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Before Neil, there was Snoopy

Where No Man has Gone Before

My personal memory of the Apollo program and the Moon landing.

“This storm we’re having? You know what’s causing it? It’s all of those men stomping around on the Moon.”

My Grandma would add a few more colorful words to embellish her pronouncements. Ever since that giant leap for mankind on July 20, 1969, she blamed the astronauts, NASA, the government (with all their covert weather experiments) for every weather event. If a thunderstorm happened during a lunar mission? She believed it was because they were up there drilling holes in the Moon.

Grandma was dead set against the idea of leaving Earth for any reason. I didn’t buy any of her theories. I was on team NASA and Apollo. We were going to the Moon! 

Apollo missions 7 through 10 incrementally practiced the steps that would culminate in the landing. Apollo 7 and 9 were Earth orbiting missions. 7 tested the Command and Service Module (CSM). Apollo 8 tested the flight to the Moon, orbit, and head back to Earth. 9 tested the deployment of the LM (Lunar Module). By the time Apollo 11 launched, we had been to the Moon and back on Apollo 8 and 10. I’ll have more on the 10 mission later.

I believe there were two things that fueled my love of spaceflight: heavy marketing on the part of NASA to bring all things Apollo onto TV sets across America, and Star Trek.

Not long before my eighth birthday, NBC launched Star Trek in September 1966. With its space cowboy captain and logical science officer, I was a Spock fan from the start and on board for adventure every week. My younger brother was a fan of that other show, Lost in Space. I could never get beyond the whiny Dr. Smith and ridiculous plot lines that included things like talking carrots. I much preferred the socially conscious plots on Star Trek, even though at the time I didn’t know they were socially conscious—they were just cool.

Fueled by TV’s weekly dose of fictional space exploration, I devoured everything about Apollo. The closer they got to the Moon landing, the more excited I became at the prospect of humans walking on the Moon.  

Did you know there was an Apollo launch every two to three months? We didn’t get much of a break after each flight before the coverage would ramp up again for the next mission. Apollo 7 and 8 were in October and December of ‘68. Apollo 9 was in March and 10 in May of ‘69. Apollo 11 and the Moon landing, July 1969. We continued the Apollo missions up to the last, number 17, in December 1972.

The Apollo 10 mission was my favorite. Come on, they nicknamed the Command and Service Module, Charlie Brown, and the LM, Snoopy. I was a big Snoopy fan. When the Sears Christmas “Wish Book” came in the mail, I would dog-ear all of the pages and circled the things I wanted. The Peanuts page had a lot of circles. The whole toy section of the catalog was pretty much circled by my brother and me. We didn’t get everything. I think my parents probably glanced at it and decided to get whatever they wanted since we apparently liked everything. I still have the Snoopy astronaut pennant from Christmas 1969. Yep, I liked that one a lot.

 

 

In 1969, there was no internet, no social media, no computers, no cell phones. There were telephones, TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. All of the news about Apollo 10 came in through the daily newspaper and on the nightly news programs. My favorite newspaper headline was “Snoopy Sniffs Around Moon.” My ten-year-old self thought this was the best line ever. I clipped many articles about Apollo 10 and glued them into a scrapbook. I wonder if I would have done that if they had named the LM Huckleberry Hound. (highly unlikely)

Apollo 10 was the last test before the Apollo 11 Eagle could land. Snoopy was going to make a descent toward the surface. But let me tell you, I was not happy that Snoopy would not actually land on the Moon. Commander Tom Stafford and Lunar Module Pilot Gene Cernan took Snoopy down to just under 50,000 miles above the surface. I was rooting for them to go rogue and land it. (truth!) They stuck to the mission though, which was to descend toward the Moon and then head back and dock with the Command and Service Module. The ascent engine fired and then everything went sideways. The LM was spinning out of control. This was not a “Houston, we have a problem” moment. It was a bit more “Holy crap!”

This account on History.com tells the story best:

* * * * * * * *

Having demonstrated the LM’s descent engine could successfully control the spacecraft towards the surface, they pressed forward with staging. This was meant to mimic the moment of launch from the Moon’s surface. On a landing mission, the bottom descent stage of the module would serve as a launch pad for the crewed ascent stage whose smaller engine would propel it from the surface into orbit to meet and dock with the waiting Command Module. On Apollo 10, Stafford and Cernan would do the same thing in orbit.

