Friday, May 25, 2012

A Little About Me


Today is my birthday and I decided to do something different. Instead of promoting my books, I thought I'd talk a little about one of my hobbies instead of my books. That's right, you won't find an excerpt or anything about any of my books on this blog. It's all about me.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m not writing is embroidery. Another is quilting. I’ve found a way to combine the two. First, I made baby quilts for my nieces. White on white, I machine embroidered them with the darning stitch so I had control. They turned out really nice, but I really love to hand embroidery. That’s when I discovered red-work. During a quilting shop-hop, one of the stores highlighted red-work. For those who don’t know what red-work is – it’s embroidery done in all red floss. Just the outline of the picture, not filled in like other embroidery patterns. Anyway, I fell in love with it.


Every year I make something for Christmas (usually a Santa) for my children and give it to them on Thanksgiving. Sometimes it’s ceramic, sometimes wood. I found a Santa pattern and did it all in red-work, framed it and gave it to them one year.


That’s when I decided to make a baby quilt for each of my grandchildren – not for them, but for their first born. I had already made lap quilts for each of child and grandchild. But where to find patterns? I started out with coloring books for designs. I traced the images onto 12x12 squares of muslin.  After I finished embroidering the squares, I cut sashing and sewed them together. For the backing I used various fabrics, not nursery print. None of the quilts have nursery fabric in them at all. I used patterns from zoo animals to Winnie the Pooh.
Eventually, I found transfer books and used them for designs. I looked everywhere for baby designs. Thirteen of them are finished, but I now have 14 grandchildren, that’s a lot of baby quilts. Most of the quilts are done in red work, but several are done with various colors of embroidery floss, too. I recently finished the quilt top of the 14th. Now, I have to put it together and quilt it. That's a project for winter.
The others have been finished for a couple of years. It took a several years to embroider all the squares and put them together. 


I also made quilts for my niece’s twins. One of the patterns is kittens and the other is bunnies. She had a girl and boy, so I thought the bunnies would be good for him. Recently, she another child. A boy–so I just finished baby animals one for him. Now I have to get it over to her, hopefully within the next week or two.


I gave my first grandchild’s quilt to my oldest granddaughter, who had a baby boy, my first great grandchild. 
With another granddaughter married and one soon to be, maybe I'll be giving two more away soon. I’ve marked each quilt with the name of the grandchild they’re supposed to go to in case I’m not around to give it to them. My daughters have been instructed to pass them out. I hope I’m still around to give each child their quilt, but if I’m not they’ll each have a piece of me for their children. I hope they treasure them.Below is a collage of a few of the ones I made.



 To store them, I put them in large bag from a store bought quilt. Yes, I bought a quilt for my bed. But I did make one too, I embroidered wild flowers in each square – and yes, I filled them in, not just outlined. I put it on my bed in the summer. It took over a year to embroider all the flowers, but it was worth it. Besides, I have nothing better to do in the evening while I’m watching TV. That’s the nice thing about embroidery, you can sit in front of the TV and still work on it. The hard part was quilting it.

So now you know a little more about me. I'm not just an author, I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Yes, I enjoy writing, but my family is my first love. 

If you’d like to know more about me or my books, check out my website www.roseannedowell.com and you can find my books at Amazon   http://amzn.to/tnqgR2



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spoilers?

Tomorrow, on my on blog, Dishin' It Out, I'm posting in depth about spoilers, and asking those who visit to share their opinions.  Reading reviews that give away your entire story are even more upsetting than just reading unfavorable comments.  I recently bemoaned the fact on the loop because my latest release, Sarah's Heart, ends in a fashion that some readers are really taking exception to.  I chalk their responses up to the fact that they didn't GET the story.  There is but one way to get my main characters together, and I found it.

My solution gives the reader hope that the hero and heroine can have the HEA that is so craved in romance, yet also gave me an opportunity for a sequel, which I am working on now.  Sarah's Passion will be a continuation of the story. Rather than assume one is coming, some readers would rather divulge the entire plot on a VERY public site, and not just spoil the ending, but discourage others from purchasing the book and drawing their own conclusion, and being able to look forward to reading more about Sarah and Wolf.  The lack of understanding exhibited by some is defeating at times, but giving in would let them win, and I won't do that.  I'm a good author, and I know it.

I'm very impressed by those who were historically savvy enough to realize the methodology to the ending and appreciated it.  I love the story.  Sarah is a courageous woman faced with making some very difficult decisions in life, and in this case, it seems she makes one that isn't popular with readers, but if you consider the time in history and her circumstances, it makes a lot more sense.

