My Jobs Before Being and Author

My friend Holly K. suggested a blog subject to me last week-“It would be neat to hear about your past jobs!  Did you work in High School/College?  What did you do before you became an author and started publishing?  What does your husband do?”

I got to thinking about Holly’s blog prompt and decided that, not only would it be fun to blog it, but it would be kind of a run/random personal history thing to have jotted down somewhere, too!  So…here I go!  (I hope I don’t bore you too much!)

My first “paid” job (though it wasn’t official and stuff) was…are you ready…ironing!  I  think I was about 13 when this lady my Mom knew hired me to do her ironing a couple times a week.  Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Big deal!  I iron all the time!”  But the lady I ironed for was serious about her ironing!  She liked to have EVERYTHING ironed!  I ironed her sheets and pillow cases, her husband’s handkerchiefs (which I used to have to really NOT think about what they’d previously been used for)!  I ironed her husband’s shirts, her draperies, her husband’s pants…I’m talking anything that could be ironed she wanted ironed and I ironed it!  I think I made a whopping $3.00 an hour…which was way more than I made for babysitting at the time!  I can’t remember how long I had that “job”…but it was a lot of ironing!  Good thing ironing is right up there with folding clothes as my favorite household chores.  I think it’s kind of relaxing to iron or fold clothes.

Now, my first REAL job…you know with a W-2 and a real paycheck, was working for a florist during holidays!  I think I made a whopping $3.25 and hour or something at that job.  Blank’s Partyline Florist!  Yep!  I was a rose-dethorner at the shop and/or I sold flower arrangements and individual stems at book in the Coronado Mall (I think they call it a Kiosk now or something, right?) in Albuquerque.  I actually loved that job and would’ve liked to have worked at a florist anytime I needed to work.  But I made a lot more money when I started working at…

Digital Equipment Corporation in Albuquerque as a Receptionist/Secretary my junior year of high school.  Way back in the old days (early 1980s) “Office Education” was big!  Back when secretaries did the work of a paralegal and stuff, but didn’t get paid as much, right?  Anyway, I was a big Office Education student, and part of the program was working in an office.  We had to interview for the jobs and stuff and everything, and I landed the one at Digital Equipment.  I made like $5.50 an hour, which was well over minimum wage at the time.  Yep!  Believe it or not, I could type over 100 words a minute, draft any kind of legal or business document, transcribe dictation, answer phones, yadda yadda yadda!  I worked at Digital through my senior year.  Then I quit…can’t remember why…and spent the summer before my first year at college as a receptionist at…

Matteucci and Matteucci Law Firm in downtown Albuquerque.  My mom landed that job for me, because she had been their secretary forever!  It was fun to work in the same office as my mom, AND I worked close to where I guy I liked worked downtown at his uncle’s garage, so we met for lunch everyday!  Fun!

Well, in August of 1983, I headed up to good ol’ Rexburg, Idaho for college!  I auditioned for a dance band (it was actually a class you could take then), made it in as the lead female vocalist, and that eventually led to our band playing paid ‘gigs’ and a little extra cash!

In the summer between college semesters, I worked at Anthony’s.  It was a retail clothing store…like a Mervyn’s or JCPenny, but not in the mall.  I actually, liked that job the least of any I had ever had in my life!  It was too easy to spend all my money on clothes AND I just hated the salary/commission thing!

When Kevin and I got married in December of 1984, I started working as a receptionist/secretary in a Dental office.  The Dentist the owned it was a difficult guy…flirty and a pretty rotten dentist.  (I found out later that he did his early work in Vietnam…on Vietnamese POWs.  I think that explains a lot of why he wasn’t a very tender dentist.)  The other dentist in that office was AWESOME!  One of the best I’ve ever known, and after I left that office and the good dentist broke out into his own practice, I went to him for years and years!  My kids did, too!

Because I wasn’t digging the head dentist at the dental office, I did quit that job and went to work at the Modrall Law Offices in downtown Albuquerque.  I was a file clerk/secretary and this was kind of a fun job for two reasons.  Number one, my mom had changed law firms (and was working for a big firm that was often the opposing side in cases Modrall worked on) and she and I met for lunch every day!  I loved those times with my mom!  We’d meet downtown in one of the plazas or at a little restaurant and spend an hour just talking.  It was wonderful!  I also liked the people I worked with!  I remember this one girl who had had a terrible experience in her apartment complex when a little elderly man in the apartment above her died and no one knew it for a couple of weeks and he had dogs and…okay, I’ll stop there.  Anyway, I really enjoyed that job!

