Song of the Day – “Cats on the Coast” – Sea Level

Pamela Beckford:

Great music for a slow Sunday morning

Originally posted on enthusiasm noted:

In between playing for the Allman Brothers and becoming the tour keyboardist for the Rolling Stones, Chuck Leavell formed his own band for a couple of albums. He called it Sea Level (get it, C. Leavell?). They were very mellow and didn’t rock out, which makes a song from them perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

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Here, let me help you with that promotion …

Originally posted on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing:

This is a rerun of a post from April 19, 2014, because I thought it was time to remind a few of you out there …

“Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.” — Will Rogers

There is nothing worse – and I mean NOTHING!! – than an author who over-self-promotes!

Now I didn’t say just “self-promotes” but qualified it with “over”, because we all need to do a little bit of promoting, within reason, to get the word out about what we’ve written. Even traditionally published authors need to promote themselves, because many publishers just don’t have the financial wherewithall to deal individually with each author on their list. And you authors already know who your personal and professional contacts are, anyway, so you have a better chance of attracting attention by approaching those people personally.

But what happens when you…

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Sarah M. Cradit – Featured Author

11025689_852296701478091_4587986466597864821_oHere is the cover reveal for the upcoming book Empire of Shadows that will be available this spring.

Sarah Cradit is one of my favorite authors. She has written some amazing books centered on two families in New Orleans – The Sullivans and the Deschanels. Follow along as Sarah masterfully weaves a tale of Oz, Nicholas, Adrienne, Anne, Amelia, Finn and Colleen and so many others. Not only is she an amazing weaver of tales, but she is also a high quality author who loves to connect with her readers.

I first read St. Charles at Dusk – a lagniappe in the House of Crimson & Clover series. I was hooked from the first chapter and could hardly wait for the next book.

Series Blurb:

Dive into the secretive, ancient, powerful world of the Deschanels and Sullivans…

The Sullivans, a family of hard-working Irish lawyers, came from nothing and built a life they can be proud of. The Deschanels amassed incredible wealth by siding with the North during the Civil War, betraying their people. Both New Orleans families have a dark and rich history, painted with secrets, treachery, and colorful, supernatural abilities.

The House of Crimson and Clover unravels the mysteries surrounding both families, pulling us further into their tangled, enigmatic lives.

There are several books and lagniappes in the series. While some can be read as standalone stories, others are best read when you know who the characters are and what their history is. I really recommend starting at the beginning and working through the series. You will want to learn everything you can about all of these characters and their lives and what is going to happen next. I know I feel that way, anyway.

And her covers underwent a transformation several months ago. I think they are beautiful and make me want to open the cover and dive in to see what is underneath that gorgeous and striking cover.

Give Sarah’s books a read, follow her blog, follow her on Facebook and Twitter. She also has an author page on Goodreads and Amazon. Sarah’s books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and others. Happy reading!

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Dangerous Temptations by Brooke Cumberland Release Day Blitz

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One night was all it took…
One night to ruin everything I thought I knew.
From the outside, I had the perfect lifestyle.
Wealthy fiancé, blossoming career, amazing friends.
I wasn’t looking to get married yet, but when William—“Manhattan’s royalty”—charmed his way into my life, I couldn’t deny the security and comfort that overcame me.
To society, I was the girl only after his money. I was the party-goer who managed to seduce a man twice my age to have the lifestyle some could only dream of. I was every magazine’s cliché of what a gold-digging whore was.
I wanted to prove them wrong—that our love was real and that I wasn’t that girl.
But then everything changed.
One wrong decision. One unfaithful night. One haunting reality.
Perhaps they were right.
The media didn’t see it coming…and neither did I.
**This is a stand alone romance suspense novel with no cliffhanger. HEA depends on who you ask.**
Recommended for readers 18 and up due to strong language and explicit sexual content.

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“How long do you plan to act like this?” His question shocked me, my body jerking in response.

“Act like what?” I turned around, narrowing my brows in disapproval.

“That you despise me,” he said bluntly.

