This post was originally posted at The Romance Studio:
I haven’t spoken much about this topic, mostly because until now I haven’t felt up to it. When you’re a writer, you’re expected to write. To eat, sleep, breathe and dream about writing. The characters are supposed to talk to you all of the time. No breaks. For some writers, this is exactly the case. I admire them. For others, it’s less demanding. They write when they can and although the characters don’t stop talking, they fit them in. Others have the infamous writer’s block. Hey, it happens.
But this post isn’t about writer’s block in it’s natural form. My form of writer’s block came out of something that happened starting almost a month ago. My grandfather, the one man who literally stood head and shoulders above everyone else, took ill. He went to the ER and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Now people survive pneumonia. Even at his age, 83, it’s possible to get survive. I didn’t think at the time it was a big deal. Like I said, people don’t have to die from pneumonia.
But life isn’t that easy. He spent more than ten days at the hospital. Tests were done and his breathing never got back to par. While they did those tests and made him take all of those breathing treatments, the doctors discovered cancer in his kidneys and in his lungs.
This is where I got scared. This was the guy whom I looked up to. He was the one who would scowl and grouse at people, but had a huge heart. If you needed something, he’d jump in and help. He literally jumped into the pool once…right before the life guard told us all not to jump in yet. He’d tell us every year he’d chased off Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny because they were breaking into the house. I’ll never forget the grin on his face when he drove his ‘old’ car away. I can’t remember exactly what kind of car it was, but the soft top (I think it was cloth, but not a convertible), but he was so happy to have it. Him zipping on the lawnmower across the lawn that seemed endless when I was a kid. Him engraving my name on my scissors so no one would steal them when I was in grade school (no one did, by the way). He drove me halfway across the state to visit my aunt, which was kind of a sort of farce because I was really going to see my then boyfriend (now DH). He helped me move to my first dorm and helped hike my crap up the seemingly hundreds of steps because the elevator wasn’t available for use.
All of these memories came back. I couldn’t imagine my life without him there. Without him chewing us all out because we hadn’t gotten to the reunion, Christmas dinner, Easter dinner, get together…etc. on time. Smelling the smoke from his pipe while he chewed out the football games or while watching western movies and arguing with the gunslingers.
I didn’t want to lose my grandpa. But cancer is a bitch. I’m sorry. It is. I’m not entirely sure how long he had it before the nodules were detected, but only two weeks after being put into the hospital, the doctors informed my grandmother that there wasn’t anything left to do but to send him home with hospice. April 8th, very early in the morning, he passed.
I’m still upset about this. I won’t lie. He was and still is my grandpa. I knew him as Grandpa, whereas my cousins all called him Pawpaw. I went to the funeral and cried during the stories. I wanted to get up and tell mine, but I didn’t have the strength? Stamina? I don’t know, but I couldn’t do it.
Now this post is supposed to be about writing. It is. I don’t know about other writers, but for me, it’s been hard to focus on the characters. They’re there. Trust me, they’re talking. I just don’t have the desire right now to work on their stories. Is it my period of mourning? I think so. I’ve plodded away on a super short and outlined a longer work. But to sit down and just write…I don’t have it in me right now. I’m sure it’ll happen again. I’m the type of person that once I get whatever it is in my head out of my head, then I can move forward. I just haven’t gotten this out yet. I haven’t understood what happened and accepted it. I will. The stories are there and they’ll come. Just give me time. I promise.
Here’s a little bit about one of my previous releases. I hope you find enjoyment in my story, Merging Their Roar.
Merging Their Roar
Sanctuary, Book 8
By Megan Slayer
M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Sex, Oral Sex
The right piece for their perfect triad seems to be the one man who doesn’t seem to fit at all.
Eli and Silas have done pretty much everything twins can do together within reason. They share lovers and are inseparable. Now, the lions want free. They want someone to be with both of them and can understand the dual sides to their collective nature. But the twins are scarred by their past. Eli uses his people skills to please and get by, while Silas takes the quieter, introverted and angry approach. Can these two find a perfect complement? Does that person even exist?
Owen Cantrell believes he’s not only worthy of the shifters, but he’s their missing piece. He’s human and hasn’t been around shifters, but he’s not afraid. What could go wrong?
When these three get together, there are plenty of sparks, but things can’t be perfect forever. The way Eli, Silas and Owen deal with their problems and everything thrown their way will prove if they aren’t meant to be or if they can go the distance.
Note: Merging Their Roar is part of the Sanctuary series. Each book features different characters and can be enjoyed as a standalone story.
Available anywhere ebooks are sold, for only $2.99
One of Hollywood s first scandals was nearly its last.
1936 looked like it would be a great year for the movie industry. With the economy picking up after the Great Depression, Americans everywhere were sitting in the dark watching the stars and few stars shined as brightly as one of America’s most enduring screen favorites, Mary Astor.
But Astor’s story wasn’t a happy one. She was born poor, and at the first sign that she could earn money, her parents grabbed the reins and the checks. Widowed at twenty-four, Mary Astor was looking for stability when she met and wed Dr. Franklyn Thorpe. But the marriage was rocky from the start; both were unfaithful, but they did not divorce until after Mary Astor gave birth to little Marylyn Thorpe.