Kevin and I moved in the fall of 1985 and I went to work babysitting these two little boys while their mom worked.  I did that for just a few months until we moved again and I went back to Anthony’s for just a while until I found out I was pregnant with my little Sandy Ann!  That’s when I started my favorite job…being a full-time wife and soon-to-be mother!  LOVED it!

Wife and Mommy was/is/forever will be my favorite, favorite, favorite job!  I love it!  There’s nothing like it!  I’m not someone who needs validation from any other venue than my husband and children!  I know it’s the most important (and lowest paid-ha ha) job in all the whole wide world and I love it!

Now…in like 1996-1997…I did work at home a little, policing and contributing to part of Orson Scott Card’s website…the area where people (mostly youth) could post their poetry and stuff.  I always kind of forget about that job because it was from home and didn’t require a lot of hours.  But Scott paid me every month for about a year, so I guess it was a real job.  Right?

I also did do about a year as a Wal-Mart Photo Lab Tech in like 2000-2001 when we needed some extra cash…and it was my favorite job other than my wife and mother job!  I did enjoy working in the Photo Lab…and I had hours that allowed me to be home when the kids were…but I still didn’t like being gone at all.  Fortunately, I was blessed enough that I didn’t have to stay there more than a year, and I’m thankful I was able to go back to full time wife and mother!

And then, in August of 2001, The Heavenly Surrender was published–but that’s another, very very very long story!

Whew!  That was long!  Sorry.  Holly did ask what my husband does, too.  Well, Kevin (aside from being a sexy beast who inspires romance novels) was a Food Broker before taking over my PR (which, incidentally, about saved my life!)  He brokered for Private Label brands like Western Family, or Store Brands, depending on which grocery store chain he worked for at the time.  He was a meat cutter, meat department manager, assistant store manager, etc. in our early married years.  But quickly moved into the brokerage business.  Needless to say, he was AWESOME at it, AND a profound marketing guru!  When the grocery industry began to change (you know, when the Mart of Walls started monopolizing everything) Kevin decided to branch out into Land Development.  But in 2008 he recognized that I needed a PR/Business guru of my own and made the faithful leap to getting all that stuff in line!  Thank HEAVEN!!!!

I hope that’s enough info, Holly (probably WAAAYYYYY tooooo much)!  Are you finished yawning?  Or are you asleep already?  🙂

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Just for Fun-DVD Contest!

You know, this morning I was thinking that I should just title my blog, “Random Junk.”  Seriously!  There’s no rhyme or reason to it at all!  For instance, this morning, I was just shopping on line for a gift for a friend and I thought, “Hmmm!  I LOVE the movie Timeline!  I should run a blog contest to give one away!”

Naturally, there’s a reason this particular movie is on my mind.  I was watching Shark Men yesterday (you know that show where those guys catch, tag and release Great White Sharks), and lo and behold, Paul Walker was on the ship helping the crew catch Great Whites!  Totally random, right?  So then I got to thinking that my favorite Paul Walker movie is Timeline.  I’m sure by boys would choose one of the Fast and Furious movies as their favorite Paul Walker movie, but not me!  I pick Time Line as my favorite Paul Walker movie!

Furthermore, when I first first first saw the movie version of Phantom of the Opera in 2004…I kept thinking, “That guy that’s playing the Phantom…I know him from somewhere!  Where do I know him from?”  It drove me nuts all through the movie until the very end!  That’s when I figured out it was Gerard Butler…from Timeline!  Yep!  That’s how I knew Gerard Butler, too…from Timeline!

So…just for kicks, here’s my dumb little contest for today…tell me your favorite Paul Walker and/or Gerard Butler movies and be entered in the drawing to win a DVD of Timeline!  See?  I should just call my blog, “Random Junk!”  Leave a comment here, or on Facebook or e-mail me at marcialmcclure@cs.com and it counts as your entry!  Bwaahahahaha!  I’m nuts!

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“The Flaming Heads of Housework”

While going through some old computer files the other day, I came across this old, old, old thingy!  It’s very random…just kind of a dumb story about when I caught my hair on fire while cleaning the bathroom once.  Like I said…VERY random!