Stafford moved a switch from the Safe position to Stage, activating the small explosives that forcibly separated the ascent stage from the descent stage. But rather than a smooth flight, the spacecraft started gyrating wildly, rolling, pitching and yawing around all three axis in turn. Almost instantly, Stafford saw a yellow gimbal lock light illuminate on a nearby instrument panel. The computer was close to losing its orientation in space, which would mean the crew could have no idea where they were and how to get home.

“We’re in trouble,” said Commander Tom Stafford. (Me here, I think he was either super cool under pressure or a master of understatement)

“Son of a bitch!” Cernan yelled as they got a quick sight of the separated descent stage passing by a window.

“We’re in trouble,” Stafford concurred. (he really was cool as a cucumber)

The spacecraft never went into gimbal lock. Stafford reacted quickly and began manually correcting the spinning and rolling to get the spacecraft back into the correct attitude for their continued ascent. Less than four minutes after the initial staging, everything had calmed down.

“I think we have got all our marbles,” Stafford called down to Houston.

* * * * * * * ** 

History.com has transcripts of the audio, and video as the near Gimbal Lock happened. Yep, I watched and read it all while researching this story. I’ve added the links at the bottom of this post. 

Snoopy made it back to the Command and Service Module. He was still my hero. The historic Apollo 11 mission and the landing on the Moon’s surface was a go.

The big event, the one for which we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary this year, lifted off less than two months after Apollo 10’s return. President Kennedy issued a challenge for us to walk on the Moon before the end of the decade. NASA was on a tight timeline to get there before the end of the year. If this one didn’t make it, then one more scheduled for November would have their shot.

I was glued to the TV coverage, from the morning lift off on July 16, through the somewhat boring days it took for them to get to the Moon, to the exciting descent and landing of the Lunar Module. Finally, they were ON THE MOON! It was nearly 4:30 in the afternoon on the 20th and these guys were about to step out onto the surface.

It was… disappointing.

No, not the Moonwalk. But the fact that it took six and a half long hours before they opened the hatch and Neil Armstrong descended the ladder. Six and a half hours. That is an eternity for a ten-year-old child filled with dreams of space travel and watching it happen in real honest-to-goodness life. Captain Kirk simply stepped on the transporter and zip-zing, he and a couple of red-shirts were on the surface of some new planet. Man, we had a long way to go if it was going to take us six hours to put on our coat and boots to head outside.

It was 10:56pm when Neil hit the surface and said his famous words. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” I was yawning like crazy. It was a long wait, but there was no way I would have gone to bed and missed the biggest event of the decade. My family watched them bounce around on the Moon for a while and then we went to bed. The astronauts did their thing, collected rocks, left some markers, took lots of pictures, and then jumped back into the LM and took off. A few days later, they were splashing down on Earth.

Three months later, we did it again. And again for five more trips. Today it’s no big deal. Pffft, go to the Moon, whatever. Been there, done that. But back then it was everything.

Think about this for a moment. We went to the Moon, walked around, came back, all using computer technology less sophisticated than your cell phone. We didn’t need no stinkin’ palm size computers. We had math. And physics. And people who took chances and broke barriers. People like test pilots, many of whom died during their test flights. We funded early programs like Mercury and Gemini putting people in orbit, learning how to live for days at a time in space. They all paved the way for the Apollo program to succeed. After that came the shuttle program and space stations and long-range exploration. Fifty years ago we were just getting started.

And don’t forget Voyager 1, launched in 1977. It is on a path to meet up with Captain Kirk sometime in 2273.

* * *

Cool references to check out

Gimbal Lock explanation (YouTube)

History.com account of the Apollo 10 near disaster

Transcript of ascent stage firing and near Gimbal Lock issue. Go to 102:45:16 time mark.

Audio and video of the near disaster. Starts at 1:09 into the video.

Vintage Space YouTube channel – lots of Apollo related videos explaining how things worked.

Chicken Friends

Recently a friend put a post on Facebook that started with “Hey Chicken friends…”Chickens Say what?

Not really all that crazy. She was seeking advice from her other chicken-owning friends on sending her brood of young chicks into the big coop.

Chickens be headed home

 

 

 

 

But this got me thinking.

I refer to my friends based on what we have in common. I have dog friends, agility friends, flyball friends, scrapbooking friends, crafting friends, writer friends, book friends, drinking friends. The list goes on. Some people fall into multiple groups. Some, like my drinking friends, simply fall.

