Theme

Fall is almost here, and the Roses are falling all over themselves with ideas! For September, we're going to: Fall in Love, Fall to Pieces, Fall into Place, and Fall by the Wayside.

Monday, September 1, 2014

THE JOY OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE by Rolynn Anderson



This month’s choices; Fall in Love, Fall to Pieces, Fall into Place, Fall by the Wayside

I’ll pick FALL INTO PLACE, which I'll call 'cognitive dissonance,' our human approach for making decisions and feeling comfortable with them.

From Wikipedia:
Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency (dissonance) is experienced, individuals largely become psychologically distressed. His basic hypotheses are listed below:
 1. "The existence of dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance"
2. "When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance"

Welcome to my newest cognitive dissonance.  After 30 years of boating, we’ve decided to sell our beloved INTREPID (see her here: http://intrepid-for-sale.blogspot.com/) and move on to other adventures.  We’ve spent four summer months on our boat for at least 20 of those years; now it’s time to try other modes of travel to brand new and exciting places.

         You hear the cognitive dissonance at play, already, don’t you?  Here are some more of our new ways of thinking which make us feel better about selling our boat:
         1.  We only have to keep up one house, not two.
         2.  We’re physically fit for travel now…we shouldn’t wait.
         3.  We’ll increase our savings by selling the boat
         4.  We’ll use the money spent on maintaining the boat for travel
         5.  We’ve seen about all we can see of the Inside Passage
         6.  We’ll deepen our friendships in CA, by having only one residence
         (I could go on with 20 more...see how easy this is?)

         I don’t call this fickle thinking or merely a process of rationalizing.  This is the human, humane, comfortable way of making decisions feel good.  How about you?  What’s your latest trip down the road of cognitive dissonance?

Intrepid Journeys  -  http://steveandrolynn.blogspot.com/


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Feeling Lost by Diane Burton



From the previous posts, the “Roses” like telling stories about getting lost. I’m the navigator whenever we go anywhere. Give me a map and the Garmin and I can get us anywhere. Except for that one time in the late 1980s when I told Hubs to take the wrong exit off the Beltway in D.C. No Garmin and he wouldn’t let me turn on the overhead light to read the map because the area had deteriorated. Our kids have never let me forget that. Never mind I haven’t gotten us lost again.

You see, I’m a bit of a control freak. (Bet you didn’t know that. LOL) I get very anxious if I don’t know exactly where we are. Hubs likes to go for drives. Since he has a better sense of direction than I do (plus a compass on the dash) it doesn’t bother him to wander. Not me. I know I should trust him. But... I could say I’m from Missouri and you have to Show Me. My mom was. Does that count?

When I began my writing career, I knew exactly where my manuscripts were—which editor or agent had which one, their responses, dates, etc. I even made up a spreadsheet, one for each manuscript, for the information. That all ended when I got an agent. It was a difficult time back then when I was working full time and our mothers were in ill health an hour and a half away. I didn’t have the time and energy to handle the submitting (or writing, for that matter). So I was glad someone else was taking care of that. Or so I thought. When I asked her where the manuscripts I’d sent her were, she evaded, though because she talked so much I didn’t realize until later that she never really answered my questions. Eventually, I ended our relationship. I was fortunate that nothing really bad happened, except stalling my career for four years. I felt totally lost, anxious, and depressed.

When I began writing again and took back handling my career, the anxiety left. I knew where I was. Unfortunately the landscape had changed dramatically. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, blogs and blog hops. I didn’t know what they were, let alone how to use them. Manuscripts weren’t printed out and mailed anymore. Email was the norm. I was always computer literate, ever since Hubs brought home that TRS-80. But now I felt lost again. Thanks to generous people, this old dog learned the new tricks.

Then a writer friend mentioned self-publishing. Wow. I could handle my entire career. Not only did I know where my books were (I’d put them there), I knew exactly how many were sold at any given moment. That’s not to say I'm one of those indie writers who makes tons of money and hit the best seller lists. I'm satisfied to know that I'm in control. I'm lost anymore.

