A Tribute to K. Sue Morgan, Human Extrordinaire


The world lost a wonderful woman last week. K. Sue Morgan, a proud Texan, a great wife, mother and grandmother, a loyal friend, and a very good writer. Known as just Sue to her friends, I’m sure there are people all over the country who knew and loved her. Sue was a school teacher. Well liked, but stern, she mixed teaching with love. We always teased her because she and her husband produced some of the most beautiful blonds in the country. She showed great love and pride in her family. Sue was strong. She set a great example for the world through her faith, which showed through her actions.

A member of The NOLA Stars, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, she volunteered her time at their yearly conference, Written in the Stars, in Shreveport. Every year seventy-five to a hundred people attended the conference, and everyone met Sue. She was the face of the group not only at the conference, but at monthly meetings, weekly get-togethers, and critique group. And she and her very good friend Jean Walton, managed to hit several other conferences through the years,  in Dallas, and Washington state, and everywhere else. I’ve heard some of the stories. I’m sure she is remembered in those places too.

K. Sue Morgan was my friend. She was a mentor. She taught me, hugged me, and gave me love. I wish I’d had the opportunity to spend more time with her. I wish I’d met her when I was young, when I needed a good teacher and role model. I wish I had told her how much she helped me and how much she meant to me when I had the opportunity.

I send my sympathy and love to her family, her huge extended family, and to all the people who knew her and grieve her loss. For all of you who did not stand within her light, I send you sympathy too. You really missed out on a unique and wonderful person.

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Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


Review by Ryder Islington

First published in 1991, Outlander is the story of Claire Randall and her trip back in time. A combat nurse married to Frank Randall, Claire and her husband are visiting the British Isles as a sort of second honeymoon, after both of them return from active duty in WWII. But while visiting one of the big stone circles similar to Stone Hinge, suddenly Claire is pulled into the past and finds herself in Scotland in 1743.

Outlander is the first of a series in which Claire lives through Scottish history, where she meets James Fraser, a man whose strength, power and honor, captivate her heart. And she also meets Jonathan Randall, her husband Frank’s ancestor. Her life becomes entwined in the lives of these two men, while memories of Frank torture her. Claire uses her knowledge of medicine to be a healer to the people of the countryside, but her knowledge, more than once, names her a witch.

The history of this story is brilliantly told, with warring lords, diabolically evil military men, and women whose power only comes through deceit. The characters are strong and well motivated, and the description is sometimes elegant and sometimes gory.

This is a beautifully written historical romance, as much as it is a history of the Clan Wars of Scotland. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the old sagas with plenty of characters, action, and emotion. It feels like an old classic, though not written in the hard to understand Old English of Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre.

Memories of Me: The Wonder Bread RV


We traveled a lot when I was growing up. My dad was a contractor and had to go where the work was. Well, at least that’s part of the story. I’ll save the rest for later. The point is, when one travels, one needs transportation.

We needed to go toward the mid-west, from California, or Florida, or some place hot, to find work. My dad came home with an old bread truck. He gutted it, installed a bathroom and kitchen, built beds, and voile`, we had an RV. I don’t really remember RV’s back then. Without TV I had no idea what was out there in the world.

My sister was pregnant with her first child and, if I remember correctly, her husband was in the military, so she was living with us. So, Mom and Dad, brother and sister and me, headed out on the road in our home-made RV, ending up in Indiana.

We parked fifty yards or so from a river, and there we stayed. My dad and brother went to town in the mornings, after a few hours of fishing of course, to find work. I chased butterflies and June bugs, played in the dirt, and the water, and sucked the sweetness out of honeysuckle and enjoyed the shade of the big willows at the river’s edge.

I mentioned my sister’s pregnancy for a particular reason. Actually of couple of reasons. The first is that she was craving sweet corn. And we were in Indiana. And poor. But my brother was swift of feet, and not afraid of the dark. We ate a lot of corn that summer.