Down.

And we laugh, and laugh.

Do you group your friends?  Or am I all alone out here?

Just us Chickens

Page post not on your subscriber’s Facebook timeline?

You’ve written a brilliant post for your Facebook page. You have hundreds of likes but your reach is only a few people.

OR

You have liked a bunch of pages over the years. Your news feed kept you informed with those posts on a regular basis but now, for some reason, you never see any of them.

When was the last time you saw posts from your favorite pages? Like me, you may have thought they haven’t written anything in a while. It has been so long, you may have forgotten about those pages you liked.

Facebook has changed its algorithms so that only a few people out of the hundreds that have liked a page actually see a post on their timeline.

For example: PAWS has 273 page likes. The most recent post listing titles earned at the New England Regional has reached 15 people. The one prior, thanking everyone, reached 85 people.

Jodi Hale Books has 25 page likes. My post on Canine Cancer reached 5 people.   🙁

Why don’t they show on your timeline?

The answer is simple – money. Pages are generally owned and managed by businesses. Facebook wants those businesses to pay them to boost the post onto the timelines. A post will bring $$ to the business so Facebook wants a small fee ($5 for each boost).

How do we get around this?

Page members can share the posts on their own timelines to reach people. This works pretty well for PAWS since there are four people sharing those posts immediately after they have been written. But that solution is hit or miss. Many pages only have one person behind it. The more people who interact with a post and the page itself, the more Facebook will think it is important enough to let others know about it.

Here’s a better way.

How to see page posts on your news feed
How to see all page posts on your news feed

Under the Liked button, click See First. Now any posts will filter to the top of your news feed and you’ll be sure to see them.

pagesfeedGive it a try. You can find your pages feed under Pages on the left side of your Facebook news feed.  On your feed you’ll see posts from all your liked pages. Pick a favorite page and set it to See First.  I recommend Jodi Hale Books 😉

I hope you find this post useful. How many people are seeing your page posts? Were you able to convert some of those likes to See First?

Jodi Hale

Canine Cancer

Canine Cancer – tell me you don’t know anyone who hasn’t had heartbreak because of this disease.

The New England Agility Community’s Fundraising Page is collecting auction items for the upcoming 2016 online auction to benefit NCCF (National Canine Cancer Fund)

How can you help?

I know many of you have creative talents and skills that can help raise some funds for the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Pet beds, jewelry, tug toys, gift certificates — these are just some of the things you could make or donate to help make our auction a success.

Many of you own or know people who own businesses that would benefit from the free exposure to the canine community that the auction will provide. Spread the word!

Last year our auction raised FIVE GRAND. With your help this year, we can beat that number.

The online auction will start in June (2016) — we need your donated items NOW. Does it have to dog related? No, we may own dogs but we love to shop for everything.

Please consider donating auction items to this important cause. If you have something to donate, or have any ideas or questions, please send an email to: NewEnglandAgilityCommunity@gmail.com

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I’ve lost two close friends to canine cancer. I miss Kira (Golden) and Chilly (Eskie) every day.

Together, we are the cure.

Jodi

My Biggest #RWA15 Regret

 

I’m home from my first Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference. Location: Times Square, NYC. That would be Broadway, with all the lights, glitz, and topless women walking around with paint (paint!) “hiding” the girls. (Didn’t fool any of us.)

Inside the Marriott Marquis, 2500 friends and I cozied up to listen to a variety of speakers.

I don’t do cozy well.

You see, I’m a bit of an introvert. Honestly, I don’t know if that is entirely true. Put me in front of a camera and all is great. Of course, I’m not really talking to a human so it’s all good.

KiltedBartenders
That’s me, front and center along with many of my RWA chapter sisters. Oh, and a few bartenders in kilts.

Set me at a table with people I know and I can hold my own in the conversation department. Put me in a room of people  I don’t know and I will observe and not bother anyone.

Which leads me to my biggest regret while at RWA15. I didn’t get to meet Jill Shalvis. I did see her across the room during the Literacy signing event.

That’s Jill, way over there in the distance wearing pink.

I volunteered to help at the event and I saw her before the signing, talking to people. (Snapped a picture because it didn’t happen if there are no pics)

Hi, Jill!wavingBear

I suppose I could have walked over, but she was busy. I would have hovered nearby waiting  for her to notice me. Kinda like a stalker…

NumberOneFanYeah, no. I doubt I’m her biggest fan. I love her books. I think I’ve read them all and she is on my “must buy” list. But I wouldn’t follow her around or travel to every one of her appearances or rent a kayak and slowly paddle by all the homes on Donner Lake… BTW, if that did happen, it was not me. Pinky swear.

