Sunday, October 29, 2017

Happy Halloween! 5 Things That Scare Me

It's Halloween Time and as I plan to go out pumpkin shopping with my girls this weekend, I was thinking on the five things that have scared me most in my lifetime:

1) Spider spiders spiders....(shivers)... I have a long history with not squaring off well with spiders. I was maybe 5 when my back was itching and I had my sister age 3 take a look. She screamed "a fider, a fider." That set off a series of screams from me crying to my mom and while it was a tick and not a spider, I never did recover. The other most terrifying moment relates to these creepies was living alone and not having my Dad to take care of them. Lets just say Aussie spritzer goes a long way and freezing them where they are. Worked for me for years. But then there was that moment as I watched my two year old daughter, at the time, climb on her tricycle and a massive spider was hanging on the handle. In those brief 3 seconds I had to face my fears with 2 choices....leave my child at the mercy of hoping the creature would drop a web and fall away or become Mommie Spiderslayer. I jerked my daughter from the tricycle kicking it across the room, making my daughter cry and the spider scamper away to hide. I couldn't make my voice work to warn her and afterwards I had to sit because the adrenaline in my body had surged. I DON'T DO SPIDERS AND THE QUICKEST WAY TO YOUR OWN DEATH IS TO BRING ONE NEAR ME.

2) Scary Movies. I loved the scariest of movies as a teen though at the time I wasn't allowed to watch R rates movies. Since when do teenagers always follow the rules? So one night when my parents were gone for the evening and my sister was at a friends for the night, I turned on THE SHINING. That was not a wise decision and I had never been so happy to see my parents come home though I couldn't tell them why I had every light in the house on and every bolt locked down tight. I believe on of the scariest movies I ever saw was TERROR TRAIN with Jaime Lee Curtis. My sister and I watched this one too...when we weren't suppose to and it scared us out of our minds for weeks. So I continued my trend of scary movies until I lived alone in my own home. Then it got real. No more scary movies for me.

3) Interestingly enough another thing that scares me to death is public speaking. I taught nursing classes for over 28 years but teaching what I know is not like speaking to a crowd. I have always avoided obligations where I am asked to speak unless it was very important to me or I was given no choice. Those moments I can stress over for weeks and I have been told I am silly over and over by people who do not understand the true terror for me. I am a total INTROVERT. My cup is not filled by being around people. I have had to work at that for years. Those who have no true understanding of being Introverted have often told me " to just get over it" doesn't work that way. My first experience of true terror was at 4 years old when my parents had me a birthday party for the first time with neighborhood kids. I cried when they sang Happy Birthday and I think tried to crawl under the table. I am 51 and I have never had another birthday party like that again. My mom would ask me about a birthday party and I would say no. My husband and kids know I want Mexican food for my birthday supper but they had best not have the waitress bring cake and slap a sombrero on my head. They know I will walk right out the door if it is too intense. For real.

4) FLYING. I will fly because sometimes it is the only way to get to places I need to go. Before I board a plane there is always a sheer moment of terror that can halt me from functioning  normally or thinking right. After spending a small non-refundable fortune to get to an event I must attend it would be difficult to back out. Each time I get to my seat and I do make sure I have an isle seat near an exit I feel claustrophobic enough to think of bolting no questions asked. I have once given up my seat to take a later flight but the terror was still the same. I am not a drinker but there have been times when I was waiting to board that I have thought about a couple of shots of tequila though that might truly worsen the effects. Lets just say when I must fly, my relationship with God grows stronger to say the least.

5) Finishing the next book. Yes, this is a real fear and I have even heard seasoned authors speak to this. I have completed through publication two books and as I spend time now working on book three of the series I sometimes go through moments of panic that maybe I won't finish the story and if I do will it be good enough for my readers. I glance at the print books I have completed and remember when writing them I went through the same thoughts of not thinking I could complete them. Sometimes as I read back through them I panic even more...DID I REALLY WRITE THIS? Because it always seems my current story will never get there or until it is finished the moments of panic can be crippling. I suppose this can be self defeating but maybe for me that edge of fear pushes me to write a story better or give it more than I knew I had. Not sure but this is a true fear.