In my latest science fiction romance, my heroine wants to shed her previous life. When given the chance, she’s faced with a dilemma. Getting the career she wants versus doing what is right. Talk about being lost!


Socialite Jileena Winslott has perfected the image of the spoiled, rich, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s a smart, savvy aide to her father in social situations where she is his eyes and ears. She yearns to be her true self and run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. Big problem. He insists she take along a fake fiancĂ©—the man she’s secretly loved for years.

Security Officer Laning Servary has better things to do than babysit a spoiled rich girl on a tour of the Frontier. If he refuses, he can kiss his career good-by. Then Jileena’s father sweetens the pot. If Laning keeps her safe, his family will receive the land they share-crop. He can’t refuse.

In the close quarters of her ship, Laning and Jileena discover they aren’t who they seem. Pirates, weather, and her recklessness threaten to derail the mission. As Laning and Jileena revise their impressions of each other, they’ll have to make hard choices about their goals. Can their budding love survive?

The Chameleon is available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords

I blog here on the 8th and 30th of each month and Mondays on my own site http://dianeburton.blogspot.com


Friday, August 29, 2014

Are Rebels Really Romantic?


Have you ever wondered why so many romance heroes are described as rebels? What is there about
Bad Boys that attracts so many woman?
Oh, I know in books they're always really good guys, just misunderstood a little. Or a lot. Rebels in books have always had a troubled past, clash with overbearing authority, or generally have hearts of gold hidden beneath all that angst.
Don't get me wrong - I love a moody Heathcliff type character as much as the next woman. Yep, all warm and tingly.
What is not good is when the idea of the dark, romantic rebel spills over into Real Life.
We've all met them. Those handsome, brooding characters who seem to need to challenge everything, who play the lone hero card all the time, who get in trouble without any good reason, thumb their noses at authority and generally create mayhem in our lives (and in our hearts, if we let them).
 They always need the love of a good woman to save them and bring out the hero, right? And isn't that the big attraction? We women need to nurture as much as these guys need to be nurtured.
But I think we've got it all wrong. Maybe the idea of 'saving' a rebellious hunk is a way of proving that we are so feminine, we can create miracles :-) We, alone, can rescue them.
Or maybe they don't need to be nurtured or rescued, they need to grow up!
Imagine a lifetime of living with all that moody angst, all that unreliability, all that simmering anger...no, thanks.
But in books and movies, it's just fine.
James Dean played the classic young, tortured rebel in Rebel Without a Cause - all that brooding sexiness would melt the heart of most of us. Put up your hand if you didn't want to save him - there, see, no show of hands at all :-)
I prefer to write about heroes who, although they may be a bit moody and maybe even commitment shy (there's a difference between being commitment shy and not being able to commit!)
In my newly published book, Another Man's Son, hero Ben Asher is more the sort of guy you'd like your daughter to meet: Born to an impoverished family, he joins the military to serve his country and because he wants to learn a trade to give the woman he loves 'everything a man wants to give to the woman he loves'.
When he believes she's chosen a rich husband over him, he's cut to the quick. The betrayal runs deep with a wound that never seems to heal - until he learns the truth about Kathryn Morgan, her son, and her shotgun, loveless marriage.

Excerpt:

Kathryn drew in a sharp breath. How could she possibly explain all this to Ben? What words could she use to convey the nightmare her life had become, the sense of burning shame within her that she’d made this choice? There was no way she could bear to see the contempt in his eyes when he saw how trapped she was, like a fox in a leg trap. But, like that fox, she’d be capable of gnawing off her own leg for the sake of her son. If she had to, she’d bear the humiliation.

“What the hell is wrong with this family?” Ben exploded. “There’s a missing child whose parents are too busy fighting between themselves to co-operate with law enforcement in finding him. Dammit all, Kathryn, it seems neither of you can say for sure the boy is really missing!”

His anger sparked her own. “Don’t you dare talk to me like that, Ben Asher! Especially not now, not when…”

“Not when what, Kathryn?” His voice was gentler and he moved to stand beside her, close enough so she could smell the clean masculine scent of him that shone through the light citrus aftershave she remembered so well. She swallowed, then stood to face him. He didn’t step back, even though there were just inches between them.

