Alone No More by Terri Rochenski

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Today I have a special treat from Terri Rochenski. She’s got a lovely historical romance just released and, as I love to do, I’ve asked her to stop by and tell me the inspiration for Alone No More. Of course she countered with a question of her own so don’t hesitate in giving your thoughts in the comments section. Take it away, Terri!

Inspiration for my characters

For Alone No More I had no inspiration, no ‘ah ha!’ moment when the muse introduced me to a new voice in my head. This story came about for an indie pub’s anthology call for an ‘Unexpected Bumps’ theme.

All romance needs conflict, so I thought about why a pregnancy might not be wanted. Preferring historical romance, I also thought about when in history an unexpected pregnancy would prove difficult or taboo for a single woman. The characters for ANM were born from my ponderings, and secondary characters included for additional tension and conflict to make the HEA all the sweeter.

Not all characters come about by a story, though. Sometimes they make their presence known and tell ME their story. In my short, Beginning of Forever, which just released from Roane Publishing on the 16th of this month in the Winter’s Sweet Kiss anthology, my MC, Lillian Douglas was inspired by my sister-in-law’s true life story of heartache and learning to love again.

On occasion I’ll see a person on the streets or in a store and their face, countenance, or appearance strike me, and the muse runs away with my thoughts. I’ll come up with reasons of why they look that way, or what brought on the premature lines etched in their face.

Sometimes it’s even a place – scenery – in a picture or live that brings a character to life within my brain.

I don’t prefer any one way as long as a character speaks to me and engages my imagination with their story. That’s what it’s all about anyway when it comes down to it … is my story, my character interesting enough to hold others’ attentions.

How about you? Had any odd occurrences bring a character to life? People? Do voices even SPEAK to you, or am I a loony?

 Bio:

Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

My Links:   Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads

 

Genre: Romance / Historical

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

World Wide Release Date: December 18, 2013

Book Blurb: Dismissed from her job as a scullery maid and cast aside by her lover, pregnant Cara Morland has no choice but to return to her father’s farm. While lies of widowhood keep her from disgrace, Cara is faced with a local landowner’s unwanted attentions. Without the social status to do much more than avoid the vile man, she loses hope of ever finding happiness.

A friendship based on mutual loneliness blossoms between Cara and James Elliot, a young farm hand hired by her father. He offers his protection, and one shared kiss reveals his heart, but propriety and her feigned grieving period hinders what they both desire.

When Cara’s stalker learns the truth of her circumstances, he gives her an ultimatum—submit to his possession or he’ll ruin her second chance at love with James.

***

Add it to your book shelf at Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

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My Journey Overseas

I got the honor of accompanying my parents on an overseas adventure on a Carnival cruise. We were on the Legend. Wow. Just wow. I had a great experience and, in a series of posts, I’m going to take you on the adventure with me. I took over 1000 pictures. Sadly, I can’t share them all with you but I do have a few I’ll be posting. :)

This is my attempt at putting a panoramic picture together. You take a series of shots and then 'stitch' them together. For some reason, one of the shots was more fogger than the others but there you go. I also color enhanced the photos to clear away some of the fogginess.

This is my attempt at putting a panoramic picture together. You take a series of shots and then ‘stitch’ them together. For some reason, one of the shots was more fogger than the others but there you go. I also color enhanced the photos to clear away some of the fogginess.

First comes the heinous part of the journey–flying on a plane. It’s not so much that I hate flying. It’s what the flight does to my sinuses. I’m very sensitive in that cavity and sometimes chewing gum doesn’t help. Luckily, I made out just fine. This was also the first international flight–that I remember. The last time I flew, I was maybe two years old coming back from living in Germany. My dad was in the Army. What do I remember of that flight? My dad handing me a barf bag, putting the seat back for me, and saying in his stern voice “Lay down, go to sleep.” So I did… so I joked to him on the flight over.

The flight is loooong. Over seven hours long. You can sleep (I did), watch movies (did that too), or anything else like twindle your thumbs. I’d say the worst part of the trip was being in the back of the plane. You see, you get a meal on the flight but if you’re in the back, you’re stuck with what they had left. That was ‘vegetarian’ pasta. There were no veggies in that dish because black olives do not count. Luckily, I planned ahead and brought these yummy (and protein-packed) meat sticks Ostrim. It calmed my jitters and blooming headache.