I thought about his question for a moment, realizing this was probably just as hard on him as it was on me, but he was the one acting like an arrogant jerk.

“I wouldn’t have to if you’d stop trying to cross boundaries with me when you know it’s inappropriate.”

“Inappropriate?” He laughed, pissing me off more. “Good god, it’s like you’re a Stepford Wife.”

“You know what I mean.”

“You mean…that I’m tempting you? That I’m giving you something more to desire?” He took a step toward me, caging me in with his arms around me. I stepped back as far as I could before hitting the back of the sink. “If you didn’t feel it too, there’d be no issue. But I know for a fact you do.”

I swallowed, hating that he was right, but it didn’t mean anything. It couldn’t.

“Just because your technique—“ I waved a finger between us, “—normally works for other girls, doesn’t mean it’s going to work on me.”

He furrowed his brows and asked, “And what technique would that be?”

“Getting what you want, who you want.” I pushed against his chest, needing the space. “You’re not used to girls saying ‘no’ to you. You use your name, your father’s popularity to gain respect, and truthfully, it’s a little pathetic,” I snapped, the courage I’d felt quickly left as his eyes darkened, getting more intense.

He leaned into me and shot back, “Do you see any other girls here?”

“Give it time.” I held my ground as best I could. His face that close to mine was making it almost impossible to think straight.

He laughed in my face, a deep, throaty laugh that came out as if he was amused by my antics. “If it’s on the Internet, it must be true, right?”

I had looked him up late last night when sleep wouldn’t come to me. Although I tried, wanting—needing—to forget that whole day, it just wasn’t happening. Most of the stories were from his teenage and early college years, there hadn’t been anything recent, but I used it against him anyway.

“Isn’t that the way the game works?”

“I don’t know what game you’re playing, sweetheart, but I know what you felt when you kissed me. You feel what I feel and there’s no denying that.”

His eyes looked into mine, confident and tense as I stared back. “It doesn’t matter, Alex. It’s never going to lead to anything, so you should just stop trying.”

“And what if I don’t?”

“You’re just wasting your time.”

“I’m willing to bet I’m not, but if you want to be delusional, fine with me.” He pressed his chest against me and brought his face closer to mine. “I wasn’t sorry for what we did, Mac. I’ll never be sorry for that. I’m only sorry you felt guilty about it afterward.”

“If you cared about me at all like you claim, you’d back off, Alex.”

He huffed in an amused laughter. “That’s one thing you should learn about me, Mac. I don’t back off on something I want.” He gripped my chin with his thumb. “I was trying to get you out of my mind, and I failed miserably. The only thing I want from you isyou. I don’t need to parade you around like a little trophy wife or show you off to my friends. Once you see that, you’ll change your mind.” He dropped his hand and stepped back, walking away with the last word. It didn’t matter anyway, I had nothing left to say.

Read the first chapter here

Check out the Dangerous Temptations Pinterest Board

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Brooke Cumberland is a USA Today Bestselling author who’s a stay-at-home mom and writes full-time. She lives in the frozen tundra of Packer Nation with her husband, 4 year old wild child, and two teenage stepsons. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading love stories, listening to music that inspires her, and laughing with her family. Brooke is addicted to Starbucks coffee, leggings, and anything sweet. She found her passion for telling stories during winter break one year in grad school–and she hasn’t stopped since.
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Featured author or blogger

I am going to start adding a post twice a month on my blog. My plan is every other Thursday to feature one author or blog that I really like. I may or may not do an author interview. I may just put together my own thoughts of how that blog or author has helped me or made me feel. 

If you would like to be featured, please contact me at pamela984 at yahoo.com. But to start with, I’m going to be hand picking my favorites. Look for the first post this Thursday. 

Let the Memoirs Volume Two Blog Hop Begin!

Originally posted on Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante:

Today, on Poetry by Pamela, your favourite dilettante demonstrates most demonstratively (I know, that was truly lazy, darlings, and I apologize) how to compose poetry. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that you don’t care. You don’t like poetry. Or, you do, but have no desire to be lectured by me about it.

