“And the Wippoorwill Sang” by Micki Peluso

http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/#!micki-peluso/c17fn Click on this link to learn more about this humorous, and heartfelt tribute to a child’s life cut short by a drunk driver.

Kimberly Shursen shines her blog’s spotlight on author Micki Peluso.  Micki is a talented, journalist turned author. Don’t miss this interview.

Link to blog: http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/

“Judas Times Seven” by Brian Beecher

Today’s guest author is Brian Beecher

Welcome, Brian, to “Writing for readers in a .com world.” Would you tell us a little about yourself, and how you became a writer?

Brian: I am now 68 years old and have spent most of my life in the Chicago area.  I have held different jobs in my lifetime, and when I got laid off from a full-time position a few years back I decided now was the time to devote more time to writing.  I find that becoming involved in a creative venture should be exhilarating yet challenging.

JA: Tell us what genre you generally write in? Have you considered other genres?

Brian: Funny thing is, I read mostly non-fiction yet write fiction.  Find it easier as you don’t have to back up your facts.  My latest work is what could be called reality fiction in that it deals with the dark side of office politics, an everyday concern for many.

JA: Is “Judas Times Seven” your first book, and do you have other published works?

Brian: I have three self-published works, all through Author House.  The titles are “This Is What I Do,” “Needed Now,” and “Judas Times Seven.”

JA: Have you ever tried an agent, or the traditional publisher route?

Brian No.  Had no success in finding one.  I wanted to get the “Judas Times Seven” story to market so I reluctantly self-published again.  It is so hard to find an agent if you are not established that I could have been dead before finding one.

JA: I can relate to that. Are your books available in print, e-book, or both? Some authors are releasing audio versions of their books. Have you given audio a shot yet?

Brian: My books are available in both print and e-book but haven’t thought about audio as yet.

JA:  Attractive covers are so important. Do you use an illustrator for your book(s)? 

Brian: So far I have only used the suggestions the publisher has made available.  Can’t really afford the expense of an illustrator.

JA: Brian, do you do much marketing  for your book(s), and for yourself as a brand?

Brian: Am probably too new to actually have a “brand” per se, but I do what marketing I can through places like Facebook as, again, I don’t have funds for a marketing budget.

JA: Tell us about your writing style. Do you spend much time plotting your stories, or do you just run with it?

Brian: I present a general view of my stories but much is not known until I actually sit down to write.

JA do your storylines require much research, or do you write from experience?

Brian: “Judas Times Seven” was drawn from personal experience dealing with betrayal and jealousy in the workplace.  There is some quasi-reality in my other stories but mostly straight-up fiction.

JA: What Point of view do you feel most comfortable with, first person or third? Have you ever tried using the second person in any of your works?

A: I think elements of all three persons appear but the majority is third person except for occasional quotes.

JA: Thank you, Brian, for taking time from your writing to participate in this blog.

I wish you all the best with your book and future projects. Please share an excerpt from one of your books with our followers before you go.



Judas Times Seven


An expressive mood would now overtake Bruce.  When Donna, one of the women who worked in another area from him asked him how he was today, he told her right out that he was feeling as though he could conquer the world.  He added that today’s main challenge is to remain positive and enthusiastic rather than succumbing to gloomy or pessimistic thoughts.  And while she thought his attitude to be right on, she had no idea as to what was on his mind that moment.  For him love was in the air.  And while he has always appreciated feminine charm and beauty, he was now sure that there’s no other like Janice.  As one who has been romantically eyeing a coworker for a few weeks, he now had convinced himself that this was the time when he could be in luck.  And he wouldn’t turn down an offer from a staff member who wished to arrange a date with one of their colleagues.  The hint that Janice was who he had his sights on had been evident for some time now.

The idea of bringing it out in the open, possible baggage notwithstanding, would now prove to be irresistible, as was the idea of the others in his department wanting to drag the truth out of him.  But at this point he would remain mum, as he would seek out Janice at a time when none of them were in earshot.  At this point he still felt as if there was sufficient enough attraction on her part and that the opportunity could prove very beneficial.