I had another chance to meet Jill at the Grand Central Publishing book signing. But… I didn’t get there. Missed opportunity. Turned out it would have been my best and only opportunity. *sigh* I was not about to walk around the tables at the RITA/Golden Heart awards ceremony and bust in saying (spoken in a high-pitched bubbly stalker-like voice) “I just love your books,” because…well… that would be weird.

It is unlikely I will get to RWA16 in San Diego, because of that whole it’s on the other coast with its high cost of travel thing. I’m setting my sights toward RWA17 in Orlando and if Jill is there, I’ll make sure I get to the book signing.

So to Jill I say, (from a distance), “Congratulations on your RITA! I love your books, thanks for writing them and please keep writing them.”

*******

How about you? Are you somewhat introverted or are you hide-in-your-shell introverted? Is there a line you can’t cross when it comes to talking to people? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
 

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Get charged up with Polarity: Children of the Orb

I want to welcome author CA Jamison to my blog. Her book Polarity: Children of the Orb has an original premise I’ve not seen before. This book is a fun read and young adult readers will love it. You can find CA Jamison at her web site CAJamison.com – Jodi

There was only one person who could tell the entire story of Polarity CA Jamisonand that was Rush James. A twenty five year old male. At first I wasn’t worried. My grandmother gave birth to nine boys. Uncles were coming out my ears. Practically all of my cousins are male. I was raised, the only girl, in a home with four males. I worked a retail sales floor with men. Later we purchased a car audio shop, also run by—you guessed it—the male species. With a son and husband at home, how could I not understand how a man thinks?  Ha! That turned out to be my biggest challenge.

The pillow shams were covered in velvet. Most men don’t care or notice what color a pillow sham is.  The couch had a couple pillows thrown on it. Well . . . that doesn’t sound very intelligent. See my point. Allowing a young-adult male to tell my story seemed awkward at times. Her smooth, graceful behind sat next to the sofa pillows. Yes. That’s the one, but staying in that frame of mind isn’t simple for a woman. And I, by no means, am saying that all men think sexually. But Rush does, and I began to have fun, keeping with his thoughts.

Rush says sweet things to Trulie. He’s not always the bad-boy. But reading the novel through his eyes—was a way to be different. With alien electric pulsing through his veins, you can tell, I’m all about, new and different. So put your wild-man hat on and enjoy some electric excitement, in Rush’s point of view.

Blurb
Rush James and his brother, Chris, are “plasmetric” people—a unique life form born of human parents. Their blood cells are alive with alien electronic energy—and living a normal life in the human world creates havoc for those of their kind.Polarity CAJamison

But Rush and Chris aren’t alone—there are others. As their parents slowly die, the Children of the Orb must find one another to survive. Rush must share his life with the only woman in the world that can keep his blood cells charged.

Trulie Morgan is the positive to Rush’s negative. When they touch, polarity moves energy, their passion grows, and the battle of opposites begins. Trulie’s kind heart is naïve to the dangers that surround them, and Rush must learn to use her optimism and strength if he wants to claim victory, and love.

But the danger is very real for all of them–both from humans and from others of their kind. As they search for the answers they’re desperate to find, someone is killing humans and animals. When an attempt is made on Trulie’s life, Rush is determined to get to the bottom of it–even if it means it could be one of their own–one of the CHILDREN OF THE ORB.

Excerpt
Everyone watched as I stood up. I rubbed my palms together and popped a knuckle. I glared at Trulie’s outstretched fingers.

Polarity CAJamisonWith gradual movement, I moved my hand toward hers. Inches above her palm, friction caused air to churn. A blue light appeared, and a force pulled at my hand like a powerful magnet.
I clamped down. The small flames in our grand fireplace ignited—a hot sizzling shock to the system. The lights above flashed. Hot waves of electrical current soared through my fingers. She was right. Energy moved, and there was only one way to describe it—undeniably irresistible.

I closed my eyes and leaned my head back. Yes. Blood soared up my arm and into my chest.
In her silence, Trulie’s body spoke to me through the sensation of touch. Pleasure.

