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Boldwood Bedtime Stories with Jina Bacarr reading from ‘The Runaway Girl’ A Titanic love story

May 11, 2020 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,

Since we’re all still at home… why not grab a lovely cup of herb tea and a biscuit and listen to THE RUNAWAY GIRL on Boldwood Bedtime Stories.

Here we meet Ava before she boarded the TITANIC..

I enjoyed bringing these characters in Queenstown Ireland to life… Enjoy!

Boldwood Bedtime Stories: The RUNAWAY GIRL Introduction


Boldwood Bedtime Stories: The RUNAWAY GIRL Part 1: Queenstown, Ireland Ava needs a place to stay


Boldwood Bedtime Stories: The RUNAWAY GIRL Part 2: Ava ends up in a dosshouse in Queenstown, Ireland


Boldwood Bedtime Stories: The RUNAWAY GIRL Part 3 Ava bargains with Florie Sims at the dosshouse


Boldwood Bedtime Stories: The RUNAWAY GIRL Part 4 Ava fights back against unruly gent in dosshouse




Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

A sweeping historical romance set aboard the Titanic, from the author of Her Lost Love (Christmas Once Again).

Praise for Jina Bacarr:

‘A delightful holiday romance that has all the charm of a classic Christmas movie. Christmas Once Again is perfect for anyone who loves a holiday romance brimming with mistletoe, hope, and what ifs.’ Andie Newton, author of The Girl I Left Behind

‘A breathtaking holiday romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘A mesmerizing holiday romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL e-book, print and audio book:

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Celebrating Veterans Day; Honoring the Veterans in my family

November 12, 2018 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Celebrating Veterans Day; Honoring the Veterans in My Family

By: Denise M. Colby

Since my post is set for the day we celebrate Veteran’s Day and I love history, I thought it would be fun to celebrate my family in the military and do a bit of research. I don’t have a long list of family members in the military, nor do I have a lot of stories passed down from generation to generation. What I do have are snippets and a few photos.

James Clyman Trapper, Mountain Man Great, Great, Great Grandfather to Denise M. Colby

My great-great-great-grandfather was a Mounted Ranger and a First Dragoons

1832-34 Mounted Volunteers, Mounted Rangers, First Dragoons

I will start with my great-great-great-grandfather James Clyman, who I wrote about a few months ago. He wrote down information in his journal and it is here that I learned he enlisted as a private in a company of Mounted Volunteers on June 16, 1832. He was in the same company with Abraham Lincoln for a month (and together they fought in the Black Hawk War). He is quoted in James Clyman, Frontiersman (quoting a quote from another book by R.T. Montgomery, “Biographical Sketch of James Clyman”) of saying “We didn’t think much then about his ever being President.”

Military Inventory Sheet by James Clyman 1833 Photo taken by Denise Colby - great, great, great granddaughter

Military Inventory with James Clyman’s name on it. 1833-1834

He was then commissioned as a second lieutenant of Mounted Rangers, and later appointed as assistant commissary of subsistence for the company. It’s here that several of the receipts and inventory papers he signed are in the Huntington Library.  I was able to go through these papers and take photos a couple of years ago, which was an amazing experience. And finally, I get to use them in something I’ve written.

Clyman transferred to the First Dragoons and nine months later sent in his resignation, which was accepted on May 31, 1834. He wanted to get back to his farm and business and, according to the Frontiersman, after he returned home, “he was besieged with accounts from the Commissary General of Subsistence at Washington, requesting the return of vouchers and abstracts of ration issues made during campaigns in the field, some of which were dated back to the time of his predecessor in 1832. Clyman stood charged on the books with over $400.” I’m interpreting this as basically the government sent bills to pay for the vouchers and ration issues made while he was in the field.

Unknown Stories Needing to be Found

I believe that my grandfather, Carroll W. Marsh, Sr. was in the military, but I don’t have any specifics on him. As I’m writing this, I realize I need to ask and find out something. We have lots of details on my grandmothers side of the family, but not my grandfathers.

Denise Colby celebrates the veterans in her family November 2018. Carroll W. Marsh, Jr. National Guard 579th Battalion

My dad, Carroll W. Marsh, Jr.

1950 Army National Guard

Next on my list is my father, Carroll W. Marsh, Jr., who left the National Guard long before I was born, so I didn’t know him in that capacity. Nor, was his service really talked about. He didn’t fight in any wars that I’m aware of, nor did he have any big stories that were shared to me as a child.  My dad passed away over twenty-one years ago and the information I have on my dad and his stint in the Army National Guard is actually very small. But, I decided to find out more.

It’s amazing to be able to research via Google. This large company photo has a title above it that says “Local Boys In Sonoma County’s National Guard Company”. One of the men holds a banner with 579HQ on it. I was able to search up the number. The 579th was an Engineering Battalion, based in Petaluma and still exists today. My dad turned 18 in 1950. I don’t know how many years he served, although I do know he was still in when my parents were married, which would’ve been beyond 1952.


