Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Tour for All Our Empty Places by Alicia G. Ruggieri

In 1935, when the bank calls in her mortgage, Sarah Picoletti – now a penniless widow – finds herself and her children on the brink of homelessness. Sick at heart, she plans to beg her brother in New Jersey to take her family in.

Then Doctor Samuel Giorgi knocks on her door. Godly and well-off, Sam seems to have put the careless ways of his youth behind him, and he also appears to have one desire: to make Sarah his wife, two decades after he broke their engagement.

However, nothing prepares Sarah for the storm that breaks once she makes her decision. Everywhere she turns, the errors of her former choices confront her, insisting on her inferiority and the irreparable brokenness of her past. Sarah begins to wonder if Christ really can bring true redemption or if He is limited by her frailty.

Meanwhile, her daughter Grace faces new challenges in her own life. When her relationship with Paulie changes unexpectedly, Grace realizes that she must make a decision with the potential to alter both of their futures.

Compassionate and intensely poignant, All Our Empty Places paints the portrait of a mother and daughter with broken pasts, who dare to step into a future overflowing with the grace of the Cross.

Alicia G. Ruggieri writes Christ-centered fiction that speaks of redemption. She received her B.A. in Communications and History from Rhode Island College and lives with her husband and their emotionally-disturbed pug on the New England coast.

Twitter: @aliciaruggieri

All Our Empty Places (A Time of Grace, Book 2) – http://amzn.com/B014JVJYCK
The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, Book 1) – ON SALE for $0.99 through October 31, 2015 – http://amzn.com/B00P4PB7W6


One winner will receive – a signed softcover of All Our Empty Places; a mug with 2 Corinthians 12:9 inscribed on it; Caramel Apple Biscotti; and Harvest Spice Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate mix. (Open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 10, 2015


I am procrastinating from writing and editing.

Yes, it is a bad habit. I am being very careful that my daydreaming oldest son isn't watching me. I wouldn't want to be a bad influence on him.

The rationalization is that I need to get some promotion book done.

The truth is that I don't really want to be writing right now, and I definitely don't want to be editing the next novel in the Theodoric Saga.

It isn't the novel's fault, it is the editing's fault. I don't like editing

Don't worry, I won't let myself procrastinate too long.

Look, laundry to fold.

That novel will make it to print, along with the anthology (the writing I am avoiding).

The rough draft of the last story for the anthology is almost finished.
Hubby approved half of the finished stories already with only minor changes needed.

Now if only I could get him to approve the cover design. I am going to have to go back to the drawing board for that one.

Too much to do and too little time in which to do it. I really need to stop procrastinating and get back to work.

Or bed. It is getting late.

Tomorrow is another day. I intend to write tomorrow! I will write tomorrow!

Until then, here are some excerpts from my current WIPs:

I requested some of the ale the others had obviously imbibed in and a bit of bread and cheese. One could usually fare well on bread and cheese no matter how bad the cooking was in the establishment. Though, judging by the grime on the tables and the greasy film on bench beneath me, I could be risking my health with the ale.
             - Dentin's POV (unnamed very short story)

The events of the past few weeks suddenly pressed down on me. Keeping the sob in my throat by will alone, I watched the approaching man with helpless hope.
            - Myah POV (Diaspora)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Figuring out the Anthology - And new excerpts from The Making of a Man

The rough draft of the anthology is done!!! 

This project has been an act of love and agony from the beginning. Now that it is done (almost), I am both relieved and anxious. Seven short stories (possibly eight--I will explain later) spanning twenty years and focused on one character's life, it is like nothing I have ever done before.

So, the reasons I am anxious are threefold. (1) I am handing my romance-reading audience two tragedies. (2) By nature of it being an anthology spanning two decades, I am afraid I am going to lose readers unfamiliar with the Rhynan novels. (3) I am haunted by the question, did I forget something important?

Solution #1 - Make it really clear that this is not just a romance. I am going to try to make it clear on the cover, in the description, and in the promotion that this is not just an anthology full of romances (my usual product). 

Solution #2 - I am contemplating adding in timeline markers between stories to help the reader stay oriented. I haven't written those yet, but I am hoping that will be enough to deal with any time jump confusion. You should see my timeline Excel for this series. It is huge and I haven't even filled in details for the later novels yet.