Cleaning the Bathroom

Otherwise Known As:  The Flaming Heads of Housework

My least favorite part of housework?  That’s easy–cleaning the bathrooms.  And let me tell you this…it’s even worse when your hair is on fire.  Seriously.  I mean, who likes to clean the bathrooms?  It just isn’t one of the more carefree chores around.  Whether you’re a Clorox user, Ajax user, Soft Scrub user or even a Clorox Wipes user, it’s just not something we all yearn for.

Now, personally, my cleanser of choice is Soft Scrub…abrasive without being damaging, a hint of bleach aroma (not too overpowering) and seems to get the job done per my expectations.  Still, it’s a dirty job and somebody has to do it.  And, of course, everyone has different priorities when it comes to bathroom accessories.

For instance, when Kevin and I were first married, the store had this beautiful, pink, ruffly shower curtain that I wanted.  So, I saved up $30.00 (a lot for a shower curtain back in 1985) and bought this beautiful, pink, ruffly shower curtain.  Oh, it looked great!  Pink, ruffly shower curtain, matching pink rugs, pink toilet seat cover and pink tank cover…the bathroom looked like it had been hosed down with the pinky pink stain The Cat in the Hat is trying to get rid of in The Cat in The Hat Comes Back.  It was lovely!

And then there’s the toilet brush incident that comes in to play in each newly wed couple’s life.  I had been taught to clean the toilet bowl with rubber gloves and some sort of disposable cleaning item such as an old rag, disposable sponge or brush.  My mom hated toilet brushes, “perfect habitat for germs,” so we never had one in my house growing up.  However, Kevin’s mom was pretty handy with a toilet brush and therefore, so is Kevin.  (Now, this is one of the many fabulous things about Kevin…he shares bathroom cleaning responsibilities!)  So, there we were…a newly wed couple…one toilet brush user and one disposable rubber glove and sponge user.

Well, about 11 months into our first year of marriage, the time came for our first interstate move.  Yep, we were off to a new state, a new apartment and a new bathroom!  And when we arrived in the new apartment I took the “bathroom” box into the new bathroom and began the task of putting together the lavatory.  I unpacked the pink rugs, the pink toilet seat cover, the pink tank cover…and then, the last thing in the bathroom box, wrapped up in a plastic grocery sack, was our toilet brush!  My beautiful, pink, ruffly, $30.00 shower curtain was nowhere to be found.  Only a .33, and I might add, well used, toilet brush.

“Kevin!” I hollered, trying to remain calm.  “Where’s the shower curtain?”

“Oh, that thing,” Kevin answered calmly, sauntering into the new bathroom.  “I threw that ol’ thing away.”

“Threw it away?” I cried.  “But the toilet brush is in here,” I pointed out.

“Well, we needed that,” he responded.

So, for the next 19 years we’ve joked about the $30.00 shower curtain that got thrown out in favor of the .33, used toilet brush.

That being neither here nor there, bathroom cleaning is not my activity of choice.  Still, it has to be done.  And so, a couple of years ago, there I was…cleaning the upstairs bathroom, the one adjoining my bedroom…just a cleaning away.  Soft Scrubbing until my little heart was content.  (Actually, I was grumbling and complaining the entire time.)  Anyway, there was a little, footed, heart-shaped, ceramic candle holder, complete with a lovely, scented, two-wicked candle within, sitting on a white doily, on a forest green towel (doubling as a tank cover), on my toilet tank.  Well, as candles do, this little candle had accumulated a bit of dust and as I was carefully dusting it, I broke off one of the tender wicks.  Now, as any scented candle-lover knows, once you’ve broken a wick, it’s murder trying to get the candle to stay lit afterward.  But I loved this little candle!  Therefore, I lit the wicks and set it back on the toilet tank so that I could relight it as needed while I finished up the joyous, ‘cleaning of the bathroom’.

There I was, whistling while I worked, scrubbing the counters, the toilet bowl, etc.  And then it was time for the floor.  As I was bent over the toilet seat, scrubbing the small piece of floor between the wall and the toilet bottom, an odd, “sizzle, crackle, sizzle,” noise, followed shortly by the undeniably familiar scent, rather stench, of burning hair.  (It was the same scent I’d smelled a few years earlier when I had risen early one winter’s morn, having forgotten to turn the thermostat up prior to retiring the night before, to a chilly house.  Well, we all know, no matter what the instructions on your gas stove read…i.e. ‘Do not use stove as an alternate heating source,’ your first inclination when you’ve let the house get too cold, is to turn on the gas stove burners and stand before it, warming your hands over the open flames while the waiting for the furnace to fire up.  So, there I stood, rubbing my hands together over the stove flames, when suddenly the all too familiar stench of burning hair reached by nostrils.

