11:02 AM


Hey all! As some of you know I do have a day job. It's one of my busiest times of the year so I will be taking a break from the blog for the next two weeks.

I know this year has been a hit and miss as far as Author Spotlights, Wednesday's Witty Words and Movie Phrase Friday (Movie Phrase Friday is pretty much non-existent). I do apologize for this. My work has gone from a balance of busy to slow moments to constantly busy all the time to the point of overwhelming every day. I love my job! I'm glad to do the work, but it does interfere with the blog and my writing as a whole. My family has had its share of issues. My dad is going on dialyses, has congestive heart failure, terrible diabetes, and is blind. I'm his only child. Though I have siblings they are my mom and step-dad's. Right now, he is a priority and some mornings I get a call that I have to bring him to the hospital, which means I miss a post for you, the readers, and sometimes an author's scheduled start day for their week in the "spotlight".

I tell you this not for sympathy, but so won't think, "Wow, that Ann Lory can't keep her commitments and is a total ding bat." I hope you understand and know that if I haven't posted; as with all of us, "life" is happening.

Thanks so much for stopping by every week. I really do appreciate each and every one of you. I love doing this blog. Hopefully things will slow down and I can start being more consistent with this part of my life.

Bless you,

9:43 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: Victoria will give away a signed copy of A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families to one lucky person who leaves a comment. Make sure to leave your email addy so Victoria can contact you if you win. Good luck to all!

AL: Hi Victoria Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Victoria: Thanks, Ann. I’m thrilled to be here.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Victoria: I’m looking forward to Fall camping with my husband and our three dogs. I have Tucker, a German Shepherd Dog, Rocky a Husky, and Molly a Black Lab.

AL: Please tell us about a book you have on the bookshelf for us to read.

Victoria: A paranormal romance entitled, The Dream House Visions and Nightmares, Asylett Press.

Recurring dreams of a house Hope Graham's family rented when she was a child, taunt her nights with images of a woman in a bloody nightgown pleading for help. Dream sequences of children metamorphosing into rats, blood spewing out of windows, and walking across decaying bones, foretell of sins of the past and forewarn of danger in the present. In an attempt to end the agony of her sleep deprivation, Hope travels to her hometown...only to discover that the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare.

AL: What are you currently working on?

Victoria: A paranormal thriller, The Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary.

A penitentiary founded on the system of separation and torture, built on land cursed by a witch from the sixteen hundreds, and is now converted into a bed and breakfast…what could possibly go wrong?

AL: What is one glaringly/specific personality trait that you put into your hero/heroine that is all Victoria? One that a family member or friend is hey, this is so you. 

Victoria: My character Hope Graham in The Dream House Visions and Nightmares is having trouble losing those last ten pounds and she is self-conscious about it. She picks out specific jeans that she believes make her butt look the smallest. That is so me, and I think a lot of other women can relate to that.

AL: You write many different genres of books. Do you ever have trouble keeping it all separated? Do you find you prefer one type of writing over another?

Victoria: For my third novel I returned to the paranormal ghost story, because it is so fun to write. Characters can find out information they would not normally have access to. I enjoy the suspense and spine tingling occurrences. While writing Bolt Action, I enjoyed the police procedure and crime research that was necessary. I can’t wait until another crime presents itself for sarcastic Detective Leslie Bolt to solve.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)

Victoria: I’m a pantser! I don’t outline and I’m never sure where the characters will take the story or how it will end. I’m sad if someone I care about gets killed off because, just like the reader I didn’t know it was going to happen until it did. The Dream House Visions and Nightmares began because I experienced a recurring nightmare about a house I lived in as a child and my sister Tammy told me to write it down. For Bolt Action I began with the characters Detective Leslie Bolt and her sister Tasha. The sisters where based on a comment someone made to me about their personal experience with adoption after they read my story of adoption.

AL: All right, let’s delve a little deeper. You’ve written a book titled, “A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Parents”, by some of the titles I can tell you love coffee, but my real question is…are you adopted, or have you adopted children? I have friends that have just finalized their adoption of a little boy and girl that they have been caring for almost two years now. Has adoption been common knowledge in your home? Is it something that is hard to deal with, or was it never an “issue”?

Victoria: I am excited for your friends and the child they are adopting. Please tell them congratulations from me! Why I Believe in Angels is my personal story of adoption in the anthology, A cup of comfort for Adoptive Families. I was six when I went to live with my family, but it was never an issue because I was their daughter from day one. This month marks the fortieth anniversary of my arrival to my family!