So there you have it. 5 things that frighten me. Have a great Halloween!!

Monday, October 23, 2017

From the Chuck Wagon

The South is finally getting some cooler weather for fall.  This Pinterest inspired Olive Cheese dip is the perfect indulgence to welcome in the fall colors and cooler temps.  Hope you enjoy it if you give this recipe a try.


  • One (1) can of sliced green olives
  • 16 oz. of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • Crushed red pepper


  1. Drain the can of green olives
  2. Mix the olives with the cream cheese, mayo, and cheddar cheese
  3. Sprinkle with a taste of crushed, red pepper
  4. Bake at 350 degrees until golden bubbly (approx. 25-35 minutes)
  5. Serve toasty warm with chips or crackers

Monday, October 16, 2017

Author Roundup: Introducing Sheila Hollinghead

Allow me to introduce Sheila Hollinghead.

Sheila was born in Nuremberg, Germany, the daughter of a career soldier. When she was ten, her father was stationed in Toul, France where she discovered a treasure trove of books hiding in the furnace room. The house was rumored to be the former headquarters of the Nazi Party with bullet holes decorating the foyer as evidence. The books she found, sci-fi, mysteries, fantasy, and the classics, opened her mind to the power of story.

Raised on army bases, she has lived many places, none home until she returned to south Alabama. She lives with her husband, three dogs, and two cats near the farms where her ancestors lived and loved.

Sheila is active in her community, heading up her local food bank with the help of her husband and also participates in meals-on-wheels, the Trail Masters, a local group who promote the local state park, and other organizations.

Connect with her!
Amazon Author Page

Be sure to check out Sheila's novella, Robbie and Taron.

The path down to the river may sweep her away ... to love or disaster, perhaps both.

When Robeta Rutherford leads the horses to a nearby river, a mysterious cowboy appears. Is he there to help her family or to derail her plans forever?

Robbie studies all of her life to become a doctor. To establish a medical practice, she travels west with her parents until illness and inclement weather force them to a stop.

Robbie must survive the challenges or her plans for the future will be dashed forever. When she walks down to the river, the mysterious cowboy changes her life ... in ways she never could have guessed.


Robbie emptied out the pot, donned her clean dress, and headed for the river with her brush, to enjoy the sunshine on the splashing water. She sat down on a large boulder that jutted out over the river and began untangling the knots in her hair with dexterous fingers.

“Good day, miss.” The deep voice echoed from across the river.

It startled her so badly she cried out and the brush slipped from her fingers. Immediately, a cowboy on horseback was splashing into the river and had scooped up the brush almost before she realized its loss.

“Here you go.” He held out the brush, and she retrieved it from him.
She glanced down and mumbled, “Thank you.” She tried desperately to regain her composure.

“My pleasure. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

She dared a glance at him, and he flashed a set of even white teeth while bringing up a hand to tip his hat.

Raking back her wet hair from her face, she tilted her chin up, to get a better look at the good-looking stranger. “You didn’t scare me,” she lied. “I was only startled.”

“Are you alone?” he asked.

Her heartbeat tapped at the base of her throat. “Of course not. We have been traveling west and stopped to camp for the night.” She tried to make it sound as if she traveled with a wagon train instead of only her parents. But surely this friendly faced man on a pinto meant no harm.

“Oh?” His eyes twinkled.

Had he been watching her? Did he know she was lying? She scooted off the rock, smoothing down her dress. “I’d best be getting back to camp.”

“Maybe we’ll meet again?” He wore a lopsided grin on his face.

She hesitated a moment. Did he want to be invited to the campsite? She didn’t want him to think her rude. “We have some sickness and can’t entertain visitors.”

He nodded. “I understand. ’Bye, miss.” He pulled the horse’s reins and rode away, beyond the trees that lined the shore.

Roberta realized she’d not brushed her hair. It was still a tangled mess! Heat rose to her cheeks, and then she shrugged. It didn’t matter. She’d probably never see him again. She finished her hair and hurried back to the camp.

Her parents were no better. They slept but were feverish and restless.

She sat down on a log by the fire to think. What if the man came across the river again? That might be agood thing. Her heartbeat quickened at the thought.