Denise M. Colby celebrates the veterans in her family November 2018

My nephew, Jason

Present-day United States Navy

My nephew, Jason Burrows, just retired from the Navy earlier this year after twenty-four years of service. We are close in age, raised more like brother and sister. I’m quite proud of him. He’s been all over. Italy, Japan, Florida. On the Atlantic and the Pacific. The few times our families have gotten together, I have loved hearing his stories. The little things, that as nation we have no visibility to. The inside scoop. I remember staying on the U.S.S. Midway with my family for a scout event and finding how tiny the bunks were for even myself. I couldn’t imagine how they were for him for six months at a time given he’s 6’4”. He said when on ship he’d jog for exercise but would have to duck to clear the doorways. I loved every minute of my twenty hours on board, feeling closer and gaining an understanding of where he was and what he did.

I remember when my dad was sick and close to passing, email was new. Hard to believe now, but given my corporate job at the time, I was the only one in the family that could communicate with Jason and keep him updated so that he could be flown off the ship when the time came to come home.

I have lots more stories, but I had originally planned to keep this short, so I will save them for another time.

Denise Colby celebrates the veterans in her family November 2018. Carroll W. Marsh, Jr. National Guard 579th Battalion

Another picture of my dad





As I’ve written this, I realize I have much more information than I thought I did about my family and their military history. I’m very thankful I have the ability write about it and an audience to share it with. Thank you for joining me in learning more about my family and its military roots.

I wish you and yours a Happy Veterans Day.

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Hallow’s Eve Trick or Treat

October 13, 2018 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , , ,

From A Cabin in the Woods | Diane Sismour | A Slice of Orange


This month on From a Cabin in the Woods we are featuring Diane Sismour’s “Hallow’s Eve Trick or Treat.”

Diane Sismour | A Slice of Orange

Diane Sismour has written poetry and fiction for over 35 years in multiple genres. She lives with her husband in eastern Pennsylvania at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Diane is a member of Romance Writers of America, Bethlehem Writer’s Group LLC, Horror Writers Association, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.  She enjoys interviewing other authors and leading writer’s workshops.

Her website is www.dianesismour.comand her blog is www.dianesismour.blogspot.com.

You can find her on Facebook and Twitter at: http://facebook.com/dianesismourhttp://facebook.com/networkforthearts, and  https://twitter.com/dianesismour.



Hallow’s Eve Trick or Treat

Before the goblins and ghosts come knocking at the door, I go through costumes of Halloween parties past with hopes one will inspire a new use to don during Trick or Treat. There were some outrageous getups over the years.

Each brings a memory or two, but one particular outfit stirs a smile. Guests were required to stay in disguise throughout the entire party. The person who remained a mystery won best costume. Usually we had an idea who was whom except once. That year someone arrived, and nodded to people as he entered our house. Nobody knew who the concealed man was until he removed his mask at the end. A party crasher fooled everyone!

I remove the box from the stack, and place it upon the bed. The odd sensation of déjà vu strikes. A staggering certainty hit that I’ve been here before doing exactly this, just not in this lifetime! Then another thought occurs . . . wouldn’t it be fun to write a story about a parallel dimension. One facet in today’s time and another from the past, and possibly a third in the future, running simultaneously with the character’s thoughts colliding with more frequency.

A good shake removes most of the wrinkles from the cape and I arrange the red satin around my shoulders. The matching gloves slide on up to the elbows, the felt flames flickering in glitter. I nestle the horns upon my head and fasten the belt attaching the forked tail, and WHAM! Another déjà vu moment. The story idea is taking shape with each occurrence. One last item—place the black iron circlet around the horns and ta da— Queen of the She-devils. Now to find a minion or two to wrangle some candy so I can go write this story.

However your muse likes to trick, remember to give her a treat. Happy Halloween!

~ Diane Sismour

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GIFTS by Jenny Jensen

July 19, 2018 by in category On writing . . . by Jenny Jensen tagged as ,
Gifts | Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange



Now and again I’ll read a book where the author’s voice is so compelling, their world building so powerful it’s like an alien abduction, a zombie infusion, a body snatching. I’ll catch myself channeling that author—at least for a time. So right now I am firmly in the mad, irreverent, outlandishly silly yet uplifting world of Carpet Diem (Jason Lee Anderson). I’ve been sucked into the Neil Gaiman vortex of crazed angels and demons and us poor mortals made to dance to their warped tune.


I live in the Rio Grand river valley. We’re crosshatched with acequias, the irrigation canals that bring river water to the surrounding fields. Every morning I walk my dog early — best to beat the heat — along the canal banks. We take the same route each day because there is whole action packed world there and I like to keep up with events.


Come spring the Rio Grande is let to run in the canals and the wildlife — being very smart wildlife — flock to it. The canal banks are covered in the ubiquitous NM dust, which is fine and dry and holds tracks beautifully. There are always signs of skunks, raccoons, pheasants and ducks, the occasional stray dog, muskrats and snakes. The large, imperious bullfrog doesn’t leave any tracks but I sometimes hear his throaty voice and once I saw him sitting above the culvert surveying his grounds. He’s huge and handsome and his head is the most brilliant emerald green. Definitely a King.


