then, having been with them since Bella arrived at Sydney Cove on a transport ship back in 1818.

At the start of her story in 1843, Annie is 18. Having spent all her life on the sheep farm at Bathurst west of Sydney, owned by her Papa Tiger, she is still naΓ―ve in the ways of the world, yet forthright because of her upbringing. Deciding to stay with her brother Tim and his wife Jo in Melbourne after a visit with her parents, she meets Jacob, who works as a carpenter for her brother. Jacob is a steady sort of man who keeps his feelings close to his chest and Annie is never quite sure how he feels about her.

Some of Annie’s choices turn out to be questionable, especially the biggest one of all where she makes the wrong decision about the two men who come into her life. Many changes have occurred in the fledgling colony in the 25 years or so since Annie’s Mama first set her feet down on solid land at Sydney Cove as a prisoner of the crown. My main aim in this, the final in the series, was to go full circle and take the family back to where it all began. I say final, but Tiger and Bella had eight offspring so who knows, one of them could very well start hinting it is time we heard their story.

Click here to download Annie’s Choices from your favorite online bookseller here: 


Annie’s Choices Excerpt:

It was fortunate that the house built for Tim and Uncle Carlos had sufficient rooms to house them all while Mama and Papa were visiting. Uncle Carlos and his Amelia were in the midst of planning a home of their own not too far away and would be moving there soon. The furniture manufacturing business they started on reaching Port Phillip was thriving due to the arrival of new settlers in the district. Jacob was happy to share a hut adjoining the stables with Billy, the native who had journeyed south with them in search of his long-lost family. A fruitless search it seemed, since many of the natives had either been forced inland or died in the numerous battles with squatters and settlers.

All Annie had learned to date about Jacob was that he arrived in town last year with his Ma, who worked for a family of free settlers. He had a hand in building the family’s house and so acquired the skills required by Alfred, Tim and Carlos’ chief craftsman, who welcomed him when he applied for employment in the factory.

When she arrived with her Ma, Papa, Uncle Remy and Aunt Sara last month to spend the Christmas season with Tim and Uncle Carlos, and to meet Tim and Jo’s first born, the first person Annie set eyes on was Jacob, even before being greeted by the family. It turned out that he was sent ahead to lend a hand with their luggage. As the sun slanted across his head, turning his hair to gold, for a fleeting moment she imagined him as some sun god and not real, and her breath caught in her throat.

A memory her mother related to her once of how the first thing she noticed about Pa when brought ashore at Botany Bay all those years ago, was his thatch of golden hair, made Annie wonder if that was perhaps when Mama fell in love with Papa. In her eyes, Pa was still a handsome man, even though old. Her Ma laughed at her when she said that a while back, scoffing that he was in his prime at fifty and four or so years.

Jacob had politely welcomed them all, before continuing his assigned task, and Annie was taken aback by how softly spoken he was compared to most of the farm workers employed by her Pa. Another day passed before she was in his company again and heard that lovely lilt. He seemed reticent about stopping to talk, and Annie’s curiosity became roused.

Now here it was, almost one month later, and still she had not managed to pass more than a few words with him. Always he was off going about one task or another when not working alongside Alfred and his other employees making their splendid furniture. He seemed to enjoy spending his leisure time with Billy and the horses. With a sigh, she plumped up her pillow and turned onto her side. Tomorrow, or as soon as the opportunity arose, she intended to gain his attention.

Perhaps he thought her ugly. Sure that she was no raving beauty, nonetheless Annie knew that many of the other misses of her age in the colony were less attractive by far than her. Some had mottled skin gained from spending too much time out in the sun without a bonnet. Her hair had gained a few compliments from one or two young men and she knew some found its color appealing. Mama and her brothers had inherited their reddish locks from their Spanish Papa, and although hers was not as dark as theirs it was nevertheless a lovely shade between red and gold so Ma had assured her.

A terrible thought then hit her and she sat up with a jerk. Could he already have set his cap at one of the other misses who made sheep’s eyes at him? How she wished she were worldlier.


About Tricia McGill:

Award-winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers who encouraged

Tricia McGill
her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart.

Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations. Some animals seem to be getting the raw end of the deal even in this enlightened age. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time, she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”


Visit Tricia online:

Click here for Tricia's author website.

Click here for Tricia's blog

Click here for Tricia's Facebook page


Thanks so much for joining the Readers Circle today. 

Please leave a comment below and tell us if you think there will be another book in the Settlers Series and to win the drawing for Tricia's book, Annie's Choices.


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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop Report on my FB Live Experiment in Life Storytelling



Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to 
share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture. 
Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here to visit other blog hop participants.
πŸ› πŸ› πŸ› πŸ› 

Wednesday Write-In on Telling Your Life Story and Memoir Circle

FB LIVE is another tool in your marketing toolbox. I started trying it out in 2018 at my FB author page, J.Q. Rose, Author

Last month I told you I would report back on the experiment I used at my FB Group, Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle.  On Wednesday, July 15, at 9 a.m., I began the write-in challenge for three Wednesdays in a row.  The challenge was to begin writing about a topic for ten minutes, then the next week the challenge was for fifteen minutes and the third week was for twenty minutes on the topic I suggested or for one of the writer chose.

The first prompt was to write about food--your favorite to eat or prepare.
Image may contain: food, text that says 'WEDNESDAY WRITE-IN RITE TOPIC FOOD Favorites to eat or prepare.'
The first writing prompt of the write-in challenge.