Solution #3 - I asked a friend to read a beta copy while it was "raw and wriggling" (her words) and she loved it. That is where the possible eight story might come in to the anthology. She mentioned that she wished to see a story about Simon's role in the civil war that happens before the beginning of Duty. His role was a lot bigger than many readers probably suspect. So, I am seriously considering writing that story, though it will be on the shorter side.

Now for a glimpse of the contents of The Making of a Man. 
(All first person POVs are Dentin's unless otherwise noted)

Passing the Mantle

   Alexter announced his arrival by clearing his throat loudly.
   “Are you about through?”
   “Considering a dozen laps next.”
   “Care to spar instead?”
   “Not quite the same thing, but I am amenable.” I dropped my stance and turned to where I had left my practice sword. “I was expecting Nigel. Did you see him on your way down?” I kicked up the sword and turned in time to catch the flicker of anger in my older brother’s face before he hid it.
   “I doubt he will make it any time soon.”
   I inspected my training weapon and glanced past it at Alexter. “What happened?”
   “Nothing.” He swung his blunted weapon in a flamboyant whirl over his head before lunging forward to skewer an imaginary opponent. “He lectured me about being respectful to Father.”

Forging Friendships

   The winner rose, but offered no hand to his opponent. Instead he bowed to Sir Fortwin and appraised me brazenly as Fortwin made introductions.
   “Korwich, this is the Earl of Dentin.”
   “My lord.” Korwich offered a barely perceptible bow. “I am due for a turn at the quintain.” He stalked off without another word.
   The thinner man rose from the dust, bowed deeply, and waited to be acknowledged.
   “Lowen Reginald, my lord,” Fortwin said as he acknowledged the man. “He is one of the men I selected for you. Loyal, even tempered, and skilled, he could be a valuable addition.”
   I studied Reginald. Medium height and slender, but obviously strong enough, he met my scrutiny with calm assurance. No shame or pride, only confidence.

The Sword of Korma Monroe

Korma's POV
   “My lord!” The dark-haired major burst through the canvas flap over the doorway.
   I leapt to my feet and retreated to the far side of the tent before turning to face the new arrival.
   Dentin didn’t even flinch. Studying the inside of his cup, as though contemplating refilling it, he asked, “What is it?”
   “Trouble.” The major looked from me to Dentin. A frown drew the man’s dark brows together over his long nose. “Do you think imbibing is wise, my lord?”
   “What is wrong, Dyrease?” Dentin asked without moving.
   “Blair is accusing me of poisoning him.”
   “Really? That seems a bit farfetched for even him. What are his symptoms?” 
   “Vomiting and stomach cramps.”
   “Could be nothing more than bad rations.”
   “He is the only one complaining.”

The Bittersweet Pear

Elsa's POV
   Reginald, Simon’s first squire, greeted us at the sitting chamber door. I smiled at Reginald as I preceded Simon into the room. Continuing on through to the inner most room where my maid had drawn a bath, I immediately began disrobing.
   “What do you wish me to do with this, my lady?” My maid held up the pear I had tucked into my pocket.
   “I will bring it with me to dinner.” 
   “But, my lady, won’t Lord Dentin find it strange that you bring fruit to dine at the high table?”
   I smiled. “He will find it quite vexing. See that it comes with me.”

Isbeth's Redemption

   The man's voice surprised Isbeth. Having removed his outer clothing to reveal well-made clothing beneath, he now stood with his back to the fire, arms crossed over the formidable chest of a warrior. It slowly dawned on Isbeth that she might be standing before the master of the house.
   “He only said to give this to Gelsey.” Isbeth produced the crudely folded scrap from her pocket. “He didn't say anything about waiting for a reply.” But before the kitchen maid could take the offered parchment, the man plucked it from her fingers.
   To Isbeth's surprise, Gelsey didn't appear a bit dismayed at the procurement of the correspondence. She simply pulled a chair out from the table that dominated the center of the room and indicated that Isbeth should sit.
   “Lord Dentin will want to ask you some questions considering the unusual nature of the delivery. Won't you, my lord?” Gelsey threw the question in the direction of the man studying the message on the parchment.
   “The Earl of Dentin?” Isbeth's hands trembled as she realized the identity of the man just a table length away. “The Securer of the Realm, the bulldog of Rhynan–”
   “I don't recommend you call him that.” Gelsey slid a half a loaf of bread across the table with a small crock of butter. “Sit. I have a cold chicken and sliced ham, which do you prefer?”