I smoothed my hand across her soft palm and curled my fingers around her hand. Unbelievable. Electric traveled through my body like a rushing river. Energy filled my hollow veins with such strong blood flow—I thought my heart would falter.

A light bulb popped above us. Chris got out of his seat and stepped back.
I could not let go. The force moved deep within. A hot penetration of strength clung to a desperate desire for more. My circulation stirred with life renewed. The skin on my arms took on a healthy radiance. I wanted to drown in disbelief.

Lightning flashed in the big brown eyes that looked up at me. Her hair’s gray strands gleamed with a new dark color. Her skin turned golden-brown, and her cheeks blushed. I took a breath of satisfaction, for I could tell, I gave as much as I received.

Panic seized Trulie’s face. “I can’t pull away,” she cried. “Your eyes—they were light blue, and now they’re—I can’t believe it! I’m—I feel…balanced.”

Chris appeared between us and yanked our hands apart. “No way! This can’t be right. Trulie is mine.” But as he held her arm, no connection was made. No flickering lights. No energy movement, just the warm skin of a creature like himself. She looked at him with apologetic eyes.

He dropped her arm and faced me. “Why do you always find a way to screw things up?”

Buy Links

Barnes and Noble Nook       Smashwords      Amazon

Connect with CA Jamison AmazonAuthor

CAJbutton

 

 

Cheri Allan – She’s betting on Romance

A big welcome to local NH author Cheri Allan. Her Betting on Romance series is a hoot and you’ll love the latest – All or Nothing. Check out the excerpt below.  For news on her next release, visit her web page and subscribe to her newsletter. –Jodi

ABOUT CHERI

CheriAllanAuthorPicCheri Allan is the Amazon Romantic Comedy bestselling author of hopeful, humorous contemporary romances. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden. The newest book in her ‘Betting on Romance’ series released in April 2015. www.cheriallan.com.

ALL OR NOTHING 

When finding Mrs. Right goes, oh, so wrong…

All or Nothing cover image kindleSelf-made tech millionaire Ian McIntyre has suffered through a reality dating show only to return home to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, empty-handed, swarmed by paparazzi, and hounded by a Hollywood producer determined to deliver a Happily Ever After. But then his home is invaded by a sexy, snarky local staging it for the season finale, and Ian finds himself more interested in the cute and scrappy hometown girl dusting off his action figures than the audience’s favorite southern belle.

Auto mechanic Bailey Adams grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and is struggling to patch together enough odd jobs to buy a garage of her own. When the Golden Boy of Sugar Falls entangles her in his disastrous season of Happily Ever After, they both discover that some long-held dreams are only as ‘real’ as ‘reality’ TV.  Now, with the deal on her dream garage in jeopardy and her unlikely love affair with America’s favorite geeky hunk playing out on national TV, Bailey must decide if she’s willing to risk it all for love… or be left with nothing.

**Mild sexual content; Mild language; No violence**


ALL OR NOTHING
EXCERPT

“Then take off your coat and avoid hypothermia.”

Her bottom lip jutted out. “You first.”

He shrugged out of his parka and hung it on a hook by the door, raising one eyebrow as he did so.

She took another long drink then tugged her coat off and hung it next to his. Melting snow dripped onto the floorboards beneath it. Stubborn woman.All or Nothing cover image kindle

“Your lovely flannel shirt is also soaked,” he said.

“Yeah, like I’m falling for that.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. I’ve seen lumberjacks make flannel sexier than you do.”

He didn’t know why he was goading her, but he felt on edge… wet, chilled and restless.

“Like you could resist me if I were standing naked in front of you,” she said.

She paused, as if she weren’t sure how those words came to be floating in the air between them. But there they were, raining down over him like hot sparks. Heat flooded through him, and he could feel his blood pumping. He watched her, the air crackling with awareness. The fire in the stove popped and something tumbled inside. His heart thudded in his chest at the word ‘naked.’

“Try me,” he finally said.

 

Find buy links for all the Betting on Romance series books (both print or ebook) at www.cheriallan.com.

Find All or Nothing here:

KindleiBooksBNKobogoogle

 

 

Your next beach read: Meet Author Susan Ann Wall

I’m so excited to have author Susan Ann Wall come by and visit.  Another local NH author, Susan is a whirlwind of energy with and enthusiasm for writing, the color purple, and Bon Jovi. I hope you enjoy her post and and her books. –Jodi

SWall_SummerLovinCan you feel the heat? You may need a cold shower after reading Summer Lovin’!!