Remember the part about being prepared…it’s going to come up again.

International flights or flying in general are an experience. First, I went through the scanners everyone seems afraid of. I hope I blinded someone in seeing my big zaftig ass. ;) No big deal except you had to take off your shoes and I was wearing sandals. Yep, I got to run amuck bare foot for a bit. When you land in another country, you better have that passport handy. That was a joy for me as mine was brand new so my first stamp was in Heathrow. You go through customs and they can search your stuff if they want. Your best option is not to be a dick.

Now at Heathrow, we had to wait for our ride to the cruise ship. They took our luggage and we waited…and I used the free 45 minutes of internet to say hello to my friends. I sniggered every time I heard “Unattended bags will be destroyed.”

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The iconic red whale tail on every Carnival ship.

One thing I had been told by friends who had flown overseas is not to go to sleep when you go over. Napping on the flight is okay but you must acclimate yourself to the five hour difference. So I busied myself when I could and napped, for the most part, on the two hours ride to Dover. Goodness… is England made entirely of roundabouts? And the weather? Totally expected it… but I’m a lover of fog.

I boarded the ship, and took a stroll on the deck with camera in tow. I mean…. the White Cliffs of Dover! Unfortunately, the fog obscured them but I still got pictures along with the castle. Being giddy, I took a lot of silly snapshots but the best was yet to come. It was time to set sail!

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Cliffs of Dover. Quite a spectacular sight, even in foggy conditions.

Why Tequila and Jalapenos Should Never Marry

Way back when, but really not that far away, we did a little contest on Scribophile for fun. You signed up to challenge opponents in writing a piece, using the avatars you chose as your ‘gladiator’. This is the piece I came up with first which brought me through the to the second round where I got pummeled. Cest la vie. Enjoy!

This is a logo I created for my brother-in-law's homebrewed beer.

This is a logo I created for my brother-in-law’s homebrewed beer.

The night blurry from making love to a bottle of tequila, I wake to the grit of sand instead of lush grass beneath me. Little worms dance the samba with a jalapeno sporting giant melons in front of my eyes. A puff of air washes over me, smelling like tuna left out in the sun to fester. My eyes blink and my vision focuses on the biggest pussy I have ever seen. Huge claws and a face puckered as if it had been deprived of a litter box for far too long, the tiger snarls.

I do what any self-respecting woman would in my prone position. I scream. I sissy slap the tiger across its whiskered cheeks, stunning the feline with my unorthodox high-pitched wail. It could also have been a product of my foot connecting with its hanging grapefruits. The worm and jalapeno now dance to AC/DC’s “Big Balls” in my waking dream. I blink when I realize the two were floating right by the tiger’s enormous head. Salvation from the orange and black terror. My hands grab the ripe melons of the jalapeno, much to his protest, and I squish those glorious globes into the eyes of the tiger.

Great. Now Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” is playing in my head.

The beast roars again, and I counter with another Mariah Carey-like warble. The worm is my next victim, taking that alcohol-soaked vermin and tossing it into the maw of the tiger. An offering to the carnivorous gods. The Jalapeno turns bright red, his salsa partner lost in a sea of jagged teeth but I have no time for a pepper paroxysm. I snatch the jalapeno and a handful of sand.

High in the air I leap, releasing the tiny granules of sand into the Tiger’s melon-laced eyes. The grains mix with the juices in one sticky mess. The Jalapeno struggles in my hands as if it knows my nefarious and deviant plot. I skid to a stop behind the tiger and give his hanging sack a good thorough punt with my foot again. His balls go through the uprights, or at least tickle his colon. Its tail juts up in the air and with a scream from my pepper friend, I plunge that hot tamale where the sun doesn’t shine. I make a mental note to thoroughly bleach my hand later.

Violated by laws in about seven or so states, the feline rears and clutches at its belly. In the confines of the fur, I notice a little wiggling bulge. Like two lovers reunited, I hear the sweet serenade of the worm and jalapeno through the clenched jaw of the tiger. The beast falls over, succumbing to the burning taint of alcohol combined with spicy food cha-chaing in his abdomen.

My only thought as I leave the fallen feline is I’m glad he’s got an ocean’s worth of sand to do his business in and I don’t have to clean it up.