The time finally came at the end of the work day.  He made an excuse to wait around for a few minutes after the rest of the crew had left for the day.  The fact that one who was said to be a reputed playboy was plotting against him was not a hindrance, and Bruce was unaware as yet that this was occurring.  He told Janice that he wanted to see her for a minute prior to leaving.  He then reminded her of when she suspected that he had an interest in somebody, and then told her that it was her.  Janice’s response was, “Can’t happen.”

With that Bruce promptly left the premises for the day, satisfied that he had the audacity to come clean.  If nothing else he felt it would clear the air.  His soul moved into a dreamy position and thoughts of leisure, treasure, and pleasure.  Accentuating love and creative pursuits would be enhanced.  In free time he urged himself to express artistic talents whenever he could.  Little did he know of the cruel twist of fate that would result from his confession, and that an ensuing tragedy would wrap around his psyche over the upcoming few weeks, and the tension that would permeate at his job.

Click on the link below to preview or purchase Brian’s book from Amazon.

Judas Times Seven

About the Author

Brian Beecher was born November 17, 1944, and has spent the greater part of his life in the Chicago region.  He has held a number of different position, finally in his 60’s choosing to pursue a nearly life-long passion as a writer of both books and song lyrics.  He currently lives in Villa Park, IL.

Picture book creator and author David Nicoll is in the Spotlight!

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David Nicoll

Today I am interviewing David Nicoll the author of a delightful series of picture books featuring the adventures of Bean.

JA:  Welcome, David, lease tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer?

David: I first came up with the idea of BEAN around 2000-2001 when my children were very young. I would draw BEAN and add what BEAN was doing for my children’s amusement. Not thinking anything more than just doodling, for some reason i kept those pictures. I then continued on with my life and my part time acting career where my biggest achievement was appearing in the Australian television miniseries “Through My Eyes”. I’ve has also appeared in film, TV shows, TV commercials and stage productions.

I live in Brisbane, Australia, so if I wanted to try to make it further with my acting I would need to move to Sydney or Melbourne. I love acting and I have always been told that I’m a good actor. The thing is, I love my children more and being that far away from them is not what I wanted.

JA:  That is a problem for many parents. My husband made a similar decision, and as a family it worked out wonderfully. Were there any contributing factors involved with your ultimate decision?

David: In 2010 I was involved in a car accident. I then had to put my work and acting career on hold and spend a fair bit of time at home. Then one day while tidying up, I came across the drawings.

After looking over them, reminiscing and chuckling, I thought I might do a little research on publishing children’s books. After sharing them with Xlibris, I realized that there was always a reason that I’d kept them.

JA: Do you have other published works?

David: Just 3 – “BEAN at the Fair”, “BEAN at the Beach” and “BEAN on the Farm”

 JA: Have you won any recognition or awards that you would like to share?

David: I haven’t won awards with my books but I have won awards with my acting. For example I won best male actor award at the Noosa International One Act Play Festival in 2002. The festival is where writers from all around the world submit their one act plays, which have never been performed before. A panel then chooses the three best plays to be performed at the festival. This involves a director being appointed, auditions being held for the parts of the characters, and after weeks of rehearsals the three plays are then performed over one weekend.

JA: Wow! That sounds intense, and must have been very gratifying. Are your books available in print, e-book, or both? 

David: My Books are in paperback, e-book, kindle, nook and  ibook that I know of.

JA: Illustrations for covers, and the interior of children’s preschool picture books are so important. Do you use an illustrator for your book(s) or do you illustrate them? 

David: I started with an Xlibris illustrator and requested that he be my illustrator with all my books.

JA: Tell us a little about your writing style. 

David: I get an idea for each adventure where most of it is in my head. Then I try and organize the wording with each caption, which can have me making changes to suit the adventure. As my character is a BEAN and he has BEAN/BEEN doing things.

JA: Do the Bean tales require much research, or do you write from experience?

David: I have made my character BEAN for the reason that he is a “bean” and he has “been” doing things. In each book I have to make sure that each activity BEAN is enjoying is worded correctly so it fits the whole concept of the book. I like to have BEAN enjoying adventures in places I think children will enjoy, which I take from experiences with my own children. I hope children enjoy BEAN and his adventures as I have many more adventures in mind for the future.

JA: Are you on any forums or networking sites?  If yes, please list links so readers can find you.

