Friday, September 04, 2015

“Sealed with a Kiss” by Kevin V. Symmons

If that title has a vague ring of familiarity that’s no accident. It not so coincidentally bears the name of a song from the mists of my youth. And when doing this blog though it may be begging the season by a month (or more) the summer beckons in the distance as old memories flood back and come to mind and my not so hidden roots as a closet romantic beckon!

I have the good fortune to spend many summers on Massachusetts’s luxuriant Cape Cod coast. Each year the CC populace grows by ten-fold as between five and six million visitors cross one of the two aged bridges that span a man-made body of water known as the Cape Cod Canal. But in addition to being a spectacular spot of natural beauty it is also an area filled with beauty, romance, and the thrill of youth.

As a child on the south coast my experiences were physically and emotionally stimulating… things like sun and surf and often massive waves that crashed on the pristine sand. Massive at least to one who was only three feet tall. As I grew into my “formative” years my family and I continued to visit and experience the magic.

Slowly, I found my feelings transformed from something far less visual into something far more visceral. Shells and surf gave way to a magic that stimulated me in ways I found both new and strangely exciting. Like so many young people who grew up in summer locales I began to see the subtle changes in those I’d spent so many sun-drenched days with.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact day, week, and month when I suddenly came to the realization that one of my best summer pals had grown in ways that animated, excited, and terrified me. It began during the summer of our twelfth year. Maybe in some subtle ways the year before—but when Joey— short for Josephine—appeared that year on the first day of our summer long vacation I felt a lump in my throat and my heart quicken. Clich├ęs yes, but none the less just as true. All I know is that when I saw her that June morning something changed.

I’d had all the stirrings and emotional turmoil inherent in any adolescent experiencing the conflicts and ecstasy that accompanies puberty but it wasn’t till I saw Joey, silhouetted as she stood awaiting me at our front door that the emotion truly took hold.

That summer was a roller coaster for me… and though we never discussed it I’m sure it was for her, too. Suddenly, simple things became complicated. I noticed an electricity when our hands would touch or our eyes would find and linger on each others.

The smell of the tide and fresh-cut grass were exchanged for the subtle fragrance of her sweet fragrance when she was close. Things which a year or two before had seemed commonplace became scripted so as not to touch or get too close to each other while wanting desperately to do so.

Summer friendships begin on the 4th of July and end on Labor Day or at least that had been the way of it for the years prior to our emergence as young men and women. Others populated our sun and surf-drenched summer world but from my first encounter with Joey that summer neither of us paid attention to the others.

On Labor Day weekend the families who populated our little Cape Cod side street traditionally held a farewell cookout. That year while neither of us spoke of it, as if scripted Joey and I drifted away from the others to take a walk on the soft sand, knowing it would be our last for an interminable winter.

Suddenly, I felt her hand in mine and as the moon rose into a clear star filled sky I turned toward her. Her hazel eyes dropped behind thick lashes and I put my arms around her clumsily.

We heard out parents calling but as I turned to head back up the beach she gently pulled me close and kissed me. It was soft, innocent, and clumsy. Someone once suggested that no one ever forgets their first kiss. After a summer of watching her and waiting it was the most tender and sweetest I can ever recall….

Later that year my parents told that Joey’s father had been transferred to Texas. She wrote me a brief note and signed it “Love.” Perhaps it was real, perhaps not…but it was the summer of a lifetime, filled with angst and doubt and wanting to grow and explore so much more. A summer sealed with a kiss


Click HERE to purchase Kevin's Books at The Wild Rose Press

Click HERE to purchase Kevin's Books at Amazon

Click HERE to purchase Kevin's Books at Nook

About Kevin V. Symmons


Kevin Symmons is a successful author, college faculty member, and president of one of the Northeast's most respected writing organizations. His paranormal novel, "Rite of Passage", was a 2013 RomCon Reader's Crown Award finalist and has been an Amazon Best Seller. His latest release, "Out of the Storm", a contemporary romantic thriller set on Cape Cod, is already gathering 5 star reviews and will keep you turning pages late into the night. His novel with a working title of "Solo", a sweeping women's fiction work that exposes the tragedy of domestic violence in America, will be released from his award-winning publisher, the Wild Rose Press, in 2014. Kevin has collaborated with award-winning Boston screenwriter and playwright Barry Brodsky in adapting one of his story ideas for the screen. He is a sought after public speaker who has appeared across New England. Visit Kevin and like his FB Author Page, @KevinSymmons on Twitter, at Goodreads, Amazon, and at his website, www.ksymmons.com