The other anthology I had a story in was, Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul. It’s entitled, A Gift Among Sisters. It is the story of my kidney donation to one of my biological sisters.

AL: Can you describe yourself in 3 sentences or less?

Victoria: I’m blessed, I’m a Christian, a wife, mother, sister, teacher, and an author. I love my family and I enjoy camping, hiking, shooting bow, snow-shoeing, riding motorcycle, and I’m addicted to true crime shows on Discovery ID®. As an author I believe everything I see and experience can be blended and used in a story, so be careful what you say around me!

AL: What's your favorite music?

Victoria: I enjoy Rock & Roll like AC/DC, Joe Cocker, and Bob Seger, but I also like to hear the old country of Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings.

AL: Fun question: You’re the actress in a must see blockbuster movie that everyone’s been waiting all summer for: A)What’s the movie about? B)Who’s your character? C)Who’s your leading man?

Victoria: With Secrets of the past, murder, mystery, revenge, deception, sexual tension, and the “State Quarter Killer”, we’re all waiting to see Bolt Action on the big screen! I guess I’m The Harley Riding Detective Leslie Bolt, but maybe Ashley Judd could be my stand in, just in case. The handsome medical examiner is played by Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), and the sexy ex-lover is played by Colin Farrell.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2010 and beyond?

Victoria: I am anxiously awaiting my first grandchild, and my first picture book, What if a Zebra had Triangles? which will be released from Vintage Reflections Publishing! I have two other children’s books that I have already submitted to publishers and am praying for contracts. I am looking for a home for The Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary and I’m hoping to write another adventure for Detective Leslie Bolt. When my ideas aren’t flowing, I work on a children’s Christian puzzle book I’m creating. I have 24 puzzles so far, and I’m hoping to hit 40 puzzles before submitting. The new venture─I’d like to try my hand at a murder mystery comedy.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Victoria: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Victoria please visit:




Secrets of the past, murder, mystery, revenge, deception, sexual tension, and the “State Quarter Killer”; Bolt Action offers it all.  In my Action Thriller, Bolt Action, Detective Leslie Bolt is a tough talking, gun hording, motorcycle riding investigator with as much insecurity as the rest of us.  After a childhood of abuse suffered at the hands of her father, Leslie stashes a collection of pistols, revolvers, and even keeps a Browning A-Bolt Stalker Rifle in her broom closet.  She is stand-offish and down right rude.  Having to work a serial murder case with her handsome ex-lover Detective Lance Kestler doesn’t improve her disposition.   The “State Quarter Killer” is selecting victims that appear to have nothing in common except for the State Quarter placed under their lifeless bodies.  As the body count mounts, Leslie Bolt must conquer her past and race to capture the killer before her sister is the next victim.


Lying in the dark shadows of my bedroom, I awoke with a start at a slamming sound. Every hair on my arms crystallized as I grappled under the pillow for my Ruger Blackhawk .357 and flashlight. Baby, my cat, scared to near death, screeched and ran from the bed. My heart lurched in my chest. In the silence of the night, the sound of the Ruger cocking ricocheted off the walls.

In an attempt to become undetectable in the darkness, I inhaled the slowest breaths possible without passing out. Convinced someone observed, perhaps studied, my every movement, I summoned my courage with a prayer. I flipped the flashlight on and scanned my bedroom. For the third time this week, nothing, no one present.

To ease my mind, I proceeded through my duplex with stealth-like movements, as if I were responding to an armed intruder call. Keeping my wrists crossed with my Ruger in my right hand and the flashlight in my left, I crept from one room to another, turning on every light available. With my duplex lit up like a landing strip, I positioned the flashlight on my oak end table. Confident the twelve-and-a-half inch barrel of my .357 protected me, I jerked open every closet door, hoping someone waited inside to be shot. I believed an apprehended suspect might be my chance at sanity, putting to rest the repetitive noises and sensation of being watched.

With a predator-like approach toward the bathroom, I noticed the shower curtain stirring. My pulse throbbed in my esophagus, threatening to cut off my air supply. Creeping into my nineteen-fifties Pepto Bismol pink bathroom, with a trembling hand I grasped and jerked open the curtain. The sound of the rings scraping against the rod made a deafening screech.

Still nothing.

Succumbing to mental exhaustion, I leaned my head against the bathroom door.

“Shit.” In the silence, the sound of my own voice startled me. I couldn’t keep going like this night after night.

A slamming noise vibrated between the duplexes. Sprinting to the kitchen, I set the flashlight on the counter and pressed my face against the kitchen window. I cupped my left hand around my eyes to peer into the driveway. I surveyed the driveway I shared with my neighbor Mark, but I couldn’t detect his car.

