Stories for the Young and the Young At Heart!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How one writer manages life, writing, and EPILEPSY

Article – The Epileptic Author.

I have been pondering this for a few days now, how and where to start. I guess the best place would be that without the Epilepsy I probably wouldn’t have perused becoming an author. I most likely would have got a nine to five and stayed there so in a way it has its advantages. I tried doing nine to fives but would become rapidly ill so it became clear that I couldn’t do ‘normal’ work; whatever that is. But I wasn’t built to do nothing.... So I decided rather than let myself go stir crazy and become depressed with the ‘nothingness’ I would use the time I was ok to work on my writing then one day the book was nearly done so I contacted a publisher who took me on. Sadly my condition managed to take hold of that but didn’t stop me; I knew I couldn’t fulfil my contract and it was unfair on them and me to keep trying so we decided I would go independent. Now I take it day by day and it seems to be working... I can’t say it is easy but nothing in life worth going for is.

I am lucky to have an incredible support network of friends and family some of whom are in the industry. It takes the edge off the bad days when I’ve had a handful of seizures but still have another four hours of work to do or I’m working from bed because I’ve had a really bad turn. I learnt a while ago that life doesn’t wait for you so you can’t feel sorry for yourself. Yes I have a condition and yes at times it can be pretty nasty but because of that I am building towards a career that some only dream about, I have a wonderful family and really I am fortunate. My health was a tough break but you have to run with the cards you are dealt.

I don’t publicise this a lot as I would rather people appreciate my work but I am not ashamed of it; it’s been a part of my for as long as I can remember and it will be for as long as I am alive. In fact the cause is a cyst on my brain which is right where the ‘logical thinking’ should be; the event which caused the damage happened before I was born which means my body was still growing so I use a different part of my brain. I have a theory, I am awful at spelling, still learning maths (which when you do your own accounting can be a hiccup) but I can sit a write for hours; hum a new song in minutes. My theory is I would not be the author I am today without the condition. So like anything else it has its bad sides but it has its rewards.

Let me leave you with my favourite quote;
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass... It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Being a self-employed single mum is hard enough; so what do you do when you are chosen to be the contestant in a blood sport for the entertainment of a group of alien races you didn’t know existed?
For Dr Danni Cromwell it was as if she was living in a world she had created; sci-fi author and single mum Danni must join forces with a man she does not know to fight a villain she could not make up; and all with her five year old son and a temper-tantrum prone alien in tow. Can they win? 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Did That Kid Say?


In the years I worked for the school district (that shall remained unnamed) I often times subbed for different areas.  One of these was the dreaded ISD room.  In School Detention.  I would cover occasionally when the ISD gal wanted to go to lunch, etc.

We had a little kindergarten boy (I will call him Johnny) that was a holy terror.  Well he landed in ISD for some infraction during his lunch hour.  I won’t lie – he actually lived in ISD during his lunch hours.  ANYWAY….I was looking at a paper he was working on and I suggested he redo a few of his math problems.

ME – “Johnny, I think you should recheck some of your answers.”  Innocent eyes looked up at me.

JOHNNY – “Are you a math teacher?”

ME – “No”

JOHNNY – “Well you have been out of school a long time.  I think I know what I’m doing.”

I WAS ONLY IN MY LATE 30s!!!!  I never got a swelled head in this job!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Fever brings Sun, Outdoors, and a WHOLE LOT OF ROMANCE

Spring and Romance Have Finally Sprung!!!

What does Spring mean to you?  Warmer weather?  Getting those white legs tanned?  Looking forward to Summer? 

All good stuff! 

To me it means planting some flowers and hope they stay alive.  

Easter and egg hunts with my grandkiddies!

Planning the summer vacation 

PLUS, my fruit tress start to blossom.  Barbeques!  Spending more time outside.  Quad rides!

As a writer, it means I can take my pad of paper and pencil and go sit outside and write, write, write.  I've always been a horizontal writer and the sunshine and cool breeze always gets my mojo going!

Here's another great thing about spring.  Marketing For Romance Writers is holding a Spring Fever Blog Hop.  So many wonderful writers are involved with some great giveaways.  If romance is your thing...this is where you want to be!

I have three romances I have written.  The Unwanted Christmas Guest, Her Cracked Heart, and Revenge, The Cowboy Way.  I am excited to give away one of my stories to one drawn commenter.  Their choice!  Please be sure and leave a comment along with your email address and hit the Spring Fever button above and visit so many other authors, and of course, their giveaways!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WHAT DID THAT KID SAY? Warning - X rated


No matter how long I had worked at the school, some of the things that came out of kids' mouths (no matter what the age) left me with my mouth hanging open.