A Squire's Love

    I was just rounding the first turn when Gelsey stuck her head out into the passage from the kitchen below.
    “Is that you, Reginald?”
    “Aye.” I leaned back against the wall behind me and turned just enough to look down at her over my load. She was a pleasant sight to behold, honey curls escaping her coiled braid and slightly angular chin balancing the softness of her wide eyes. Seeing that was well worth the increasing weight of the gear.
    “Food will be ready in about a quarter hour. Will that be enough time for you to see to all that?” She gestured to my full arms with a flour-covered hand.
    “Should be. I will be right down as soon as I finish with these.” She flashed me a wide smile that warmed my middle far faster than any of her good cooking. She ducked back into her fragrant domain releasing a puff of savory scented air as she closed the door hard. Apparently she wasn’t taking any risks that the cat would return for another try.

Prodigal Brother 

   The man kept glancing over his padded shoulder to gage my reaction to this news. Although it was intriguing bit of gossip that was all it was. Hardly something to get excited about. I did not respond.
   “Why is that?” Tomas asked from my side. He always was a bit more susceptible to such things.
   “She hasn’t said.” The man waved his hand. “I hoped the earl could enlighten me.”
   “I have never met her,” I informed him.
   Upon reaching a relief carved door decorated with gilt, he turned and studied my face in earnest.
  “As far as I can gather she has never had the pleasure of your blunt conversation, my lord. But…” He squinted up at me. I stood almost a full head higher than he. “Now that I consider it, there is something familiar about your face, my lord. Are you certain you have traveled this way before?”

Questions? Concerns? Are you looking forward to this?
Please let me know what you think in the comments or in the poll 
(top left column)

Friday, July 31, 2015

7-7-7 Blog Challenge

A blogger friend of mine did this challenge and tagged those who hadn’t done it and wanted to do it. So I thought I would give it a go.

These are the rules:
  • Go to page 7 of your WIP
  • Scroll down to line 7
  • Share the next 7 sentences in a blog post.
  • After the excerpt, tag 7 other writers to continue the challenge.
Since I am in the midst of writing a number of stories (books and short stories) so I will be sharing a bit from each of them.

The Reward of Anavrea (editing)

   Urith remained stubbornly closemouthed about the keeper of the keys. Instead he expounded further on Lord Klian and the late Lord Alain.
    Liam grew steadily uneasy. Urith’s description of Klian made him seem even nastier than most of the criminals Liam interacted with during his stint in the service of the king.
With Urith riding behind Liam on his mount at the front of the column, they headed off to meet the keeper. The boy led them west into the forest that bordered the fields a quarter-mile from the village. The trail showed signs of being used by foot traveler, not horses.

Diaspora (writing)

   “About time we finally meet face to face,” Doctor Overan replied. He stepped forward and offered an open hand for shaking. “The name is Doctor Jaynden Overan, but you can call me Jay.”
   Panic and anger straightened my spine. The Diaspora considered physical touch between strangers extremely rude. I made that fact expressly clear in my summary of social protocols. Extending a hand to be shaken equated a marriage proposal.
   Yet, the Diaspora representative’s response baffled me more. He looked at me. No smile. No frown. It was simply an assessing glance before turning to introduce his companion.
   Doctor Overan’s hand remained unshaken.

Prodigal Brother (writing)
   My own grief threatened to undo me. I had avoided dwelling on my father’s, and subsequently Alexter’s, death, for just this reason. No matter how I rationalized it, denied it, or tried to desensitize myself to it, I couldn’t. The pain remained raw. The wound refused to heal.
   Perhaps it was because I was missing the last piece—Nigel. I reached across the physical divide between us and laid a hand on his shoulder. “It was an accident. We never thought otherwise.”

Living Sacrifice: Book 3 (writing)
   “The Sept Son is not an elitist.” I stated it with a finality that I hoped would cut off any further questions. “I am not his wife.”
   Ariana nodded in understanding.
   Lotus’ suspicion buffeted my energy senses. I chose to ignore it. In hopes of keeping the women off the sensitive topic, I began telling them about my history while I searched the shelves for extra copies of the Revelation and the Talent’s Code.

I am tagging anyone who would like to do it. My only qualification is that I would love it if you would post a link in the comments so I can read your post. I love encountering other writer's WIPs.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Radio interview on The Write Stuff Radio 2nd Anniversary Show!

I stopped by Parker J. Cole's radio show for the third time tonight. It is always a joy to spend time with Parker J. Cole. Her shows are entertaining and informative. Check it out every Tuesday evening from 7 to 8:30 PM ET.