But what if he was a gunslinger? She’d noticed the holster strapped around his waist with the pearl handle of a pistol visible.

He had probably been watching her this whole time! Planning to rob them — or worse. Heat rose to her cheeks. But she remembered his face, so friendly and open. Surely he meant no harm.

Still, it was better to be safe than sorry. She ran to the wagon and rummaged until she found her father’s pistol and bullets. Her hands shook as she loaded the chamber. She’d be ready next time.

The problem was that she couldn’t decide if she feared or desired a next time.

From the Blog...

Hi everyone,

It has been a couple of weeks since we have had a new post so wanted to provide some quick updates on things going on with Kim's writing.  Be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions or just want to say Hi.

eBook Sale
Kim's eBooks of Sawyer's Rose and Wyatt's Bounty will be on sale for $0.99 now through October 20th.  If you haven't had a chance to check out one or both of these books, this sale would be the perfect opportunity to get your next great read.

Blog Follower Give Away
Kim had a great time at the recent Moonlight and Magnolias RWA conference in Atlanta (blogs and photos coming over the next few weeks).  She was able to come home with quite a bit of swag so she will be doing a give-away each weekend from now through the end of the year to lucky blog followers.  If you have not done so already, be sure to sign-up as a blog follower before Sunday and you will be eligible to win.  The prizes that will be given away each week will be announced after the first winner is randomly selected on Sunday from all blog followers.  Until then, you have to sign up for the blog for your chance to win.

Upcoming Blogs
Kim will be sharing with us some about what she has been working on recently and she will tell us all about the Moonlight and Magnolias event.

Kim and her husband love to try new dishes in the kitchen when they find recipes that sound interesting.  We will get a Chuck Wagon entry on a recent family favorite of Olive Cheese Dip.  Stay tuned.

If there is something you would like to hear about, please leave a comment below.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

KTW Staff

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Author Roundup: CiCi Coughlin

About CiCi:
CiCi Coughlin is a storyteller, strategist, and chronic student. Also a dog schmuck, Sinatra fan, and nacho connoisseur. She writes about the funny, sexy, quirky lives we all lead and loves experimenting with offbeat ideas. She pens everything from flash fiction and short stories to novellas and novels. Sometimes the heat level scorches. Sometimes it simply simmers. Sometimes, things get a little scary. She lives outside Atlanta with the Staffy mix who rescued her and has way more story ideas than she can possibly write.

Which CiCi fits your style?

If you love romance with a little less heat, try CiCi's short story, Just Looking, in the Romance Writers of America Second Chances Anthology. Just Looking features two thirty-something cancer survivors trying to figure out romance and attraction after life-changing experiences. You'll also get tales (at a variety of heat levels) from 16 other authors, including some New York Times and USA Today bestsellers you'll be sure to recognize. Find the anthology on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or iBooks.

Like things a little hotter? Try one of the high-heat romances in CiCi's loosely-connected Boudoir de Deux series. Check out Kim's personal favorite, Book of Lust, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or iBooks, or try CiCi's award-winning novella, Tex-Mex Sex Hex, now FREE on the Radish Fiction app (available from Apple of Google Play) and 99 cents everywhere else.  Tex-Mex Sex Hex is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

CiCi's latest adventure starts with her all-new romantic thriller, Blood-Red Shadows, unfolding no exclusively on Radish.

Ten years ago, a teen-aged Becca McNary survived a brutal assault while visiting L.A. Now 26, she’s back in town for the first time since, attracted by a work assignment and the need to put old ghosts to rest. But when she finally works up the nerve to go order a police report of the attack, things take a sudden, dangerous turn. The past, it seems, is not content to remain in the shadows, and this time it might really kill her. To stay alive a second time, she’ll have to delve deep into terror-filled memories — and enlist the help of the rookie officer who rescued her that night. The question is whether she can trust him.

Find CiCi on the web at For news, reviews, freebies, and pictures of her dog, sign up for her newsletter  (no junk, pinkie swear). You can also find her on Facebook, or on Instagram  (gleefully) and  Twitter  (grudgingly) as @maggieshewrote.

To learn more about Radish, download the free app today or visit