I hadn't been working there long and I was coming off of bus duty, hurrying back to the office as the first bell was going to ring, when a second grader came running up.  "Teacher, teacher,"  (I was called teacher many times, even though I was the secretary) "That boy called me the "E" word."

Now words are running through my mind that could be offensive that started with e....I came up with nothing!  "What "E" word?"  Keep in mind, the hallway was filled with kids, teachers, and a few parents.


It was as if the whole world was moving in slow motion.  I watched as heads from every person around practically breaking their necks to get a glimpse at me and the little darling that was staring up at me with innocent eyes.  Except for the "gasps" that e word seemed to bounce off the walls in the deafening silence.

"Hey!" was all I could come up with at the time.  Another mistake.

"I'm not kidding.  He called me a..."

"I got it!"  I told him, taking him over to a place where we could talk.  Now do I correct him and say, "Fucker is not an "E" word" or "That is inappropriate" or "Just ignore it".

I think I came up with......"Tell your teacher!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

J. H. McCarthy shows off his new book, Detective for the Innocent

A former New York detective and a loving father is gunned down and killed by the Speed Killers Gang. While in the emergency room, the detective asks his son Jeff to finds who ever shot him and bring him to justice. In spite of his young age Jeff promises his father. Twenty three years later Jeff is now a detective, following in his father’s footsteps, and ready to avenge the unsolved murder of his father and bring the killer to justice.

Going against every police procedure, I went to the seventeenth street address alone. I left David with instructions to call the chief if I didn’t come back by morning. I had to go solo. What if there was an informant in the force? I couldn’t take the risk with Kerry’s life. Maybe Xavier would actually let her go. I parked my car a block from the old factory and walked through the dark alleyways. If the chief knew I was doing this, he would have a heart attack. Right now, it seemed like the best course of action. I adjusted my gun in the holster strapped on over my bullet proof vest and checked my supply of ammunition. I slipped a bit closer, using the shadows as concealment. I scanned the darkness searching for a lookout or a concealed sniper. I was betting on the fact Xavier thought I would bring the police force in with guns blazing to this location.

It took some time, but I snuck into the building through a side entrance. Surprisingly, there was still electricity in the building, but the hallways and many rooms were still dark. Footsteps and voices echoed from somewhere so I stayed in the shadows and listened. Cautiously, I peeked around the corner. Three men wearing ski-masks and carrying assault rifles were gathered in the shadows.

“When are the pigs showing up?” asked one of them.

Another guy replied, “Who knows...when they do, they’re in for a surprise!”

My suspicions of an ambush were confirmed beyond a doubt. The Speed Killers were just psychotic enough to take on the NYPD and the FBI. I had to find Kerry—my gut said she was here. I kept low to the ground and maneuvered through the halls avoiding the enemy. Along the way, I eluded more men, armed with semi-automatic weapons, grenades, and other explosive items. They were ready for a war.

I made my way up some back stairs and into the back office areas. Hiding behind some boxes, I peeked through a broken window in one of the abandoned offices. Kerry was tied with rope to an old office chair and her mouth duct taped. There was one man guarding her, but he was texting on his cell phone. Relief washed over me at the sight of her. I had to act quickly while I still had the element of surprise on my side.

“Freeze, asshole!” I stepped into the office door with my gun leveled at him. The man immediately dropped the cell phone and held his hands high. I ordered him to get on the ground, and he complied. I searched him, retrieved his gun, and handcuffed the guy. I took the roll of duct tape from the desk and secured his mouth. No points in letting the scum alert his friends. So far, so good.

There was a knife on the table near Kerry and I used it to cut her free. I gently pulled the tape off her mouth; though I was sure it still hurt her. Once she was free, she hugged me.

“It’s a trap.”

“I know. It's why I came alone. They were planning on the police force.”

“No, it was also a trap for you.”

Several explosions shook the building, making my ears ring painfully. Smoke filled the hallway and offices as more explosions detonated. With every explosion, pieces fell from the ceiling and walls collapsed. The old building would crumble under the assault if it continued. I needed to get Kerry out of there.

I gave the spare gun to Kerry.

“We can’t leave this guy here,” she said.

She was right. We couldn’t stoop to the level of the Speed Killers by leaving the man to die. I grabbed him, hauled him to his feet, and shoved him into the hallway.

The corridor was filled with smoke, and both ends were blocked with flames. More explosions ripped through the building and large chunks of the ceiling crashed downward. We retreated to the dubious safety of the office. I looked out the main window. More explosions rumbled in other parts of the building. The floor shook under my feet and bits of it fell away. Smoke curled into the office making it very hard to see. I coughed and my eyes burned. Using my gun, I shot out the main window. I yelled for Kerry to watch the floor and find a beam to stand on. A quick glance outside showed me an emergency ladder we could use. We needed to get out in a hurry as flames were licking at the wood of the door.