If he’s gone, where is the noise coming from?

I thought of one place I hadn’t checked. The thought of entering the moldy, reeking storage area made my stomach contents curdle like cottage cheese. With my desire to find the source of the noises superseding my fear of dark, damp spaces, I tucked the Ruger in the waistband of my drawstring sleep pants.

Out of my collection of weapons that I have stashed around my apartment, I choose my Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker rifle from behind the mop in the broom closet. I headed in the direction of the enclosed storage area. Flipping on the porch light in hopes of frightening an intruder, I exited my front door. As I reached the bottom of the wooden steps, I could detect an outline of a person in front of the shadowed storage area door. Male-at least six feet tall.

Cocking the rifle, I warned, “Stop. I have a rifle.”

“Calm down, Bolt. It’s just me.” Lance Kestler ran his hand through his thick black hair as he stepped from the shadows into the glow of the porch light.

“Oh for crying out loud. What the hell are you doing here?” I released the trigger. “Did you just come out of my storage area?”

“No, I got out of my car and walked toward your door.” Kestler placed his hands on his slim hips. “How come you never wear your hair down during the day?”

I ignored the question. “I heard a door close.”

Kestler shrugged his broad, black Fieora-clothed shoulders, and wobbled on his feet. “Must’a heard my car door.”

Headlights from a passing car shined toward me and I slid the rifle behind my back. “Whatever. It’s like midnight— what the hell do you want?”

“Well, I remembered you don’t sleep much at night so I assumed you’d still be up. Or maybe you just didn’t sleep at night because I kept you up—or should I say you kept me up?” Kestler took a stumbling step forward.

I blew out a breath in frustration. How did I ever get involved with this guy in the first place? “Get off it, Kestler. You’ve been drinking. What do you want?”

“Aren’t you gonna invite me in?” He winked in his typical cocky manner. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had your firm body under mine.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and shake my head. “Are you kidding me?”

“Look, I just want to apologize for how things have been going between us lately.” Lance stumbled and dragged his hand across the side of the duplex to stabilize himself.

“Apologize?” The rifle dug into my hand as I tightened my grip on it. “You can’t even talk in complete sentences. How come you only show up and want to talk after you’ve been drinking?”

Kestler advanced two steps toward me. “What’s wrong with you? I’m trying to rekindle a civil relationship between us, and you show up acting like Annie Oakley the sharpshooter.”

“You don’t do apologies, or favors without an ulterior motive.” I pointed the rifle towards him. “What the hell do you want? Why don’t you just go home?”

“What? You’re gonna shoot me? ” Lance threw up his hands, pretending to surrender, and laughed.

His humor was lost on me. I wanted Kestler off my property and wanted him to know I meant business. Not that really would have shot him. Probably. “You’ve been drinking, and you’re trespassing. I believed you were an intruder and I had to defend myself.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Sounds convincing. I might be able to get someone to buy that.”

“You’d miss.”

My finger itched to pull the trigger. “Don’t you remember my target scores where always better than

Lance winked at me. “That’s because I was distracted by your cute ass.”

I rolled my eyes. “You are an ass.”

“I’m done with trying to be nice to you.”

“When did you start?”

“Screw you.” He turned to stomp back toward his car.

I lowered the rifle and called out, “Kestler, you’ve been drinking. Should I call you a cab?”

I heard him open his car door. As I walked backward up the three steps to the front door, it didn’t take detective skills to realize he didn’t have the ability nor the courtesy to answer me. Kestler was six feet tall—could he have consumed more then two drinks an hour? I ran back down the steps to offer him a ride.

“Kestler!” I pounded on the hood of the car. “Kestler, wait!”

He jammed the car in reverse, spun it around andsquealed his tires on the usually quiet street. I watched himdrive off and prayed he wouldn’t hit someone on his way home. Retreating inside my apartment, I locked and dead-bolted the front door. I returned the A-Bolt rifle to its spot behind the mop in my closet, and headed for the phone to call in a tip about a drunk driver. If he was lucky, he’d be stopped by a friendly cop. If not—if he had to spend the night in the drunk tank—at least he wouldn’t kill himself or anyone else. My infuriation with Lance Kestler made my hands jitter as if I had guzzled three pots of coffee.

REMEMBER: Victoria will give away a signed copy of A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families to one lucky person who leaves a comment. Make sure to leave your email addy so Victoria can contact you if you win. Good luck to all!