Easter's Lilly

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Black Rose Author, R.C. Larlham, brings the 40’s and 50’s back to life.

Today we are lucky enough to hear from author R.C. Larlham. He is going to talk about his new release, ‘The Old Man and Me.’

Please tell us a little about your new release? When is it scheduled to go live?

‘The Old Man and Me’ was released on September 19. I'm not sure what "released" means, because it took me another ten days to get copies of the book. Meanwhile, I was biting my fingernails, back to the elbows.

As far as the book goes, let’s start with the fact that it’s not really a novel. The Old Man and Me is a book of true short stories ... a memoir of mostly my boyhood and teen years in the '40s and '50s.

Tell us about the cover of the book. Is there any history there?

The cover photo was chosen by Black Rose's people out of about two-dozen I sent them. We boarded the two horses for the winter one year. The little black and white pinto was a mustang named Domino. He was a wild horse, captured when he was about four-years-old. That's me riding him. I think I'm about thirteen years old. The brown mare my sister Lyndella is riding was a harness racer named Tango. A harness racer is a racehorse, which trots or paces around the track, pulling a two-wheeled "sulky" with a driver instead of a rider. Tango, unfortunately, was subject to nosebleeds. Both horses were owned by a day camp. No one who rode them knew anything about horses. Both horses pretty much cordially hated children. The man holding the horses for the photo is “the old man,” Dick Larlham, my father.

2) What inspired you to write your novel?

I had pretty much given up on inspiration to write a book of any sort. I'd tried novels, but I always got bored with them. However, I am, and always have been, a storyteller. My daughter introduced me to an Internet site called Gather, which catered primarily to storytellers. I began to write some short stories and poems in response to various prompts (themes for the month in various genres), but some of them were pretty outrageous, and some were of no interest to me. However, I discovered that I could simply tell whatever story came to mind and publish it for folks to read and comment upon. So, I did it a lot.  As I wrote stories about my years growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, people began to comment that I should stop and write a book. My response was always that stories were the best I could do.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Yes, but they're pretty loose. If I'm working on book two of the memoir, I'll start by sort of mining my memories for basic events that happened, and then write down two or three sentences for each of them. Just give me a glass of ice water and a full 1 1/2 ounce shot of Bushmills over ice sitting next to the computer and I'm ready. I write narrative style, front to back. I do some go-back as I remember details so I don't forget them, but mostly I do a second read and write as soon as I've finished the first. I can finish-write about a thousand words in about three hours.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am most definitely a pantser. This may explain why I get bored in the middle of my novels. I don't know where they're going next.

Do you have any new projects on the horizon? 

Oh yeah... ‘The Old Man and Me’ is envisioned as a three (or more) volume series of overlapping books. Book two carries the subtitle, ‘Stories I Didn't Get To Tell You.’ It begins with several new high school stories, adds more college and Army stories and then moves to marriage and graduate school in the isolation of Northern Utah. I married the prettiest girl in Hiram College. She was a sophisticated young lady from Falls Church, Virginia and I plunked her down in a place where they got ten feet of snow every winter and religious prejudice was the reverse of anything she'd ever experienced. Not my best plan by a long shot.

Do you have any advice or aspiring writers?

Write every time you can (and some when you can't). When I'm not working on editing a finished manuscript, I try to write a thousand words a day. Sometimes the whole thing gets junked the next day, and sometimes two or three days' worth will yield one good thousand-word chapter or story. But I write them.

Do you have a muse?

I have the lovely Laura. We were married forty-four years before she had to go. When she died, I nearly crawled into a deep, dark place in my head and pulled it shut behind me. But I wrote about her instead. I wrote about our life together (the good and the awful), about her long fight against MS, her failing end, and her final hours. And all that kept me sane. If I couldn't have written, I don't believe I would have survived emotionally. Now, she rides my heart and keeps me writing.

Please tell our readers where they can get more information on your books.

Well, they can begin by visiting www.blackrosewriting.com/books and buy directly from the publisher. Through November, there is a 25% off sale in which they can participate. The book is also available through Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Smashwords and other e-book platforms.

Well, looks like our time is pretty much up. Thank you so much for the opportunity, Judy. I enjoyed this very much. Good Reading!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Final Tour Stop | Easter's Lilly (Book 1 - The Easter's Lilly Series)

Book Title: Easter's Lilly
Author: Judy Serrano
Release Date: December 16, 2010
Genre: Thriller, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Thriller
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Presented by: As You Wish Tours
Banner Made by: Camelia Miron Skiba

Brother Number Three 
(Book 2 - The Easter's Lilly Series)

Coming in third place was something that was all too familiar to Hector Montiago. As his strength and grounding personality pushes him into first place with the woman he loves, lines are crossed and sides are chosen. In the second book of the series, Brother Number Three depicts family ties in a light unequal to any other. Lilly tells the story of how the brothers unite in the effort to recover her missing son, as blood becomes both the indestructible bond that holds them together and the opposing force that pushes them apart. They fight temptation, while the enemies of the Montiago cartel unleash their wrath, only to discover that the true danger lies within.


Max hit the FBI panic button to alert them that we were in trouble. Diego grabbed the kids but I refused to go.