“Kerry, you go first,” I ordered and unlocked the cuffs from the criminal. “You go next, and if you want to live, no funny stuff!” I knew it was a big risk, but I had no choice.

No sooner had I freed the man than he bolted into the hallway.

“Death is better!” he shouted as he jumped through a hole in the floor.

He plummeted into the raging fire. I was shocked, but with the building collapsing, I had no time to spare for him. Kerry crawled over the window sill and climbed down the ladder. I followed her. The ladder shook violently, and I feared it would disconnect from the building at any moment.

I looked down, and saw that Kerry was already on the ground. “Jeff! Hurry! The building will collapse any moment!”

I moved as fast as I dared. Part of the roof caved in and another explosion at the other end of the factory sent flames skyward. It was getting harder to stay on the swaying ladder as it shook violently. I figured there was still seventeen feet before I reached the ground, so I just jumped.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I worked at an elementary school for twenty-one years!  I heard a LOT of things from kids from all ages and stories from teachers and other employees.  There are many that made me laugh!  I am going to use Wednesdays to post these funnies.  I hope you'll check in and you just may get a chuckle.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Marie Lavender is celebrating a year of guests on her blog with best selling author giveaways!

A Year of Guest Authors! (plus a multi-author book giveaway)

We’re reaching a real milestone today on Writing in the Modern Age.  It’s been a year since I’ve invited guest authors to appear on the blog.  A year of guest authors!

Since then, we have seen authors from many walks of life and from every genre.  From the first guest article, “Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction Writers” by Stefan Vucak, to the most recent interview with Doc Krinberg, it has been very interesting to watch the blog grow. 
First of all, I want to thank all of the guest authors who appeared on the blog this year (well, last year and this year…LOL).  It’s been a real treat to have you all visit.  I have enjoyed getting to know you and seeing samples of your work.  A lot of you have offered really good advice, advice I hope aspiring writers use in their journeys.  That, after all, was the real aim of Writing in the Modern Age – to not only show what the writing journey is like these days, but to help writers at any stage in their careers.  With our guest articles, writing tips in interviews, even comments given about the steps they took to be successful, I think there is a lot to offer for anyone browsing through the blog.  And with the launch of poetry spotlights, we suddenly got a flash into the minds of poets from time to time.  Take a moment to browse through our interviews, guest articles and poetry.  You won’t be sorry and you may find a new favorite author.  I am proud to call these Writing in the Modern Age authors, or #WritModAge as our hashtag says on Twitter.

It has been a really exciting ride.  And the success of the Writing in the Modern Age blog would be nothing without its readers.  Whether they came as loyal followers or to simply check it out from a social networking link, we have had over 36,000 page views, and numerous followers by Google and by email.  I am still surprised by the comments on the blog posts.  Sometimes they are directly on the blog, thanking the author for their insights, or just a comment on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.  Either way, I feel blessed by the wonderful participation from our readers.  So, thank you all for making this a great year of having guest authors on the blog!
As a thank you, we’ve all put together a big multi-author book giveaway.  We have 38 participating authors and 54 books to give away.  We have something for everyone, encompassing many different genres such as science fiction, mysteries, thrillers, paranormal/urban fantasy, romance, non-fiction, women's fiction, fantasy, new adult, erotica, literary fiction, drama, and young adult or children's books.  Below you will see each book listed under the author as well as a blurb and buy link for more information.  Also included are the genre, format and number of copies available.  To make this giveaway more interesting, we’re ONLY picking winners based on their comments on this post.  

If you’d like to be considered in the giveaway and get the chance to win a book or books, please comment below.  Instead of telling us which book you want, please give us a range of different of genres you’re willing to accept.  The same goes for a genre you absolutely don't want to read.  Please say so.  We want this giveaway to be as fair and random as possible, but if you don’t give us a range of genres you like or are willing to read, then some of those books won’t be given out and that would be a real shame for the authors involved.  These talented writers have given us their time and copies of their books.  And please don’t be shy.  If you like erotica, just say so.  If you’d like to remain anonymous in that case, just leave your first name and your email in the comments and we will contact you with further details.  Oh, that reminds me.  Although the blog does allow anonymous comments, please do give us contact details.  It is a lot of work to hunt down winners on various social networks.  And we want to locate the right person.  At least give your email so that we can find you to send your book along.
So, readers, let’s make this anniversary of Writing in the Modern Age great.  Get your comments posted and we’ll do a random drawing for winners next week.  You have the chance to win a book or, in some cases, lots of books!  As always, happy reading and thanks for being a part of this milestone on Writing in the Modern Age! 
 This is a fabulous giveaway but to win you must go to the link below and leave a comment.  Also, when you go to this link you will see all the books, complete with blurbs!