I got the idea for this write-in from an online workshop presented by Leslie Leyland-Fields for life storytellers. The writers who participated in the workshop were enthusiastic about having ten minutes of writing time together to do our own thing. Leslie played music during the time, but I did not because the music she played was not conducive to my writing. I turned down the volume on my laptop. 

After the introduction to the suggested writing topic, I set the timer and moved out of the screen to let the folks write IF anyone was there. Turned out I had one live participant who said hi. After the event, I did get some comments from a few folks and 24 views. I had hoped to have some interactive discussion on how well this idea was received. Was it helpful? Did you get something down on the paper? Did it spark ideas for future writing?

I checked back several times to see if someone had shared their piece in the comment section, but at this writing, no one has. 

As I look at the video now, I see how insecure I was about using FB Live. I had used it 2 years ago, but I have been using Streamyard lately. The FB dashboard was different. Though I had practiced with it, I floundered at the beginning of the video, probably because of nerves. 

Let me just say, it wasn't exactly exciting video! 😁 In fact, it was boring. And so embarrassing that my ring light reflected in my glasses. Very distracting. I usually don't wear my glasses for video because of that problem. 

The second write-in writing prompt was to write about friends.
Friends was the suggested topic for the second FB Live video

The good news is the video was much better. I wasn't so hesitant and felt more in control. The bad news is I received no live participants and no comments and only 14 views. 

I know people are busy and finding the right time for everyone to get together and write is difficult. So for the third session, I just posted a note that the writers could set their timer for 20 minutes and write on their own. Honestly, I didn't want to put on my make up and do my hair and sit alone for 20 minutes. 

So, to sum up the experience, from 1 (horrible) to 5 (fantastic), I would rate it as a 2. I did gain some self confidence using the FB Live dashboard, but I really like Streamyard because it makes the banners to use on the bottom third of the screen. Maybe FB will offer that perk eventually.
One good thing to come out of it is I am now offering a writing prompt every Wednesday because I discovered that is one thing my life storytellers want. Writing prompts spark memories and that is our goal as life storytellers and memoirists.
Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories 
by J.Q. Rose
Click here for more information at amazon.com

You're not sure what the difference is between life stories and memoirs? Click here to join us at the FB group to discover videos and tips on life storytelling. 

The group discussion is based on the journal, Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories available at amazon.com

Have you tried FB Live or do you watch them? Please tell us about your experience in a comment below. Thank you.

Thanks so much for stopping in. I hope you'll visit more bloggers and pick up tips and inspiration along the hop. 
Click here to visit other blog hop participants.

Sign up for The Rose Courier
Click here to get the updates from J.Q. Rose, articles,  newsworthy events and giveaways in the Rose Courier. Delivered to your inbox once a month.   
Thank you!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Play a Silly Game With Me, Join the Telling Life Stories and Memoir Circle, the Rose Courier

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. I'm taking some time to play this week--as you can see I had a lot of fun picking flowers from our yard and making a bouquet. In case you didn't know, my husband GT, Gardener Ted, and I owned and operated a flower shop, greenhouses and garden center for 19+ years. In fact, I am writing my memoir about that first year we moved from our safe and secure home in Central Illinois to a small town in West Michigan with our baby girl, Sara. Why anyone would sell their business to a young couple who had no floral shop experience and no business experience still makes me scratch my head. But they did! 

I am taking a break from writing the memoir, Arranging a Dream. Yes, I need one so I can think straight to edit and revise it. BWL Publishing will release the book in January 2021. Sounds like a long ways away, doesn't it? But so much to do before January!
Arranging a Dream: A Memoir
J.Q. Rose
Release in January 2021

I took a break last week from my FB group, Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle, so I'm fired up this week to get back to it with the gang. If you have an interest in telling your life story or ever wonder why you should, please click here to join us.

Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle on Facebook
Come and join us!!

Sign up for The Rose Courier
The Rose Courier will be in your inbox this week if you signed up. If not, Click Here to get the updates from J.Q. Rose, articles,  newsworthy events, giveaways--sorry no comics--in the Rose Courier. Delivered to your inbox once a month.   
Thank you!!
Just for Fun
Won't you play along with me?
Everyone has six names...this made me laugh so I'm doing it! 

πŸ”ΉYour real name:
- Janet Lee Glaser
πŸ”ΉYour soap opera name:
Lee Fairlane
(middle name and name of your street)
πŸ”ΉYour StarTrek name:
(first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of middle, last 2 of first)
- Glasleet
πŸ”ΉSuperhero name:
(color of your shirt and item to your right)
- Gray Glasses
πŸ”ΉGoth name:
(black and name of your pet
- Black Cinnamon (RIP Cinnamon)
πŸ”ΉRapper name (Lil' + last thing you ate):
- Lil Bagel
Copy, paste, and play
Wishing you all a playful summer week!
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop: Choosing Genres or Not

Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog AND the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

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.
August 5 question - Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around.Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?
Answer: I usually outline my short stories and novels so I have an idea of what genre I will use. 
I enjoy freewriting when I don't plan out anything and just write. Most of the time the topic I start with is not the topic I end with! 
Try it. Start with setting a timer for 5 minutes or 10 minutes and don't let your pencil leave the page or fingers leave the keyboard. This is the perfect exercise if you struggle with writer's block.
Note: Thanks for stopping in today. I am scheduled for cataract surgery this morning, so I won't be able to reply to your comments or visit your sites until later. 

Happy IWSG Day to all!
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Click here to join or click the box in the sidebar.
Thank you!!