David: I am on

And of course BEANS website – https://beaneverywhere.com/

JA: What do you think the future holds for you as a writer?

David: I have many more adventures and  ideas for BEAN so who knows.

 From author David Nicoll comes a fun series that introduces the lovable character of BEAN. BEAN allows children to join him on adventurous journeys with colorful pictures and simple words.

 BEAN at the Fair 396x416 JPG

 In this latest installment, kids will have a blast as they join BEAN At The Fair!

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 Kids are in for a fun day of sun, surf and activities as they join BEAN at the Beach.

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 Kids are invited to prepare their farm boots, straw hats and overalls and join BEAN on the FARM!

Thank you, David, for taking time from your writing to participate in this blog. I wish you all the best with your book and future projects.

Thank you so much Jackie for giving me the opportunity of participating in my first interview.

David Nicoll

Backyard Horse Tales in the spotlight.

Hey Friends and Fans,

Stop by and catch my interview on the radio podcast “A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/coffeeandbooks/2013/01/16/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book

catch it live from 3:30 to 4PM Pacific Time, or 6:30 to 7PM EST. Can’t make the live podcast? Just click the link later and listen to the recorded interview. Feedback is appreciated.


You are never too old!

Seniority1 Seniority

These are also great thoughts about age and seniority:

  • Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are. ~ Muhammed Ali
  • I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am. ~ Francis Bacon
  • The man who is too old to learn was probably always too old to learn. ~ Henry S. Haskins
  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. ~ Henry Ford
  • Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. ~ Samuel Ullman
  • Many old rider was honest enough to admit that he didn’t become a fine and sensitive rider until he had lost most of his youthful physical strength. Since then he was able to get everything done with his horses in a quiet, confident way, what he previously thought only could be achieved through dogged struggle. ~ Gustav SteinBrecht
  • If you could not add years to your life, add life to your years. ~ Unknown

Found this post on the Academic Art of Riding site, and thought it was worth posting for my followers.

Check out who changes the blulb.

Tracked this gem down from a FB post from a friend and wanted to share it.

This was originally posted on the Bridlepah blog in 2006.

How many horses does it take to change a light bulb?

10 11 2006

Thoroughbred: Who ME?? Do WHAT? I’m scared of light bulbs! I’m outta here!

Arabian: I changed it an hour ago… C’mon you guys – catch up!

Quarter Horse: Put all the bulbs in a pen and tell me which one you want.

Standardbred: Oh for Pete’s Sake, give me the damn bulb and let’s be done with it.

Shetland: Give it to me. I’ll kill it and we won’t have to worry about it anymore.

Friesian: I would, but I can’t see where I’m going from behind all this mane.

Belgian: Put the Shetland on my back, maybe he can reach it then.

Warmblood: Is the 2nd Level Instruction Packet in English? Doesn’t anyone realize that I was sold for $75K as a yearling, but only because my hocks are bad, otherwise I would be worth $100K? I am NOT changing lightbulbs. Make the TB get back here and do it.

Morgan: Me! Me! Me! Pleeease let me! I wanna do it! I’m gonna do it! I know how, really I do! Just watch! I’ll rewire the barn after, too.

Appaloosa: Ya’ll are a bunch of losers. We don’t need to change the lightbulb, I ain’t scared of the dark. And someone make that damn Morgan stop jumping up and down before I double barrel him.

Haflinger: That thing I ate was a lightbulb?

Mustang: Lightbulb? Let’s go on a trail ride, instead. And camp. Out in the open like REAL horses.

Lipizzaner: Hah, amateurs. I will change the lightbulb. Not only that, but I will do it while standing on my hind legs and balancing it on my nose, after which I will perform seven flying lead changes in a row and a capriole. Can you do that? Huh? Huh? Didn’t think so.

Miniature: I bet you think I can’t do it just cause I’m small. You know what that is? It’s sizeism!

Akhal Teke: I will only change it if it’s my owner’s lightbulb and no one else has ever touched it.

Andalusian: I will delegate the changing of the lightbulb to my personal groom after he finishes shampooing my mane and cleaning my saddle, but only on the condition that it is changed for a soft blue or green bulb, which reflects better off my coat while I exhibit my astonishing gaits.