“Lilly get out of here!” Max shouted. “Go with Diego and the children!”

“No! I’m not leaving you!” I shouted back.

“Lilly, go!” he yelled again.

“You won’t let them take me, Max. I can’t leave you.” I didn’t move. Hector was giving us the blow by blow from his phone.

“They’re at checkpoint number two,” Hector said.

“Lilly,” Max looked at me sorrowfully. “If anything happens to you…”

“It won’t if I’m with the two of you.” I looked at Diego. “Take the children, I’m staying.”

“Damn it, Lilly!” Max yelled. “Go ahead Diego, we’ve got her.” Diego took the kids and the nanny.

Hector laughed. “Now, she reminds me of Olivia.”

“What happened to my, ‘Yes sir?’” Max asked me.

“Max, you and Hector will keep me safe. Diego will be distracted by the children.”

“You’re afraid, I get it,” he told me. “I don’t blame you. We’ll watch you.”

“Check point number three,” Hector said. “Brace yourselves.”

With their attention on the door, someone came up behind me and wrapped his arm around my neck. “I’ve got her this time, Max,” he warned. Max turned around and shot him right between the eyes. The guy dropped, right there behind me. Max grabbed me and put me between him and the wall.

“Say no more,” Hector said as he ran to the kitchen. We heard two gunshots.

“Hector!” Max yelled.

“I’m good, Max! I dropped them.” It was quiet for a moment. “FBI are starting to show up!” Hector shouted.

He took my hand and walked around the house a little. Then he wrapped his arms around me. “Next time I tell you to go to the safe room, you’re going to do what?”

“Say, ‘yes sir’ and do it,” I said. “But look, you didn’t let him take me.”

“He wouldn’t have even seen you if you were with Diego.” He smiled. “We had better go get Diego and the children out of the safe room. Just as we said that Hector came out with Diego and my babies. They all ran to me and hugged me until they saw the body. We all pushed them out of the living room and up the stairs.

“Damn, you’re good,” Hector said. “Right between the eyes, no hesitation at all.”

“That’s how I roll,” Max said laughing.

Easter's Lilly

It was Easter Sunday; the day Lilly's life went from safe and comfortable to dangerously unfamiliar. Her transformation takes her from a small town girl having an affair with a low ranked gangster in the Montiago crime syndicate, to a woman of grace and fortitude married to the head of the organization. Easter's Lilly is an inspired journey from the idyllic to the darker side of self-discovery. Read as the over-privileged brothers embark on their journey that twists and turns down the road of unbridled passion in this first book of the series.

Judy Serrano graduated from Texas A&M University, Commerce with a BA in English. She is a substitute teacher at her children’s school district and teaches developmental writing at a local college. She is also a freelance writer for certain on-line periodicals. She is the author of The Easter’s Lilly Series, which falls under romantic suspense, and The Linked Series, which is paranormal romance. Although she is originally from New York, she currently resides in Texas with her husband, four children, (all boys) and five dogs. She is also a singer/songwriter in her spare time.


Easter's Lilly
Brother Number Three

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

1) Please tell us something about your latest release and under which genre it falls.
My newest release, ‘Creatus,’ is a romantic-suspense with a paranormal edge. I say edge because even though my story has supernatural elements, I researched many of the myths I’ve heard my entire life to offer readers a plausible reason to believe… My goal is to make readers say… “Hmm… What if?”
2) Now tell the truth... is there any truth embedded in your novels?
I assume you’re asking about my other stories. Yes, I admit… there is some truth interwoven into my stories. I’ve had an interesting past to say the least, and my husband was a police detective, so I’ve seen enough to fill hundreds of novels. But…the real question is…what is based on reality or my imagination? Sorry, I’ll never tell.
3) Are you a plotter or a pantser? I love that question. I am always interested in knowing how many people actually plan out a novel before they write it.
Without a doubt, I am the epitome of a pantser. I can barely even see ahead one chapter. During my writing schedule, I will reread several chapters from the previous day, if not the entire story, and then just start typing. At the end of the day, I reread everything I wrote that day, and when I go to sleep, my characters come to life.
4) Do you have any writing rituals?
The one thing I do that my family laughs at is act out my scenes—literally. I find my characters are more believable when they mimic real life. I try to write only when my family is gone now; that way they don’t watch as I make funny faces, sound out different noises and exhales, use hand gestures, pace the room, and even see if I can get out of different restraints. Yes, I’ve used duct tape, leather belts, handcuffs… No I don’t write those into bedroom scenes. I write mysteries, usually with kidnapping and murder.
5) I was just going to ask you that. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
Hmm… I think I already did that. Currently, my life is rather boring. My youngest son is sixteen, so hubby and I have to get him off to college. So, I’ve been acting out all my eccentricities through my characters. BUT…hubby and I have plans. We both write…so once we are empty nesters; we plan to hit the road, looking for adventures.
Tell our readers what you like to do in your spare time when you are not writing.
Is this a trick question? Read, of course! Thankfully, my husband is also an avid reader, so our idea of a perfect date is sitting on the beach or in a coffee shop together, reading.
Where can we find more information about you and your books?
You can find all my books, links to my website, social media connection, and even a couple of free books at your favorite book retailer.