Summer Lovin’ is a collection of 14 novels and novellas all with a summer theme, many from USA Today and National Bestselling authors. The best part, it’s only $.99. Get it while it’s hot because it’s available only for a limited time!

One of my favorite summertime activities is reading outside. I have a lovely patio where I can sit in the shade (I’m practically vampire, avoiding direct sunlight for all I’m worth) or I sit in my wooden rocking chair on the deck (also in the shade). Sometimes I’m forced to sit by the pool. No worries. I just slather on the sunscreen and dip my feet in the water.

SWall_relayAnother of my favorite summer activities is Relay For Life. Do you Relay? I have been Relaying since 2008, a year after losing my Dad to cancer. I was reluctant to join Relay. I thought it would be too emotional. All it took was that one event, though, to get me hooked. It was emotional, no doubt about that, but it was also incredible.

I was so passionate about Relay that I joined the planning committee. I’ve done everything from team captain, to event chairperson, to mission education, to event photographer. Too many people are touched by cancer in some way, whether fighting the battle, being caregiver, or supporting friends and family.

Raising money for Relay For Life is always a challenge. My team did lots of different things, but I wanted to contribute more, in my own way. I’m not really into baking, I don’t have the patience to do a yard sale, so I said, “hey, I’m a writer, I’ll write a book as a fundraiser.” That’s how my debut novel from 2011, Relay For Love, came about and with summer upon us and Relay season here, I thought it was the perfect time to re-release it as part of the Summer Lovin’ box set.

SWall_relay2In Relay For Love, widow Hannah Locke has a life plan, which does NOT include falling in love again. She lost her husband five years ago and still aches from that loss. That ache seems to dull as it is replaced with a new longing for a man she hardly knows but can’t seem to get out of her head. Reporter Aaron Hawkins was only supposed to write a story about Hannah’s Relay For Life fundraising event, but their immediate attraction has him looking for more than just a headline and has Hannah forgetting all about her perfect life plan.

Writing this story was an emotional journey for me. It’s an emotional journey for readers, too, who claim they are laughing on one page and crying on the next. Even my editor, who NEVER cries, shed a few tears (and cussed me out) while editing this story.

Oh, and guess what? The story takes place right here in northern New Hampshire!!

I hope someday very soon, this disease is a thing of the past!! That’s why a percentage of my royalties from this book and A Flame Burns Inside is donated to the American Cancer Society to help raise awareness about prevention and treatment and help find a cure!

Pick up Summer Lovin’ today!

Summer Lovin’ buy links:

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By the way, all of my books are on sale right now, so don’t miss out on some great deals.

SWall_books

*The Sound of Circumstance will be released late summer 2015.

Susan Ann Wall on:

SWall_authorpicBig dreamer and certifiable overachiever Susan Ann Wall embraces life at full speed and volume. She’s a beer and tea snob, can be bribed with dark chocolate, and the #1 thing on her bucket list is to be the center of a Bon Jovi flash mob.

Susan is a multi-genre author of racy, rule-breaking romance, women’s fiction, and erotic fiction (her erotic titles are published as Ann Victor).  Her bragging rights include nine books in three different series,  three perfect children, two amazing rescue dogs, and a happily ever after that started while serving in the U.S. Army and has spanned nearly two decades (which is crazy since she’s not a day over 29).

In her next life, Susan plans to be a 5 foot 10, size 8 rock star married to a chiropractor and will not be terrified of large bridges, spiders, or quiet people (shiver).

 

Paranormal Love Wednesday’s Blog Hop

Thanks for stopping by on your tour of paranormal author’s posts. Hop over for more  at Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog hop

My work in process, Jinn You Sin, is a fun, humorous story of a “poor imitation of a Jinn” (Michael’s words, not mine) who would do anything to be free. Then he meets Felicity, who knocks his world sideways. Suddenly freedom isn’t as important as protecting her from those who want control of the genie. But it isn’t Michael they are after–Felicity has the power to summon him and the power to command him. Michael quickly realizes Felicity not only owns his magic, but also his heart.

I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know if you enjoyed the excerpt. Don’t forget to use the buttons below to connect with me for cover reveal and release date of Jinn You SinJodi

Excerpt:

Without warning, Michael Donovan’s body dissolved. Seconds later, he rematerialized and did an inventory—head, arms, legs, dick. He breathed a sigh of relief. A thousand successful transports and he still didn’t trust all his parts would make it. At least he had clothes on this time.