I promise not to lecture, darlings, but rather, simply share.

I’ve composed a haiku — a simple enough task, you might think, but you’d be wrong. Haiku is tricky.

Head on over to Pamela’s and see how I construct, deconstruct, and reconstruct a little poem entitled L’Ange Gabriel.

Comments here are closed. See you at Pamela’s

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L’Ange Gabriel

I am so fortunate today to have a guest post by the lovely Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone’s favorite dilettante. She contributes a poem, but also takes time to let you peer into a writer’s mind for how something as seemingly simple as a haiku is created.  If you aren’t familiar with Helena’s work, you need to be. She has written a couple of books and is a regular blogger. Be sure and follow this link to find her blog and below to see her books. But enough from me, take it away Helena.

down heavenly stairs

gabriel drops pianos

now here comes the flood

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CONSTRUCTION/DECONSTRUCTION

Haiku, believe it or not, are difficult to write. Let me restate that — good haiku are difficult to write. And further, I’m not sure I’m a good judge of what makes a good haiku, as I can’t state with any confidence that I’ve ever written one. I usually try to be too clever, or overstate something in an obvious way. According to an old professor of mine, haiku conventionally approach their themes in very subtle and indirect ways, with very little in the way of explicit metaphor; rather, haiku presents a resonant image that evokes deeper ideas.

So, with that in mind as a starting point, the idea is subtlety.

Well, one night there was the most vicious thunderstorm and I woke with this stuck in my head. There were none too subtle bursts of thunder the likes of which I’ve never heard before — I thought there was a car crash outside my window.

So that’s where this haiku started, but that’s not where it went.

The first line that came to me was dropping pianos (5 syllables) and then down heavenly stairs (another 5 syllables) and then I had something like it’s starting to rain (another 5 syllables). So I was missing the 7 syllable middle, and it seemed too literal and lacked the subtle layers and it’s starting to rain was hardly a revelation of a last line.

So then I reconstructed it as down heavenly stairs/angels dropping pianos/it’s starting to rain, which is, quite honestly, what I was planning on going with this morning when I woke up and tried to remember it to write it down.

And then, just this morning, I heard a favourite song of mine, one that I am still counting on an old schoolmate of mine to play at my funeral, (We’re schoolmates of old, that is — not that we are of an advanced age — not yet, anyway) and two ideas superimposed themselves over one another.

So then angels dropping pianos became gabriel drops pianos and my initial, overstated and obvious self went to call it Peter Gabriel and the Thunderstorm. Yeah, I know, it only took me about 30 seconds to realize that was a horrible idea as well.

I had always intended that the name Gabriel can be read as the angel Gabriel, and it just works out nicely that it’s the singer’s name as well, and the french L’Ange Gabriel rolls like thunder off the tongue much better than the english The Angel Gabriel.

And so, I hope that this illuminates the process that goes into writing what seems like a simple seventeen syllables — anyone with fingers can count out random syllables, but it really does take some thought to come up with something that has layers of meaning. If that sounds pretentious, and you find that offensive, that’s okay, I find myself offended when people have no respect for the craft of writing. This was merely a deconstruction to give you a peek behind the veil, as it were.

RECONSTRUCTION:

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down heavenly stairs

gabriel drops pianos

now here comes the flood

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Here’s the Gabriel/Fripp version from Exposure

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettanteThe enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.

Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.

Last year, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, and is about to release Volume Two, along with a Shakespearean style tragi-comedy, entitled Penelope, Countess of Arcadia.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell. VISCERA, a collection of strange tales, will be published by Sirens Call Publications later this year. Find more of her writing at http://www.helenahb.com or and http://www.whoisjessica.com Connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat , and keep up with her ever growing body of work at GOODREADS, or visit her AMAZON PAGE

Available now! image06 JESSICA image07

BECOME A FAN at PUBSLUSH and pre-order Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two and Penelope, Countess of Arcadia