The other reason for the mention of pregnancy was the fact that months later, when Sis had the baby, in Florida I think, we still had the Wonder Bread RV. Mom had a laundry basket, a chrome frame on wheels, with a canvas bag hanging from it. The bag had three sections, divided by canvas panels. I remember Mom taking the scissors and cutting out the dividers, then putting in a piece of wood, a pillow, and the baby. I don’t know how they managed to lock the wheels so the basket-cum-cradle didn’t roll, but I do remember that the motion of the truck rocked the canvas bag, and the little baby girl slept like…well, much better than a baby.

When we camped, we usually had a fire pit outside, even if there was a stove inside, because of the heat. I remember grandma’s skillet, handed down to my dad when she died, a deep thin, iron skillet, filled with Crisco for deep-frying the fish, and potatoes rolled in aluminum foil on rocks inside the pit. We all loved fish, which was a good thing since work was not so reliable. A thirty-nine cent loaf of bread, and a mess of fresh fish, and we were happy as hogs at the dump.

That old iron skillet was handed down to me when my dad died. It had been in the family since my grandma married around 1900. It was stolen from me during hard times as an adult. But I never forgot how well it cooked. Food just tasted better from that skillet.

You’ll hear about the Wonder Bread RV again, no doubt, for other things happened that summer in Indiana, and across the country. But no matter where I’ve lived, or what wonderful foods I’ve been blessed with, I can still feel the sticky air of the mid-west, and the taste of some of the best corn I ever had, roasted over a fire beside the skillet where the fish fried.

Guet Blogging on Bigi’s Reviews Today


Just wanted to remind everyone that the blog tour is still on the road. You can see my article on Revisions today at the following blog:
http://bigisbookstore.blogspot.com/p/interview-ryder-islington-author-of.html

And I’ll be back soon with another Memory, and also a book review, so don’t go away.

Memories of Me: Feeling The Music


I thought it was about time we took a break from the blog tour to just think of something more fun, so I’m posting my first of what I hope will be many articles about my memories. Maybe reading this will bring back things from your own childhood that will make you smile. Feeling The Music Music was a big part of my growing up. We listened to country music, and the occasional rock n’ roll when dad was not home. My dad played guitar and sang, sometimes in bars or clubs, but more often at home. He would invite others who played and they would gather and drink beer, play and sing, till all hours of the night. I have one memory of music that really sticks with me. We were in a house—I don’t remember where—in the living room. All the lights were on and it was very bright. My dad sat on the edge of the couch, guitar in his lap. Other men where there, but I don’t remember who. I didn’t really have a ‘bed time’ growing up and I loved music, so I stayed in the room, being quiet because that was the one rule for me. I remember vividly crawling behind my dad, putting my back against his, and lining my legs up against the back of the couch so the soles of my feet were toward the ceiling. In that position, I could feel the vibration of the music through my dad’s back, his voice and the guitar tickling me all the way though. I fell asleep there, head lolling to one side. When the music would stop, my eyes would open to slits against the glare of the lights, but it didn’t take long to start up again and I’d fall right back to sleep. Though this is one memory in my mind, I know it happened many times. Any time there was a house, and a couch, a guitar and people, I was there, entertaining myself quietly except for the occasional song request, for I had a few favorites. For all the things that might have been called tough when I was growing up, memories like these pop up to remind me that there were things I really enjoyed, and music was a big one. I still love music, country, old rock, easy listening, flamenco guitar, classical, gospel, Christian, Messianic. And I still don’t have a bedtime.

Blogging today at Marilyn’s Musings


Good morning people! Okay, honestly, I’m not all that perky. I”m not a morning person. But I’m trying to enjoy each morning of this blog tour. Today you can find me at the blog of Marilyn Meredith, author of the Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series. Thank you Marilyn! If you’d like more information on the tour, or you missed an article, interview or review, you can see the complete tour schedule by scrolling down to the article entitled: Blog Tour Info Did you see Trey Fontaine’s character interview? And soon, I intend to post some more Ultimate Justice character interviews. Have a great day!