Even though he was a poor imitation of a Jinn, Michael had a job to do—please the client, put on a show, grant their wish. Fulfillment failure brought on The Master’s wrath. When that happened, The Master had a tendency to lop off body parts, hands being his favorite. He rubbed his right wrist. He had totally freaked out the first time The Master punished him. He hadn’t known the effects of the waiting room would allow his hand to grow back. The regeneration process hurt like a sonovabitch, but he’d take the risk again if freedom from The Master were the result.

Show time. “I am the great and magnificent Jinn,” Michael boomed, “of the, ah…” A trail of blue smoke led to a pristine vacuum cleaner tucked into a corner. You have got to be kidding me. Why couldn’t it be a lamp or a bottle? How would he impress his summoner when he came out of a thing best known for its suction? He readied his best Oz voice. “Of the Hoover Upright.” He struck a pose, fists on his hips and feet spread wide. Suck it, Aladdin. “Your wish is my command.” He held his pose, stared at nothing in particular, and waited.

And waited.

“Oh, come on, you must know what you want.” He relaxed his stance. “Just spit it out and…”

And no one was there. He lifted a brow. That’s a first.

~~
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C. Marie Bowen talks about near-death experiences

I’m excited to include C. Marie Bowen in my Meet the Authors series. Connie lives a little outside of my local New England author area (okay, a lot outside) Her book Passage – Book 1 of the Soul of the Witch series is a must read for all you historical western, time travel, paranormal fans. Set mainly in 1870s Western U.S., it has suspense, six-guns and yes, sexy heroes. Passage is one of my favorite new books out there. The story doesn’t stop there. Check out her Amazon Author page for additional short stories from the characters in the Soul of the Witch series.  —Jodi

Thank you, Jodi, for inviting me to guest present on your blog.

C Marie Bowen Web

The Near-Death Experience.

By C. Marie Bowen

The near-death experience—an occurrence that takes place after an individual’s heart stops beating, and before resuscitation—happens all the time. Not only is this a frequent phenomena, they have been experienced by humans for, well…practically forever. NDEs have been documented in all parts of the world, and have been experienced by people of all religions.

There is even a research foundation, NDERF, that allows on-line readers to document their own experience. NDERF weblink. There is no shortage of information and opinions about this phenomenon.

I once spoke with a man who had been electrocuted and was without a heartbeat for several minutes before resuscitation. He told me he did not experience anything during the time his heart stopped beating. That non-experience is also not unusual.

Since my research for Passage began well before the advent of the internet, I have a number of book references in my notes cited by Dewey Decimal numbers. I have to laugh, because now, I have more information than ever regarding NDE’s. Despite easy access to a wealth of information, the experiences and opinions haven’t changed much in 30+ years.

1) A non-experience or Initial experience. This type of experience is either cut short by resuscitation, or precedes one of the other types. Atwater suggests that this type of experience is common with individuals who require the least amount of evidence, or proof of survival after death.

2) Unpleasant or Hell-type experience. This has been described as an encounter with a threatening void or a hellish purgatory. Atwater suggests that individuals with repressed guilt, fears or anger may experience this type of NDE – expecting punishment after death.

3) Pleasant or Heaven-type experience. These include loving scenarios with family and/or religious figures, and sometimes even “beings of light.” Atwater believes these are experienced by those who require reassurance and self-validation—individuals who need to know they were loved.

4) Transcendent Experience. This type of experience is often difficult to explain. Individuals are exposed to otherworldly dimensions and visions beyond their own frame of reference. Usually, there is no personal content relating to the individual. Atwater suggests this experience is for those ready to embrace the next challenge.

The near-death experience changes people, in both positive and negative ways, regardless of which type of experience they have. You might expect the Hell-type experience to lead to guilt, anger and depression, but that isn’t always the case. This type of experience is sometimes viewed as a “wake up call” to change the type of life you lead. Likewise, the after affects of a pleasant experience can lead to broken relationships and difficulty relating to the world “as it is”, just as often as it brings ecstatic joy and fills the individual with the wonder of life.

People who disbelieve in the NDE phenomenon have sited drug use, psychological trauma, and physiological injury such as high endorphins or hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) as the root cause of this experience.

Information on this phenomenon hasn’t changed much in 30 years. What has changed is the ability to connect with others who have had an NDE, and for people to share their experience on-line.