What followed was a custody battle that pushed The Spanish Civil War and Hitler’s 1936 Olympic Games off of the front pages all over America. Astor and Thorpe were both ruthless in their fight to gain custody of their daughter, but Thorpe held a trump card: the diaries that Mary Astor had been keeping for years. In these diaries, Astor detailed her own affairs as well as the myriad dalliances of some of Hollywood’s biggest names. The studio heads, longtime controllers of public perception, were desperate to keep such juicy details from leaking.
With the complete support of the Astor family, including unlimited access to the photographs and memorabilia of Mary Astor’s estate, The Purples Diaries is a look at Hollywood s Golden Age as it has never been seen before, as Egan spins a wildly absorbing yarn about a scandal that threatened to bring down the dream factory known as Hollywood.
I never knew the lengths to which Mary Astor had to fight in order to gain custody of her daughter. If nothing else, this book put into perspective just how crazy the press can be and certainly was back in the 1930s when this story took place.
Mary Astor was a lot stronger than she looked. I remember her from the Maltese Falcon, but not many other films. Seeing her as a human, not just a star, like she’s portrayed in this book was a real eye-opener. She wanted what was best for her daughter. I commend her for that.
Gravy, though, the amount of publicity for the proceedings and how much the press fixated on Astor being a single parent. To modern ears and eyes, this seems silly, but back in the day it was scandalous. I can’t imagine the stress, struggle and strain she went through.
The author had a way with words, drawing me right into the story. Of course, I had to know what would happen. The photos only tell half of the story and I needed to know if the little girl ended up with her mother or father.
One thing this book put into perspective for me was the struggle to find the right parent and for the parents to behave in order to gain custody. Having never been through such a fight, I never realized just how much of a play it can be.
If you’re looking for a book that’s long on story and has heart, despite the courtroom antics, then this might be the one for you. If you love old Hollywood and want a better understanding of the stars at the time or the real struggles they went through, then this might hit the mark.
Available in February from Totally Bound:
Available from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/my-favorite-mistake-15
Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/crossing-the-line
One Night With You
From the Brothers in Arms Anthology
By Megan Slayer
M/M, Military, Contemporary, Anal Sex
From Pride Publishing
One night to find the man of his dreams in the least likely place…
Airman Tate Gibson thought going to a party at the local college with his friends would take his mind off his troubles. He’ll head back to Korea in two days’ time—after the funeral of his baby sister. He’s always taken responsibility for her and he’s not ready to deal with her being gone. He wants someone to help him deal with his sadness and give him a reason to get through his deployment.
Raine has had a crush on his neighbor across the hallway, but once he spots the hunky airman his thoughts center on Tate. He wants to strip the handsome blue-eyed hunk down and lick him everywhere, but geeks like Raine never get the man. He’s stuck playing the perpetual wallflower.
Will one night tear them apart before things get hot or will it be enough to bring these two wounded souls together for a long-term engagement?
Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released as part of the Brothers in Arms anthology with Pride Publishing.
And at Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/one-night-with-you
Available for only $.99!!
Every so often, I’ll post about books I’ve read. Mostly these aren’t in my writing genre. Why? Everyone needs a break and to read for pleasure. This is one of those reviews. I’m a sucker for old Hollywood bios and this one was no different.
A beloved film comedienne who worked alongside the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and dozens of others, Thelma Todd was a rare Golden Age star who successfully crossed over from silent films to talkies. This authoritative new biography traces Todd’s life from a vivacious little girl who tried to assuage her parents’ grief over her brother’s death, to an aspiring teacher turned reluctant beauty queen, to an outspoken movie starlet and restaurateur.
Increasingly disenchanted with Hollywood, in 1934 Todd opened Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Café, a hot spot that attracted fans, tourists, and celebrities. Despite success in film and business, privately the beautiful actress was having a difficult year–receiving disturbing threats from a stranger known as the Ace and having her home ransacked–when she was found dead in a garage near her café. An inquest concluded that her death, at age just twenty-nine, was accidental, but in a thorough new investigation that draws on interviews, photographs, documents, and extortion notes–much of these not previously available to the public–Michelle Morgan offers a compelling new theory, suggesting the sequence of events on the night of her death and arguing what many people have long suspected: that Thelma was murdered.
But by whom?
The suspects include Thelma’s movie-director lover, her would-be-gangster ex-husband, and the thugs who were pressuring her to install gaming tables in her popular café–including a new, never-before-named mobster. This fresh examination on the eightieth anniversary of the star’s death is sure to interest any fan of Thelma Todd, of Hollywood’s Golden Age, or of gripping real-life murder mysteries.
I’ve always loved the work of Thelma Todd. She’s a riot on screen and one of the gems Hollywood didn’t get to use nearly enough. When I saw this biography was available, I had to read it.
The author did her homework on Todd. I not only loved Todd more, I respected her as a person and businesswoman. Oh, sure. She had her moments, but who doesn’t?
The writing flowed well. Once I started the book, I couldn’t put it down. Nope. I had to know how it would end–okay, I knew…, but I wanted to see how the author put her spin on telling the tale.
My one quibble with the book was the author’s tendency to add speculation into the writing. No one knows exactly how Todd died. There are theories and she did suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning, but how she got there…it seemed like the author spent more time wondering than finding more information. Still, it was a good read and I’m glad I did.