“Hmm,” I thought.  “I wonder where that all too  familiar stench of burning hair is coming from.”  Suddenly, I noticed the strange, “sizzle, crackle, sizzle,” noise coming from the vicinity of my arms.  Sure enough, the tiny hairs on my arms were pretty much gone, except for a few valiant ones, which had curled tightly into tiny, seared knots of what was once a hair.)  Yes, I could hear the sizzling, smell the foul stench of burning hair as I continued to clean the bathroom floor.  Finally, I stood up and glanced down at the candle still burning on the toilet tank.  It seemed fine and I couldn’t fathom where the smell and noise were coming from.  Everything seemed in order.  Until the sizzling got louder.  I turned to look in the mirror.  As I caught site of myself in the mirror (looking a bit like Michael Jackson during the infamous Pepsi-commercial-hair-caught-on-fire incident of the 1980’s) I thought simply, “Ahhhhh!  My hair’s on fire!”  Oh, it wasn’t a flaming inferno, by any means.  Just a wee breath of a fire.  Still, “Stop, drop and roll,” was driven completely from my mind and all I could do was hop around the very clean bathroom, smacking myself on the head, an occasional yelp emanating from my voice box, until the sizzling stopped and the stench of burning hair dissipated.

It’s funny how people, specifically hair stylists, expect there to be some dramatic explanation to the charred condition of your hair when you go in the next day to have the burnt area trimmed.  Well, sure I’d only been in for a hair cut three days before. But obviously I had been cleaning my bathrooms since then.  Hello?

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 15 Comments

Just Feeling Random Today…

Okay…you know how I LOVE kissing pictures/paintings, right?  And how I love basically any picture/painting that is romantic, right?  Well, the other day I was just…I don’t know goofing around on the Internet after having seen an old-school romance novel cover (Victoria Holt) I liked and found a website with a TON of the artists work!  These are the kinds of covers I remember when I was a teenager!  How fun, huh?

So anyway, since a few of my books (the ones that were once Love Notes) are getting new covers right now, I thought it would be fun to just be silly and see what covers I would’ve picked by Elaine Gignilliat for MY books, if I were writing back in the 70s and 80s!  Ha ha!  How funny!  So, maybe you can help me out with this first one:  For Shackles of Honor…I have two I can’t decide between.  Which one do you like best?  Again, just for fun!

So?  Which one do you think would have fit Shackles of Honor?

And what do you think of this one for The Whispered Kiss?

Seriously…I’m just goofing around!  If you want to peruse Elaine Gignillat’s stuff and see which ones you’d pick for MY book covers (if it were 30-40 years ago) Click Here for that will take you to the images (by author).   Yep…this is an example of something I do when I SHOULD be working!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 23 Comments

New Divine Deception Cover!

Hey, Girls!  Here’s the mock up of the cover for Divine Deception!  Your thoughts please!

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Desert Fire/The Foundling-New Cover and Stuff!

Two weeks since I blogged!  Blech!  I stink at blogging!  Actually…things have just been even crazier than usual around these parts!  But I’m hoping I can settle back into a routine now…and MAYBE think of some better things to blog about!  First of all, the winner of the (two weeks ago!) contest (the Two Mules for Sister Sara DVD) is Lacey Nickel!  Just send me your address, Lacey and I’ll get that DVD out to you right away!

Now…onward!   As you may or may not know, Desert Fire is now available in e-book format!  It has a new cover…and, yes…that will be the new cover for the new edition of the book when it’s released soon!  (Details to follow soon!)  However, I thought you might find it funny to know a little something about good ol’ Desert Fire that you may, or may not, already know.  It’s just trivia…nothing too exciting.  But kind of funny…at least I think.  But then again, I am easily amused.