In May newly wed mallards showed up and made their nest in King’s culvert. I did my best to keep Lizzy from their nesting spot and it mostly worked, but you know how boarder collies are — very bossy and she insists on letting this pair know she knows they’re there. Reg and Sybil Mallard have learned to ignore Miss Lizzy. I knew we’d see ducklings eventually but I began to despair of that when it became clear a while ago that a skunk had chosen that spot for a den. Guess it’s prime real estate but I can’t imagine the Mallard’s laying their eggs next to a skunk, never mind the telltale aroma.


This morning I see seven ducklings emerge from the culvert’s edge to waddle self-consciously up onto the road. I grabbed Lizzy’s collar before she could give chase and the sound startled the fuzzy adolescents. They paused for a second, flapping their untried wings like flustered church ladies clasping their pearls, then made a bee line across the road and back down to the water. At my feet I see the tracks of two raccoons circling the trail of a muskrat and the patter of tiny skunk feet weaving in and out among them. The pencil like trail of a snake circles all that frantic motion and the distinct webbed feet of the mallard’s tracks the parameter. Standing back I see the paw prints of an inordinately large dog pacing to and fro. Clearly there was some raucous action last night.


I am puzzled. Since when does a bullfrog share territory with a skunk, not to mention a skunk is not a duck’s natural neighbor? Raccoons do not ordinarily do-si-do with muskrats, snakes or skunks and what kind of dog has paws that big? With the voice of that story still singing in my head I suddenly understand. King bullfrog is the enchanted form of that legendary singer no one has sighted for years. The rest is obvious.


Reg and Sybil are angels (or demons; it’s sometimes hard to tell in the genre-bending universe of Gaiman-esque world building) sent to protect the King’s divine pearl guitar pic. The skunk is their warrior, the muskrat and snake their scouts, the raccoons are the troops none can sneak past. The big dog (wolf?) is an unscrupulous but soundly thwarted thief. The pic must remain where it is or every impersonator would fail and the legend would die. Some things must remain sacred.


Lizzy and I go home, satisfied that all can be made right with the world. It’s like a spell. Every good book gifts the reader a great escape, and some give the gift that keeps on giving — for a while at least.

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August 20, 2017 by in category A Bit of Magic by Meriam Wilhelm tagged as , , , ,

SEARCHING FOR THE CORRECT WORD | Meriam Wilhelm | A Slice of OrangeI was recently at a get together where there were guests of all ages in attendance. We were engaged in a lively discussion about the latest techniques for sewing a baby quilt and I was trying to remember the name of a particular tool I’ve used. Needless to say, I was stumbling around for the correct word.

I said, ‘You know what it’s called. Help me out. It’s um a …thingamajig…you know..’

And so it began…
“Oh, I know what you’re talking about. You mean a whatchamacallit?”

“No, she wants a thingamajiggery”

“Or do you mean a thingamabob?”

“We call those a thingerdoodle.”

“You’re all making it too difficult. Just call it a whatsit.”

“A thingermabobble is what my mom always called it.”

“Maybe a doodad?”

“You mean a oojamaflip?”

Wait – hold on a minute.

Now not only couldn’t I remember the original word I’d been searching for, now I had a second one to worry about. What the heck was a oojamaflip?

I was just trying to remember the name for an Interchangeable Dual Feed sewing machine foot. How did we get so far off track? And who knew there were so many substitute words for thingamajig. By the time I remembered the name I was originally searching for, it no longer seemed important. I was plagued with a new need-to-know word. What did oojamaflip mean and was it the same as thingamajig?

I never did get to talk about this incredible sewing tool as everyone was caught up in their stories of why they use the term they used. In the meantime, I grabbed my phone and typed in oojamaflip. Apparently it’s slang for a thing whose name is temporarily forgotten and used more in Britain than the U.S. It can also be spelled whojamaflip or hoojamaflip.

Next time I forget the name of something I’m going to need to remember to say oojamaflip…that is if I can remember it.

Meriam Wilhelm

For thirty-five years, Meriam Wilhelm worked in education. From high school teacher to college dean to her favorite job of elementary school principal, she took an excitingly non-traditional pathway, always passionate about shaping young minds. When she retired, something magical happened. Wilhelm was bitten by the writing bug and her chosen genre was paranormal romance – specifically of the witchy persuasion. Now, six books into The Witches of New Moon Beach series, she is bringing her passion for learning to her new profession. A world traveler, Wilhelm has researched the history and culture of witchcraft and found inspiration as far away as Bergen, Norway and as close as her home town. A Redondo Beach resident, she decided there was no better location for her family of witches to reside than the beaches outside her own front door. “I think there is magic in everyone you meet,” Wilhelm says. “You just have to look for it.” In her  case, you also have to write about that magic. Currently, Wilhelm is working on book seven, The Witch of Bergen.  She  is the recipient of the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Award. She is married and the  mother of three grown children and a brand new grandma. When not writing or traveling, Meriam Wilhelm can be found at her sewing machine, at yoga class or, of course, reading.


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