She ran her tongue over her lips to moisten them, but even so her voice sounded cracked and dry to her own ears. “Not when I need you. Need your help.”

She needed more than that. She needed Ben to take her in his arms, to kiss her; to let her taste his mouth and find out if it was as magical as her heart remembered. But she was another man’s wife and the hard planes of his face told her without words that he would never forgive her betrayal. Kathryn sighed and began to turn away, but his next question stopped her.
 
Another Man's Son is now available as an ebook at most online retailers, including Amazon and the publisher's website, The Wild Rose Press




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Writing True Crime by JoAnne Myers



First you must pick an interesting crime. I specialize in homicides in my home state of Ohio.  Routinely reading newspapers will help the writer find murder cases. Find a homicide that has numerous good elements that will hold one’s interest. 
            Next you must start the investigation of your chosen crime. To find my information, I read newspaper reports of the homicide. I searched court documents for witness reports, and courtroom testimony. I interviewed witnesses. Persons that either were present when the crime occurred, or had after the fact information. Try to locate the victim’s family members, and see if they want their side of the story told. If the case goes to trial, the Defense’s job is to discredit the victim. To portray the deceased as the “bad guy.” This type of mud slinging does not sit well with loved ones of the victim. Give them a chance to speak for the deceased. Anyone that was involved with the case, will have something of interest to report. Don’t forget to locate the reports of the arresting officers and the homicide detectives. Try to locate the coroners report, any eyewitness, or person’s who reported hearing an altercation or gunshots.
            Keep abreast of updates, and read everything that was written about the case. Build a relationship with the law enforcement officials who are involved in the case. I personally live in a very small town, where most person’s know one another, and many have relatives or close friends that are involved with law enforcement. Attend the trial and speak to everyone you can about the criminal, the victim and prosecution and defense witness.
            Last but not least, sit down and write. Now it is time to tell the story of the crime. Hopefully you will find most of the information you need in your copious notes--if not go back and get the answers you need. Never throw away any notes or information concerning the case. Not even after the trial is over with, and the story is written. Most convicted felons apply for numerous appeals, which take years to dissolve. Some cases never seem to end; The Crime of the Century was such a case. When the accused was found guilty and sent to prison, he and his attorneys, who always believed him innocent, continued fighting for his freedom. That blessed event came after the convicted spent five years on death row. He was cleared with DNA, but it still took nearly thirty years to find the true killers. If you want your true crime novel to be believable, you can't fudge the facts.   


Blurb for The Crime of the Century:

            The residents of Rolling Hills, a hamlet in southeastern Ohio, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of two missing teens were pulled from the local river. Multiply suspects surfaced, but only one was railroaded, Richard Allan Lloyd, a known nudist and hothead.
            What began as an evening stroll turned into what found only in horror films, and dubbed ‘the crime of the century’.  18 year old Babette, a voluptuous beauty contestant and horsewoman, and her 19 year old boyfriend Shane Shoemaker, a jealous and possessive unemployed printer, were last seen crossing a trestle bridge. Within fourteen days, their mutilated torsos and severed heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.
            With an investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators built a flimsy case against Richard Lloyd. The three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, fairytale theories, and forensic mishandling.
            This heinous crime shattered the sense of security for Rolling Hills, destroyed two families, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of finding justice for Babette and Shane, and of one man’s perseverance to gain his freedom from death row.