Desert Fire was the first Western-themed book I ever wrote.  However, when I wrote it, it was titled The Foundling (for obvious reasons, right?).  For all the years preceding publication, and even as it’s short-lived stretch as an early e-book, The Foundling was a favorite among my close friends.  Years and years and years ago, a few of my intimate friends and I, gathered together for a reading of The Foundling.  I had a friend who was awesome at reading allowed and she read it while we all giggled, sighed and made funny comments.  We had a lot of fun with it…and that was all before it was ever published in any form.

Well, when the day came that The Foundling was chosen to be the first novella in the Love Notes collection by another publisher, I was admittedly sad when the publisher called me and told me that they needed to change the title.  Apparently, the owner of the publishing company was walking through the conference room one day and saw my manuscript laying on the table.

“The FONDLING?” he asked.

Yep…he’d misread the title and was astonished to see that I had written a book called The Fondling!  Thus, the publisher wanted me to change the title.  Naturally, I was adverse to it…however, seeing that it could be a problem…that it could cause some readers’ eyes to widen with momentary chagrin, I agreed.

Agreeing to change the title found me in a conference room with several staff members who worked for the publisher, including the owner.  However, we were all stuck as to what to retitle the book.  Nothing came to my mind at all because, to me, the book already had a title and it was hard to think outside that box.  Finally, we began discussing what the book was about in an effort to brainstorm a title.  Well, then it just got silly.  We all started giggling as one man (who has an awesome sense of humor) suggested, “Hairy Chests Forever.”  We had a good chortle and then someone else suggested, “Shirtless in the Desert.”  Again we laughed and continued to laugh as we popped out silly title after silly title (which…on having browsed through the mainstream romance section at Barnes and Noble this summer…I realize aren’t that far out these days!).

Finally someone noted that “Shirtless in the Desert” was the best title so far, even though we knew we couldn’t use it.  But that led me to thinking of the passion Malaina and Jackson share…and I suggested, “How about Desert Fire?”  And the rest was history!

When that original publisher finally released Desert Fire to come back to me (thereby a different publisher), I did consider reinstating the original title of The Foundling.   But in the end my staff and myself felt that it would be too confusing or maybe even misleading to readers to do that.  So we settled on Desert Fire in the end again.   Yet, it still ate at me…until, that is…I saw the concept for the new cover!  (Now lick your index finger and put it on your hip and make a “ssssssssssssss!” sound.)  To me, the new cover sizzled…just like a desert fire!  Just like the romance between Jackson and Malaina!  (Just like Malaina’s palm when she first touched Jackson’s shirtlessness chest!)

So, at long last, with newly edited guts (i.e. text) and a sizzling new cover…I’m okay with Desert Fire as the title for my very first Western Romance!  Whew!  The book will be coming out in print form soon, complete with a new in-depth Author’s Note!  It’ll have a new layout, too and a new size so I’m really excited!  To Echo the Past will follow shortly with a new cover, Author’s Note and text edits, as will Divine Deception (wait until you see THAT cover!  I LOVE it!) and Daydreams!  (Their e-book versions should be available next week sometime.)  AND The Highwayman of Tanglewood will be available in print again soon, too!  I’m sooooo excited about these re-releases!  A book is like a pet to an author…or something else of a cherished and treasured nature.  So seeing these books back in print is wonderful for me!

PS…just to make things clear…I would never write a book entitled The Fondling!  I worried enough about Dusty Britches…being afraid the printer might accidentally drop that VERY important “r” out of the title by accident!

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30 Day Challenge-Day #8 (and who won The Quiet Man DVD!)

Mandee Brown!  You won The Quiet Man DVD!  E-Mail your address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com so I can get it in the mail to you, okay?

Now…on to today’s blog!  What to blog about…what to blog about…….I know!-Day 8 of the 30 Day Challenge that it will take me a year to finish!!!!  Day 8 is actually kind of a random and fun one!  I’m sure you’ve seen it a million times, and it reads thus:  “Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first ten songs that play!” Ooooo!  Totally random!  So risky…it’s totally like putting yourself really out there to tell everyone what the first ten ones are!  However, being that I’m feeling a little braver than usual…here goes!  AND I’ll even go further…press on the title of whatever song appears below and it will take you to a youtube video of it!  Fun, huh?   (Pressing “play” now…)

1.  Oooo!  Intriguing!  “Justine” by The Archies!  A song from my youth!  My very, very youth!  My Uncle Wayne used to have an 8-track of The Archies!  He gave it to me when I was in maybe the 3rd grade and I LOVED it!  Funny!