Here's an excerpt that helped influence the ending's outcome:

 
Wolf draped the naked hare across the empty coffee pot and began gathering more logs for the fire. He returned with an armful, and dropped them onto the smoldering cinders within the ring of stones. While the flames blossomed, he sat cross-legged on the ground, working on three longer branches. He skinned one clean, and using it as a skewer for their dinner, propped it across the pit with the other two as support.  The fire crackled and popped with each drip of grease splattering from the roasting rabbit; the delightful aroma teased Sarah’s nose. Rustic or not, dinner smelled wonderful.
Wolf sat with one knee bent and his arm resting atop it. He gazed into the distance, seemingly lost in thought.
  “Wolf,” she summoned him back. “How did you learn to speak the language?”
He took a deep breath. “It’s a long story. Are you sure you want to hear it?”
“Of course.”
“I was just five-years-old when my father, Charles Elder, was killed defending my red-skinned mother. We lived in Montana territory—migrating there after my parents married. A neighboring farmer and his family were slaughtered by a Crow war party, and an angry mob from town wanted my mother to pay for it. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t her tribe—an Indian was an Indian.” His brow creased.
“That must have been horrible for you. If speaking about your past is hard for you, you don’t have to continue.”
“I’m fine. Pain is part of life.”  He leaned forward and pulled a browned leg from the cooked rabbit. Tender, the limp released into his hand without effort. He offered her the meat then yanked a second piece free, chewed a bite, and swallowed. “So, the town’s preacher heard what was being planned and came to our house before the others got there. He hid me and my mother beneath blankets in the back of his buckboard and took us to the church while my father stayed at home, planning to reason with the townspeople. The Reverend kept us in the chapel basement until dark and then drove us home. There wasn’t much left of the place. My father’s bloodied body lay in the yard, and the house and everything in  it had been reduced to smoldering ashes. The barn looked like they set it afire, but for some reason the building didn’t catch.”
“Why are people so hateful?”  Sympathy stabbed at her. Why had she asked him to relive his pain?  Although saddened she had, hearing about his past provided a connection between them. Maybe sharing the experience brought him closure.
 “What did you and your mother do then?”  Licking grease from her lips, Sarah leaned forward, anxious for the rest of the story.               
“Luckily we still had the wagon and team, and after traveling for weeks, Ma and I happened upon a Lakota village—one of seven Sioux tribes who follow the buffalo. My mother, Little Feather, intended to find her way back to her own people, the Dakota Sioux, but Lame Deer took a liking to her and made her his second wife.”
Sarah studied Wolf’s face. Despite his dark hair and olive skin, his hazel eyes revealed his white heritage. He had a striking profile—strong chin, high cheekbones, and full lips. Her heart fluttered, remembering how he had called her his wife. Her curiosity piqued. “So, how long did you live with the tribe?”
“I lived with the people until my sixteenth year. Spotted Fever took my mother and several others in the tribe, and with her gone, nothing held me there. Because I wasn’t full-blooded, most of those my age made it their callin’ to make my life miserable. In my younger years they shoved me and called me names, but as I aged and my body grew strong, the physical cruelty stopped. Still, there was always someone around to remind me I was an outsider.”  He removed the skewer stick with the remaining rabbit from over the fire and extended it toward her. “More?”
She shook her head, preferring to hear the story’s ending rather than eat. “So you left?”
“Yes. That was ten years ago, and I still haven’t found where I fit.” Holding both ends of the stick, he chomped into the rabbit’s hindquarter then wiped the juices on the back of his hand. Even though primitive and missing the manners she appreciated, Wolf was a very handsome man.
Sarah gazed down into her lap, her cheeks warming.  She had no business thinking such things about a man she barely knew. Thank goodness, she wasn’t small-minded enough to let his heritage determine her treatment of him, but once they got to Independence, she would thank him for his help and bid him farewell. There was no room in her life for a man, now or in the future. Still, she dared another glimpse at him through her lashes, fighting a strange sensation in the pit of her stomach.


Monday, May 21, 2012

CONTEST TO WIN SEDUCING SIGEFROI

After PRINCESS of BRETAGNE and PAGAN QUEEN, comes the third book in the CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE series, SEDUCING SIGEFROI. Set at the foundation of Luxembourg in 963, it involves an immortal magic lady introduced in Book 2, and continues the Saga of immortal Celtic Ladies meddling throughout history... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

ENTER THE CONTEST to win the pdf of this summer release by clicking on CONTEST at the top right at:


Blurb:
Book Three - Seducing Sigefroi
963 AD. Seeking redemption from the curse that makes her a serpent from the waist down one day each month, Melusine, daughter of Pressine, must seduce Sigefroi of Ardennes, a shrewd, ambitious knight, son of the Duke of Lorraine, who wants to carve himself a kingdom. But Sigefroi is more than a match for Melusine's supernatural gifts, and the task proves daunting... especially as he stirs deep in her strangely confusing emotions.

Good luck.


Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE:

THE TRIBULATIONS OF PRINCESS JASMINE by Vijaya Schartz

There is a cat in this story. Find all my BWL stories HERE My kitty cat Jasmine, a princess in my mind, has a dramatic story wort...