Friendship Friday ~ Please welcome, author Shelly Bell

ayeartoremembercoverI’ve known Shelly for a little over a year. She is a vibrant, exciting person and makes me feel good just being around her. I know you’ll love her as much as I do. Here’s Shelly to tell us a little about herself, her books and to answer some of thosw weird questions. 

I just turned forty…but I’m not bitter! No really, I’m not. It’s hard to believe that I’ve accomplished so much of what I dreamed for myself growing up in Metro-Detroit. I moved back to my childhood neighborhood, married a man who can fix just about anything in the house plus he sews, and have a boy, a girl, and a dog. By day I’m an attorney, fighting for the rights of…a metal recycling company; by night I’m a mom, wife, and maid. I’m also a published author! So who cares that I never starred on Broadway when I got all How do I fit in the time to write? I gave up the three hours of television I watched every night. I also write when my kids are doing homework, lunch breaks, and occasionally, I hire a babysitter so I can write. I make the time because it’s important to me.

 My book, A Year to Remember, was published with Soul Mate Publishing in January of 2012. It’s about a twenty-nine year old woman who’s looking for her soul mate and vows to marry him before she turns thirty. On her journey, she is forced to confront her addiction to food and to decide what’s most important to her. I’m very proud of it because it was my first book and it was cathartic to write.

 I love reading and writing paranormal, but since the market is saturated with it, I’m currently working on a contemporary romance with magical elements. It’s been a lot of fun to write! Unlike paranormal stories, the magic is accepted as fact and it doesn’t have to be explained. For example, the reader will believe that the cat is actually dearly departed Uncle Al and I don’t have to explain how it’s possible. It just…is. It’s been used primarily in Latin American literature, but my characters are Greek.

1. How much cash do you have on you?

 Absolutely none. I almost never carry money with me. If I need some, I steal it from my husband’s wallet or the kid’s piggy banks.

 2. What were you doing at midnight last night?

 Reading. I always read at night. Lately, I’ve been on a self-published kick and I’ve found a lot of fabulous authors that way. Apparently, I’m not the only one because several of them have been recently acquired by large publishers.

 3. What is your favorite cheese?

 Feta. I’ve been addicted to Greek salad since I was five years old. I used to eat it for breakfast as a kid! We have a high population of Greek Americans in the area, so I’ve been fortunate to grow up on Greek food.

 4. What is one unique thing are you afraid of?

 Only one???? I’m afraid of sharks. I won’t go in the ocean and even though I want to go parasailing, I’m afraid they’ll land me in the water. My parents let me see Jaws at an early age and it became a phobia after that. Which makes this next question and answer ironic…

 5. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

 Naples, Florida. Yes, that’s correct. I love Florida. I lived there for three years and I never went in the ocean. My parents are snowbirds and we go down to visit them every winter. I already have clothes there, so if I had to depart right now, that would be simple.

 8. Your house is on fire! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno?

 My laptop. No contest. Sad, isn’t it? Most people would save their wedding album or an heirloom. It’s all about the electronics in my house.

 9. The Angel Of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel Of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour?

Easy question! I’m going to drink Diet Coke and Jack Daniels, smoke a pack of Malboro Lights, and eat Bill Knapp’s Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. I’ll hang out with my kids and my husband if the smoke doesn’t drive them away.

Friendship Friday–Please Welcome Mystery Writer, Extraordinaire, Maris Soule

Author, Maris Soule, Mystery, Writer, Romance, Friend, friendshipI’ve known Maris since before I started writing professionally.  You might say she was an inspiration and helped get me going.  I know she told me about RWA (Romance Writers of America), although she might not remember.  When we met I was a ‘fan’ and I’m delighted that we’ve become friends.  She gives some clever answers to my ‘weird’ questions.  Please leave a comment and let us know what you think on those topics.  Now I’ll turn things over to Maris.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a California gal who was talked into moving to Michigan for “Just two years,” he said. That was 42 years ago. And yes, we’re still married. In fact we have two grown children and two granddaughters…and a Rhodesian Ridgeback who’s as big as a person. After having 25 romances published, I switched to writing mysteries (right after my husband retired. Anyone who lives with a man who is always around will understand why murder appeals to me). We now head for Florida in the winter, and as the temperature drops that’s sounding more and more appealing.

My two mysteries—THE CROWS and AS THE CROW FLIES—take place in southwestern Michigan, and, of course, include a Rhodesian Ridgeback and have a romance subplot. Both are available on-line, and I’m working on a third in the series.

 1. Have you ever had an imaginary friend? Definitely. I think I started making up stories in my head where Joey was my friend when I was around 6. He was my buddy into my early teens. Did I know he was make believe? Sure, but once I closed my eyes, he was real.

 2. Are you a “dogperson” or a “catperson”? I like both and have had both cats and dogs most of my life. I love Siamese cats and have owned a half dozen over the years. They have so much personality. As for dogs, I prefer the larger breeds, and maybe I love the Rhodesian Ridgeback because, in a way, they remind me of cats. Aloof is one word used to describe the breed standard.

Mystery Maris Soule, Author, Book, Novel, Writer, Story, Romance, Friend, Friendship, Rue Allyn,Mystery, Book, Novel, Story, Author, Writer, Romance, Maris Soule, Rue Allyn, Friend, Friendship3. What’s the model of your mobile phone? I have the 4S iPhone. Now does that mean I know how to use all the bells and whistles on that phone? No way, but it certainly makes life easier and I’d be lost without it.

4. What time do you normally go to bed on a working day? I’ve always been a night owl, even when I had to get up early in the morning. When my children were young and I was under contract for a romance, I’d often stay up until 2 a.m. writing and then be up at 6:30 a.m. to get them off to school. And no, I don’t usually take naps.

5. Who is the person you trust most? My husband. He’s my best friend. (And even though I have all of these books on poisons and weapons, I believe he trusts me. At least he still lets me cook dinner.)

6. How much cash do you have on you? $11. I need to go to the bank.