2.  LOVE it!  “All the Cats Join In” performed by Peggy Lee!  The Benny Goodman version of “All the Cats Join In” is my little Grandson’s favorite when he comes to my house!  However, I have to link you to the Disney version because I LOVE it!

3.  Ooo!  Scandalous and I LOVE it!  “Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi!   Classic Rock!

4.  A little something I found at the movie theater while waiting for some movie to start a couple of times…“99 Times” by Kate Voegele!  This one is just plain fun!

5.  TOTALLY random!  “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” by Casey James from American Idol!  Didn’t even remember I had that one!

6.  How FUNNY!!!!!  The theme from “A Fistful of Dollars!” How funny!  Though…I DO love it!

7.  Hysterical contribution to my collection via my friend Sheri!  LOVE the lyrics!  They crack me up!  “Jonny Depp!”

8.  Los Lonely Boys, “Heaven!” I totally dig this song!  It’s sort of vintage sounding in a way or something!

9.  I’m surprised something Christmassy didn’t show up sooner!  “White Christmas” by B-B-B-Bing!  I just love this song!  It’s one of my favorites!

10. Hmmm…not sure you’ll want to watch the video for this one, but I do like the song!  “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith!

You know what’s weird…the song that is stuck in my head is the theme from A Fistful of Dollars!  After all that…even Christmas!  So, I think this week’s contest should be a DVD of one of my favorite Clint Eastwood movies, Two Mules for Sister Sara!  How funny!  Do you love this movie, or what?  I know you might turn your nose up at first, but Clint’s character in this movie TOTALLY inspires me!  It’s a little scandalous at times…but it’s always been a favorite of mine!  Are you down with it?  If you haven’t seen it, take a risk…and if you have seen it, but don’t own it…then you know the drill!

Anyway, enough goofy babble from me today, right?  Have a wonderful, wonderful 3rd week of March!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 9 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (And “Kevin Sketch” Winner!)

Okay!  A million years later…I’m still trying to catch up, but doing a little better!

First things first:  The winner of the A Little Piece of THS History (the copy of the Kevin Sketch) is…Sherylin Porter!  Thanks to everyone who entered!  Everyone is sooooooooooo fun and kind to me!  So Sherilyn, e-mail your address to me so I can get your copies shipped to you, okay?

Second things second:  A good number of friends and readers have been writing concerning the release date for The Trove of the Passion Room.  So, I thought I’d give you a little update.  I don’t think it will make it in March, but it will be available for certain in April!  There are a lot of changes where my books are concerned in play just now, and it’s pushed everything a little behind!  However, I hope you’ll hang in there with me…not give up on me too soon, because The Trove of the Passion Room is one of my personal favorites!   I can’t really put my finger on just why that is…but I LOVE it!  I’ll try to see if they’ll put the cover up on my website for you next week…just to see what you think, okay?  Would a tidbit help ease the frustration of the delay?  Okay…hmmm let me choose one….here’s one…an excerpt from the first chapter:

“Gwen and Sharla enjoyed a good giggle at their beloved mother’s expense for a moment. Louisa Dickens was nothing if not entertaining. Her love of history and literature was evident in everything she did—even in the names she’d chosen for her children. Sharla’s sister, Gwen, was actually named Guinevere after the ill-fated queen in the tales of Camelot. Sharla’s older brother Cratch’s full name was Cratchit—in tribute to the beloved character from Charles Dickens’s famous work. Her younger brother, Cris, was in truth christened Cristo after Dumas’s legendary count. Even Sharla herself owned a version of history in her own name—Sharlamagne. Though she was rarely addressed by her full name, just as her siblings were rarely addressed by theirs (for in truth, few people outside of the family were even aware of the Dickens children’s names in their entireties), she secretly liked her name. It was unusual—and she thought it was pretty. To Sharla, her name sounded rather melodic and eccentric—like her mother’s very nature.

As a small child, Sharlamagne had spent hours and hours each summer’s day, playing outside beneath the old lilac bushes at the back of the family’s house—pretending she was not a human girl but a fairy. Her sister, Gwen, would often join her—imagining that she was, in truth, the child-princess Guinevere—destined one day to be King Arthur’s bride.