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Beneath the Lake Book Trailer



  Reeling from her boyfriend’s indiscretions at a party, Lacey Montgomery escapes into the throes of a torrential storm. Her car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of an icy, black lake. She awakens in the arms of a handsome stranger, in a place she’s never heard of—thirty-four years before she was born.

Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes. Learning the truth about her origin does nothing to stop the passion taking root in his heart and leaves him torn between finding a way to return Lacey to her time and convincing her stay with him.

Will the couple be able to discover the key to a mysterious portal before time rips them apart? Or will their spirits wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake?
Excerpt:

Slogging through underbrush, I scaled the embankment to get my bearings, but the night sky laden with rain made it impossible to navigate. The brush behind me crunched. I whirled around, slid on damp rocks, spinning stones down the bank. They toppled over the ledge and, after a few moments, splashed into water. A chill fisted in the pit of my stomach as I realized the knoll my car had hit was simply a peak in the ridge, the other side of which dropped off into the lake far below. Thank God my car hadn’t skidded over the cliff. As I eased back down the hill, a wave of vertigo swept over me, and I collapsed against my Lexus. Breathe Lacey. Closing my eyes, I mentally weighed my options.

My car was wedged into the embankment and would have to be towed. I definitely needed help, but no one could even see me down here. Hiking through the woods along the ridge would be perilous. The utter darkness and unrelenting rain was dangerous, but combined with dense brushwood and the lake below? No, I had to take the road. Was the spine-chilling figure that had lurked in the shadows still up there somewhere, or had he been far enough away when I crashed? I shook my head. It made little difference since I had no choice but to take my chances on the road.

I began the ascent, trudging back up the incline. Rain pelted my face like tiny needles. Darkness surrounded me. No moon, no stars, only the deep of night. Heart pounding from exertion and emotions still raw, I slogged upward through mud, brush, and Lord knows what else. Finally, a dim light flickered on the road above. Praying it was a house, a phone, an end to this nightmare, I strained my aching legs to push forward.

“Thank you, God,” I whispered, glancing over my shoulder at my wrecked car below.

That’s when my foot slipped. I slid backward, spiraled off the rocky ledge. Twisting to grab ahold of anything to keep me from plummeting downward, I lurched, my wet hands and battered body ripping against jagged rocks and brush.

Out of nowhere, a dark figure grabbed my arm. Frozen in fear, I screamed as loud as I could, but the shriek came out a hoarse, low whisper. I lunged against him, yanked to pull free, but I had no leverage, nothing to cling to. Fear choked the air from my lungs. A sharp pain slashed my ankle. Consumed with terror, I flung the entire weight of my body against his grasp. In answer to my prayers, he abruptly let go, but the sudden release hurled me backward, plunging…rolling endlessly…until I splashed into an icy, black abyss.

To Purchase

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For the Love of Robots by Catherine E. McLean

Robots fascinate me, but AI's not very much. I like the mechanical, the simplicity of the "cute" little bots like Wall-e, Johnny Five (of Short Circuit), and Rosie (of The Jetsons).

Now, the first robot that actually captivated my imagination was Robby The Robot in Forbidden Planet.

Then there was R2D2 of Star War's fame. He's a favorite of mine, but not so much C3PO. Again, the small, cute mechanical versus the gold-plated humanoid of artificial, opinionated intelligent.

However, I'm also enthralled by RoboBots. My local school has a team of students that, this year, won the school district's RoboBot competition.

Then there's the battling bots, those wacky little box-style bots with destructive capabilities--flame throwers, saws, and whacking-spinning blades. Thankfully, they're confined to a bulletproof arena because the parts and sparks fly when they collide. That bulletproofing also protects the person operating the remote controls.