Character Interview: Meet Trey Fontaine#


Trey Fontaine is the lead character in my debut novel, #Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery.An FBI agent with degrees in #Linquistics and Ethnicities, he was raised in the small town of Raven Bayou, Louisiana, where the story is set. Enjoy the interview.

 1. What about you is #heroic?

 I’m no hero. My dad was a hero and I’ve always wanted to be like him, but I’ve done things I know he would never do. And he did things that I don’t know if I’m able to do. I’m just a guy who wants to be the best agent there is.

 2. What about you is social? What do you like about people?

 I see people at their worst. When I encounter them, they have either been a victim of some evil, or they have perpetrated some evil. Do I like them? I feel for them. I sometimes pity them. I often get angry with them. When you live in my world, you only see good and evil. It’s a simple matter of black and white, right and wrong. I like good people. Evil people need to be eliminated.

 3. What is your real, birth name? What name do you use?

 Tremaine Fontaine, Jr.  aka Trey.

 4. What do you look like? (Include height, weight, hair, eyes, skin, apparent age, and distinguishing features)

 I’m just a regular guy. Six feet tall. 210 pounds. Dark hair. Brown eyes.  My skin is tan like my dad’s. He was French. I’m thirty-two years old. No tats. I do have a scar on my butt. Got shot. That’s enough detail on that issue.

 5. How do you dress most of the time?

 Black tee-shirt and jeans. Black boots. If I must dress up, I have a black sports jacket, and a black suit. I found that stains don’t show so much on black clothes, and I don’t have to worry about anything matching.

 6. What do you wear when you go to sleep?

 Tee-shirt and boxer briefs, unless it’s hot.

 7. Do you wear any jewelry?

 My dad’s gold cross. It was a gift from my god-father to my dad. They were partners on the Raven Bayou Sheriff’s Dept.

 8. In your opinion, what is your best feature?

 My brain. I work hard to keep in shape, so I have some definition, but I don’t think of myself as handsome or well built. What I am is strong and healthy. Well, mostly healthy.

 9. Do you own a car? Describe it.

 A silver 1999 full sized #Hummer called Streak.

 10. Who was your father, and what was he like?

 Tremaine Fontaine. He was a cop. He was a good dad. Laid back. Kind and gentle. Everyone says I look a lot like him, except he was slimmer, but that’s probably because I work out.

 11. What was your parent’s marriage like?

 They loved each other, and got along well. I don’t remember them ever fighting, except that one day I saw my mother cry because dad had promised to come home on time for supper, and then didn’t come home at all. He just worked late, but she was really upset. Later I over heard them talking and found out that she was just scared because he was a cop and she thought maybe he’d been killed on the job. A year later, that was exactly what happened.

 12. What were you like in high school? What “clique” did you best fit in with?

 I was a decent student and a football player, a running back. I was pretty good too, but blew out my knee halfway through my senior year. The surgery fixed the damage and I can walk and run, but my football days were over. My speed was affected too severely. That’s okay. I never really wanted to be anything except a cop.

 13. Who did you first fantasize about in your life?

 #Gemini Taylor. She was older than me, and the most beautiful girl in town.

 14. Do you tend to save or spend your money? Why?

 I don’t deliberately put savings away. I earn enough to have the things I want and have a little left over. Until I get married, I don’t really need much. And I don’t really see myself getting married, so I’m not worried about it.

 15. What’s been your favorite movie of all time?

 #Die Hard with Bruce Willis.

 16. What annoys you more than anything else?

 People who don’t finish what they start.

 17. What’s your favorite animal? Why?

 #Dogs. They love unconditionally. They don’t judge. They are loyal.

 18. Would you consider yourself straight, gay, bi, or something else? Why?

 I’m straight. I love women and have never been attracted to men.

 19. Do you drink on any kind of regular basis?

 A beer or two, or a glass of wine. I’ve been known to drink whiskey, but I try to stay away from it because it tends to bring out anger in me.

 20. What trait do you find most admirable, and how often do you find it?

 Honesty. It’s rare among humans. I don’t think I know anyone who is always completely honest. Not even me. We aren’t even honest with ourselves sometimes.