As Sharla and Gwen grew, however, they began to settle into the reality of the world—just as all children sadly do. This was particularly true when their father was tragically killed in a car accident. Sharla had been only five when her father had died. Cratch had been six, Gwen four, and Cris just a baby. The family was devastated at the loss of Gregory Grinkov—cherished husband and loving father. Sharla could still remember how the smile had vanished from her mother’s face that day—her sincere smile anyway. Though she’d only been five when her father had been killed, Sharla knew the pain and gaping hole branded into her heart by the loss of her father would never truly be healed.

In truth, it had taken Sharla several years to accept her stepfather, Van-Dyke Dickens—to even call him “father.” Louisa Grinkov had married Van-Dyke Dickens three short years after the loss of her first husband. Sharla had been eight, and still desperately loyal to her biological father’s memory. In fact, all the Grinkov children had been somewhat resentful when their mother had remarried. However, Van-Dyke was patient and very loving—though careful not to press the children—and after several years (which Sharla later realized must have been far more difficult for Van-Dyke than she ever understood at the time), the Grinkov children had fallen well in love with their new father and agreed to allow him to legally adopt them. Thus, the surname of Dickens was lawfully bestowed upon Cratchit, Sharlamagne, Guinevere, and Cristo.”

So there you have it!  I know, I know…it’s not an exciting excerpt my any means…just one to give you an idea of some of the eccentricities in the book!  I LOVE it!

Next things next:  Happy St. Patty’s Day!  Are you wearin’ the green?  Dancin’ a jig?  Leapin’ about with the little leprechauns?  Saints preserve us!  Now, as ye already know…I’m a bit behind in me St. Patrick’s Day bloggin’!  I meant to run this contest last week, I did…but things and events did not allow it!  But I’m back on track now, I am…and this week’s contest on me blog is far a copy of The Quiet Man on DVD.  Ahhh, who doesn’t love a movie where the lad drags his hot-tempered and stubborn lassy off a train?  So, just post a wee little somethin’ (anythin’) here or on me Facebook wall, or toss me an e-mail, if ya favor it…and be entered to win the DVD!

Thus, as my friends Amy Lilly and Tigger always say, “Ta Ta for now!”  Enjoy the happy feel of St. Patty’s Day!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 23 Comments

Waaaayyyyyyy Behind!

Help!  I’ve fallen way behind and I can’t catch up!  Just a quick note to let you know that I had some unexpected events this past week and haven’t been able to get the Brevan Casting thing up here OR anything else!  Hang in there with me…I should start catching up by the end of this week!  Meanwhile, here’s something fun…just to hold you over!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 12 Comments

A Little Piece of THS History!

You know that I have dubbed March as The Heavenly Surrender/Brevan month, right?  Well, here’s my first corny, corny, corny…yet TOTALLY weirdly fun contest concerning The Heavenly Surrender and/or Brevan!  It’s really corny…but it’s a true story!

Back in the olden days ( you know, like 1996 and stuff) when I used to send my friends my new “book” for Christmas and things, I didn’t have a fancy computer, or fancy any kind of printing equipment.  Therefore, when it came to covers for my “books” (which were basically Xeroxed manuscripts) I used a rather iconic sketch my friend’s mom had done for me…a sketch of Kevin!

Now, naturally the real sketch was/is much better quality as far as color and detail are concerned.  However, remember it was in the last century that I was gifting my “books” to friends!  We didn’t have all the cool and groovy stuff readily available to us the way we do now.  Anyway, whenever I’d do a new “book”, I’d simply take a Xeroxed copy of the sketch of Kevin, slap the title on it, insert it into the clear plastic cover of a three-ring binder and voila!  That’s how it went!

So, even though this is kind of dorky…today’s contest is this…a few of those old, original Xeroxed copies of The Heavenly Surrender “cover!”  What do you think?  Corny as heck, huh?  But fun!  Until now, the only people to have anything like this are my friends to whom I sent the original manuscripts for Christmas, and one lady who won an original manuscript for another book years ago.  So…corny as it may seem, these Xerox copies ARE a rare piece of The Heavenly Surrender History!  There are two…both are kind of yellowed with age…and they were “first tries” for covers.  I found them in an old hanging folder a while back!  If you think this would be a fun piece of The Heavenly Surrender History to have, just post a comment here, on Facebook, or e-mail me at marcialmcclure@cs.com!  You know the drill…blah blah blah!

(Heavy sigh!)  I LOVE this sketch of Kevin from Heaven!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 21 Comments