From time to time, I search the Internet for robots to see what's happening in the world of robotics. Most recently I was wowed to find Cheeta Bot. It can run on its own at 29 mph--and it can jump! http://www.bostondynamics.com/robot_cheetah.html

Then there's the littlest of robots, like RoboBee. Why anyone would want a bee-sized robot boggles my mind. Okay, so spies might love them, but I'd be more inclined to swat one out of existence because I don't like being stung by bees, real or mechanical.
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2 ... st-robobee

But the most amazing modern-day robot has to be Asimo - http://asimo.honda.com/, a walking, talking, domestic robot that's a wonder of science and technology. It even has a cute voice.

I would love to own an Asimo, but I'll have to settle for owning Roomba, the vacuum cleaning robot http://store.irobot.com/home/index.jsp. (Big Sigh.)

Catherine E. McLean
HEARTS AKILTER - Love, vengeance, attempted murder, and a bomb...No reason to panic. It's about his heart, her heart, and a robot's nonexistent heart.
 http://www.CatherineEmclean.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Love For Sale...

I’m very pleased to be returning to the Garden with my sci-fi romance, Love for Sale.

March Morgan always set her standards for men high. Divorced but still a dreamer, she reads an ad offering Love for Sale, sentient androids indistinguishable from human, programmed for love. She flies to London and meets the image of the man she has been searching for her entire life. Christian loves March at first sight, without programming, but internal and external forces soon threaten their happiness, indeed their lives.

I received my beautiful books with a fantastic cover and it made me think of the inspiration for this book. Has anyone ever read Tanith Lee’s The Silver Metal Lover? I read this many years ago, and the book stayed with me all this time. I recently re-read it and enjoyed it just as much the second time as the first time I read it when I was a teenager. It was a Book of the Month selection for some book club or the other. That was quite a feat because at the time the genre wasn’t as well known. The Silver Metal Lover is a different coming of age story. I love Ms. Lee’s lush writing and have read many of her books, but this one is my favorite.

Here is the Plot Summary from Wikipedia:
“Robots have replaced human labor on earth, causing massive unemployment in a world devastated by pollution and natural disasters. Then Electronic Metals releases a new line: performing artists and sexual companions designed to entertain human partners. Jane, a rich, lonely, and insecure 16-year-old, meets one, the minstrel Silver, and falls passionately in love, despite revulsion at the idea of preferring a mechanical man to a human. She gives up everything she has known for him, and discovers herself. Silver becomes more and more "human" in loving her—a clever illusion created by his programming. Or is it? This unstable society can't afford any evidence that some robots might be indistinguishable from humans. Tragedy is inevitable.”

In researching SML, I find that it is part of the S.I.L.V.E.R. series. Metallic Love was published in 2005—immediately added to my TBR. SML is currently out of print though in 1985, it was published as a graphic novel. There is a rumor that Ms. Lee will write a third in this series. I, for one, sincerely hope so.

Love for Sale isn’t a retelling of The Silver Metal Lover at all. I simply got the idea of a sentient robot from Ms. Lee and ran with it in my own direction. I hope it is as memorable as its inspiration!

Visit my website for a free vampire story.
Linda Nightingale
http://www.lindanightingale.com

Monday, August 24, 2015

Highland Harry Wallace, a former highland rogue

For years I've been waiting for the right characters and moment that would bring the story of my paternal grandfather's (many times removed) family in the early 19th century to fictional life. One day two years ago, the stars aligned and I began to write.
 
Two characters sprang full blown into my imaginative view. Highland Harry Wallace, a former highland rogue, and nineteen-year-old tavern girl Maggie Fowler were the perfect couple to become step-parents to a brood of seven children ranging in ages from seventeen to three. Then Precious the Pig came into my mind's eye. What better companion for the youngest child who hadn't spoken since the death of her mother and what an unusual pet to sleep each night in the cabin with step-parents and children.