Cleveland Bay: I’m busy. Make the whipper-in and the hounds do it.

Saddlebred: My ears are up already, please please get the lightbulb away from me! I’m ready to show, really, I promise I’ll win!

Paint: Put all the lightbulbs in a pen, tell me which one you want, and my owner will bet you twenty bucks I can get it before the quarter horse.

POA: I’m not changing it. I’m the one who kicked the old one and broke it in the first place, remember? Now, excuse me, I have a grain room to break into.

Grade Horse:
Guys? Um, guys? I hope you don’t mind, but I went ahead and changed it while you were all arguing.

Interview with Irina Shapiro


Welcome, Irina, tell us a little about yourself that is not in your author bio.


The best way to get me to do something is to tell me that I can’t.  It’s like waving a red flag in front of a charging bull.  That gets me into trouble sometimes, but it also helps me broaden my horizons.  I wound up going parasailing to prove that I wasn’t scared despite being terrified of heights.  I did manage to open my eyes while I was up there and it was beautiful.

Someone also told me that I couldn’t possibly write a book.  So far I’ve written seven.  I hope no one dares me to sing.  That could have tragic consequences for all involved.

That is really funny! It’s strange what motivates some of us. When did you make the decision that you wanted to be a writer?

 To be a writer was a childhood dream, but I never actually tried to pursue it.  I won an award for a story I wrote in High School and then didn’t write anything until I was thirty-six.

Tell our followers how you came up with the ideas for your novels.

The ideas just pop into my head.  The idea for my Hands of Time Trilogy came about as I drove to the supermarket and heard a Katy Perry song.  She kept repeating, “in another life,” and I thought, “Hmm, what would I do if I found myself in another life?”

Once the idea for a story has formed, does it take a lot of research?

 I’m actually a treasure trove of historical information, so I mostly verify my facts, not so much research them.

Irina, you mentioned that you have written seven books.  Do you have a favorite?

 My favorite novel is The Hands of Time.

 What about “The Hands of Time” that makes it your favorite piece of work?

 I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of time travel, so it was fun to explore what it would be like to find myself in a different century without actually leaving home.

Is this a single novel, or is there a sequel?

 I’ve just finished the third book in the Hands of Time Trilogy. It’s with my editor right now.

Will you share with us what you are currently working on?

I’m thinking of the next book.  I have some ideas, but I still need to develop them.

Thank you for sharing with us. I am looking forward to reading your Hands of Time Trilogy.  Will you leave our readers with an excerpt from your story before you go to the next stop on your blog tour?



By Irina Shapiro

Several canvases were stacked against the wall of the studio covered with dust sheets.  Louisa pulled off the sheet of the one closest to her, and her heart nearly stopped in her chest.  Looking straight at her was Valerie, dressed in an elaborate gown, her dark curls piled high on her head and secured by pearl-studded pins, a large sapphire glittering at her throat.   The woman didn’t look modern, but there was no doubt in Louisa’s mind that she was looking at a portrait of her sister.  She closed her eyes, took a couple of deep breaths, and opened them again.  She was still there, smiling serenely, looking exactly as she had when she was alive.  Lou had come to accept that Valerie was dead, but now she wasn’t so sure.  Could it be possible that she had dressed in this gown and posed for a modern painter?  She went to the door and called for Billie to come into the storage room.

“Do we have names to go with these portraits?”  She tried to sound casual, but her heart was leaping out of her chest and her hands were shaking badly.  Billie consulted the list in her hand and read off:

“Mrs. Valerie Crane Whitfield, 1608, Oil on Canvas.”

Louisa felt the world tilt around her as she slid to the floor, welcoming the darkness that enveloped her.

 Author Links:

Websites: http://www.irinashapiro.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irina-Shapiro/307374895948375
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Hands-Time-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B006JRO9WS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356561864&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Hands+of+Time

Tour Schedule:

 4th Lightning Book Promotion Blog
5th Phaedra @ Identity Discovery
6th Jackie @ Writing for Readers in a .com world
7th Bette @ 4writersandreaders
8th Andi @ Radiant Light
9th Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!
10th Drennan @ Speaking of Books
11th Susan @ My Cozie Corner
12th Cara @ Peace, Love, Books
13th Darryl @ Savage Lullabye


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