In Passage, Courtney Veau experiences an NDE after a car accident. When her heart stops beating, she encounters an other-worldly hallway with darkened doorways, and a compelling light at the end of the hall. As she moves toward the light and familiar voices, one of the doorways brightens and begins to pulse with the beat of a human heart. She is drawn through that doorway and falls into her previous life. When she reawakens in a present-day hospital, she is heartbroken. Courtney Veau would give anything to return to her soul-mate, Merril Shilo, and the life she lived as Nichole Harris, if she could only find the passage back to her previous life

????????????????????????????Passage – blurb:

After a car accident, Courtney Veau has a “near death” experience, and returns to her past-life in the post-Civil War west. When she wakes in a present-day hospital, Courtney realizes she’s returned to her own hollow existence. Heartbroken, she knows she left behind not only a family she loves, but life with the man who shares her soul, a man she’ll love forever, Merril Shilo.

A carriage accident nearly takes beautiful Nichole Harris’s life, stealing her memories completely. Plagued by amnesia, she is confused by flashes of memory that are out of time with the world around her, and seem to belong to someone else. Only Nichole’s own strong emotions remain to guide her—and as others try to take control of her life, she fights a desperate battle to survive. Merril Shilo is someone she should know, and though her memories fail her, she is stunned by her passion for him—and the remembered agony of a broken heart.

Merril Shilo is the love of Courtney’s life—no matter when that life might be. The memories and emotions of her life as ranch heiress Nichole Harris consume Courtney’s mind—and her heart. Courtney soon finds her desire for Merril threatens her sanity, as he beckons from a past she can no longer reach. She would give her life to return to her soul-mate, if she could only find the passage back to him.

Excerpt from Passage:

The long shadows faded into twilight. She’d found what she came for—proof this house existed. There was no longer a reason to stay; and yet, just the possibility she might hear his voice again kept her waiting one more day.

Outside the window, night took final possession of the day. A few porch lights came on down the block. Headlights swung around the corner as a car turned onto the street and illuminated the pavement. The headlights winked off and a car door slammed.

Behind her, the room took on a familiar chill. She turned from the window and pressed her back against the heavy drapes as the echo of boots pounded up the back stairs. She gasped when he raced into the room, vaguely luminescent in the darkness. He was dressed in denim trousers and cotton shirt, with a silk scarf tied loosely around his neck. Where’s his hat? Had he lost it in the dash up the stairs? That wide-brimmed cowboy hat was such a part of him he seemed naked without it. His hair had come loose from its binding, and he shoved it out of his face with a familiar motion. She stood close enough to read the emotion play across his face, a mixture of fear and bewilderment. His breath was labored, and his anxiety tangible as he stopped and looked right at her. Her mouth fell open in surprise and her heart tightened in her chest. Does he see me?

He took a hesitant step toward her. “Nichole?” His voice filled with horror, he whispered her name from another life.

“Yes! Merril, it’s me.” Courtney stepped toward the specter.

His head turned. His attention called away from her open arms. “Oh, sweet Jesus.” Merril fell to his knees and reached for something no longer there. “Nicki, please don’t go. Stay with me.”

“Merril, I’m here.” Her heart ached for him and for herself, but her plea went unheard.

Sobs shook his wide shoulders.

Her heart clenched to witness his despair. She longed to comfort him, to assure him she was there, but could not. In defeat, she sank to her knees beside the grieving apparition.

“Nicki, don’t leave me. Look at me—” His hushed voice, choked and broken.

“I’m right here, my love,” she whispered, but the room grew warm and Merril Shilo faded back into the past. Courtney hung her head in the darkness and fought back tears. One question was answered, at least for now.

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Website: www.cmariebowen.com

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Connie (C. Marie) Bowen is an award winning writer of paranormal adventures laced with suspense and romance. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and has a love of western history, science fiction, and fantasy. Her life travels have taken her from Denver to Wichita, Kansas, before she eventually settled in North Texas to raise her family.

A LEED accredited professional, Connie worked as an Architectural Project Manager in North Texas for fifteen years. An empty nest gave her to follow her writing muse and pen the stories that have lived in her heart for years.

 She plans to release Prophecy, Soul of the Witch, Book 2 this fall, and the final chapter, Paradox, Soul of the Witch, Book 3 next year.

 Connie is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Sub-chapter of RWA, North Texas RWA, and Savvy Authors.