Turning Harry into the respected and respectable family man would be no easy task...as difficult as it would be to have a former tavern girl accepted by the straight-laced women of their rural New Brunswick community. But, then, that's the delightful challenge of fictionalizing one's family.
In actual fact, my grandfather many times removed wasn't murdered for his mills but died at age 50 of pneumonia, leaving his wife with nine children to raise. This she did as well as running the family milling business. The eldest, James, who appears as a belligerent teenager in "Highland Harry" became a clergyman and respected botanist. In later years he became the first professor of natural science at prestigious Queen's University. His daughter was the first woman to receive a university degree in science in Canada.

I'm hoping to write a series of books on the children and have one currently in the works about Brodie, Highland Harry's best friend who joins their family. But his partner in love and life has not yet fully revealed herself. Perhaps I should work on a short biography of Precious the Pig? :)

Gail

Gail MacMillan
Highland Harry


Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Writer's Private Place

Work Place Habits  
Gail MacMillan, Proud Wild Rose Press Author

Years ago, when we had our basement finished, I opted to have a modest office built behind the furnace, away from the other rooms, a recluse’s paradise to write and think.  Many, many book shelves were built, filing cabinets put in place, and a desk top computer installed.  I put up posters that I believed would inspire me as well as family photos and mementos of our travels.  
It didn’t work out.

Alone, in that small room with a single window I couldn’t get the creative juices flowing.  Enter a laptop.  Now I was portable and I found my way into my dining room.  Furnished with beloved antiques, it became “my spot”.  With a large window looking out onto the back lawn, it was bright and warm and cheery. 

Of course, my grandmother’s rocking chair remained the place where I dreamed up stories and imagines  of how it would have been.  My dogs have always waited patiently during these “lost in the moment“ times and I’m careful to reward my faithful companions with a nice, long walk. 





These days I write at all hours of the day and night, in all four seasons, and generally at least a few words seven days a week.  Addicted to writing, I can do no less. 

For Gail's Books Click Here




Friday, August 21, 2015

ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE on sale for .99 cents!

Until September 4, 2015, the ebook version of ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE, will be on sale for .99 cents! OMSC is part of the Lobster Cove series, a multi-author, multi-genre series set in the fictional small town of Lobster Cove, Maine. Here's the blurb:

Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.
Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.
Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?

Here's an excerpt:

“You’re not leaving already, are you? It looks like the party’s just getting started.” 

She turned toward the familiar voice, her heart in her throat. Alex smiled down at her, his dark eyes warm and full of an emotion she was afraid to name. The last words he’d said to her came immediately to mind: I’m not going to give up on you, on us. She clasped her hands together, disconcerted to find they were shaking. 

“I’m not really much of a dancer,” she said. Her voice sounded husky, as if it came from someone else.

He tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear, his fingers brushing against her sensitive skin and making her shiver. 

 “I don’t believe that for a minute. Not someone who plays ball with the grace and athleticism you do.” 

“It’s true. I have two left feet when it comes to dancing.” 

“Prove it. Dance with me.” 

He extended his hand. Julia stared at it for a moment, warring with herself. If she danced with him, here in public, the whole town would know. They’d talk about her, about them. Once more she’d be the subject of gossip. 

But when she looked into Alex’s eyes, she discovered she didn’t care. She hoped she wouldn’t regret her decision tomorrow. 

She took Alex’s hand and let him lead her out onto the dance floor. The band was playing a slow waltz. He linked his fingers with hers and drew her hips against his. They moved slowly, swaying seductively to the music, their gazes locked. Julia simply couldn’t look away. She was lost in a turbulent sea of desire and longing. 

“Where’s Ava tonight?” 

“With the Stewarts. She’s staying the night.” 

The slow song ended, and the band played an upbeat tune that had everyone on their feet. They crowded onto the dance floor. Julia and Alex remained in the middle of the street, staring into each other’s eyes as people danced around them. Then he lowered his head and whispered in her ear. 

“Come home with me, Julia.”

He rested his forehead against hers, waiting. Alex was the first man, the only man, she’d wanted since the end of her marriage. Their one night together had been magical. She didn’t know what to make of his assertion that he loved her. Her feelings for him were too confused to make sense of them. All she knew was that in this moment, she wanted him, needed him. 

“Yes.”

ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE is available at The Wild Rose Press. Remember, the sale ends September 4th!