Excerpt: The Disappearance

            October 4, 1982, started out as an ordinary autumn evening, for this mined-out Appalachian region in southeastern Ohio. The sticky summer was gone. The ground was blanketed with gold and red leaves, and the last full moon before All Hallows’ Eve, was complete. A cosmic cycle said to stir passions in some, anger and rage in others.
“Beggars’ Night,” was just around the corner. Homes were elaborately decorated with Paper-Mache witches and goblins, as carved pumpkins of all sizes sat on porches and in yards, made even creepier with lit candles.
            Yes, it would have been an average evening, if not for two unnerving events. First, the arrival of the notorious motorcycle gang, The Devil's Disciples. The group frequented The Home Tavern, a sordid bar on the corner of Gallagher and Motherwell. According to police reports, having a thirst for alcohol, the bikers and their sweaty, leather-clad women produced numerous problems while in town. Calls from residents, concerning fistfights and disorderly conduct, flooded the police station. Locals reported spotting some members of the gang roaming the streets as the reports of vandalism kept the police busy.
            Originally the Depot Hotel, The Home Tavern, sat directly across the street from a twenty-five acre “infamous” cornfield. A common place for knife-fights, pot parties, and hanky panky from all ages. Running through the cornfield was the murky and meandering Hocking River.
            The second incident, involved sex, lies, lust, and murder as gunfire emanated from the opposite end of the cornfield. The sounds of shots echoing from the nearby cornfield was such a common sound that it caused them little concern.
            What shortly followed was a frantic search for two missing sweethearts, 19-year-old Shane Shoemaker, and 18-year-old Babette Lloyd. Chief White immediately posted an announcement in that day’s newspaper, stating the “public was invited” Lt. Phillipes was put in charge of that search party.
            The meeting sight was the old Kroger building on Round Street, near the home of Shane Shoemaker. At 4 pm., despite being a chilly and windy day, sixty to seventy people showed up for the search. Among the crowd, were Babette’s mother and stepfather, Nancy and Richard Lloyd, the local news team, deputy sheriffs, city police, and officers from the Masonville Vocational School.
             Attorney Jack Jones was also present. He now represented the Shoemaker family, who were out of town. He used this time to tighten the noose around the stepfather’s neck.
 What took place within a few hours became legendary for the close nit community.
            At 5:45 pm., Chief White used his walkie-talkie, to radio Lt. Phillipes, who stayed at the command post with Richard and Nancy. Only a few short words were needed.
“We found something, but we don’t know what it is,” said the chief.
            What searchers found . . . was unthinkable.
            Just 150 yards north of the railroad trestle spanning the Bottle Neck River, Sheriff Reynolds and one of his deputies reported “something entangled in debris,” near their small boat.
            The officers initially said they believed the object was an animal carcass. Once it was dislodged and floated down stream, they realized it was human. Both torsos were reportedly snagged against brush along the riverbank. Both torsos were nude and so badly decomposed, officers said they were unable to determine their sex.
            The remains were pulled to shore and coroner Rausch was summoned to the riverbank. Many searchers, upon leaving the crime scene, were overheard by reporters asking one another “Are the authorities looking for one killer or two?”
            After his initial examination of the bodies, the coroner said he was unable to rule on the cause of death. What he did say, was that if one man committed both murders, it was “during a great rage” and by someone with something “very personal” against one, or both, of the victims.
            The discovery of the bodies shocked and silenced the group of volunteers. Some remained silent, while others were seen conversing in hushed tones, telling reporters they “expected the search to turn up nothing.”
            When officers carried a body bag from the river, Lt. Phillipes approached Nancy and Richard, who he described as “the quiet couple.” He claimed Richard calmly asked, “Is it them?”
            Lt. Phillipes reluctantly admitted it was two individuals. He claimed Richard then asked, “Are they all chopped up?”
            Phillipes said he was shocked by that comment. He claimed when he asked Richard why he would ask such a thing, he said Richard claimed to be psychic. Phillipes said he was taken back by the man’s “strange statements and unemotional attitude” of the discovery of two murder victims. He said Richard then suggested officers should search the adjoining cornfield.

Note: All names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty.

JoAnne’s books along with her original canvas paintings, can be found at: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com

Contact JoAnne: joannetucker98@yahoo.com
Website: Books and Paintings by JoAnne

Order your copy of “The Crime of the Century” by JoAnne Myers here http://www.blackrosewriting.com/non-fiction/the-crime-of-the-century-a-shocking-true-story

Other books by JoAnne:

Murder Most Foul-a detective/mystery
Wicked Intentions-a paranormal/mystery anthology
Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between

Upcoming Releases:

Loves, Myths, and Monsters- a fantasy anthology available April 24
Twisted Love-a biography true crime anthology available in May
Flagitious-a detective/mystery novella anthology