Tuesday, November 6, 2018



Abandoned at childhood, Betsy Bowen finds out she’s George Washington’s daughter and escapes the streets of Providence to become Eliza Jumel Burr, New York’s richest woman. She pursued Aaron Burr, the love of her life, for decades and he finally proposed when he was 80 and she was 56. She divorced him on adultery charges, and he died two days after being served the papers. Who was her lawyer? Alexander Hamilton, Jr., the son of the man Burr killed in the famous 1804 duel.  
Eliza believed George Washington was her father. Nine months before she was born, her mother spent one night with the general and became pregnant. Eliza’s many attempts to reach her father gained her an invitation to Mount Vernon weeks before his death.

She met the love of her life, Aaron Burr, at President Washington’s inauguration. While Aaron was in the capital serving as a senator, Eliza met wealthy wine merchant Stephen Jumel, and faked her own death to get Stephen to marry her. When Stephen fell from a cart and died in Eliza’s arms, she was brought up on murder charges, which were dismissed. Aaron proposed to her and she became Mrs. Burr, her lifelong wish.

Eliza Jumel Burr

From Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of the United States:

July 11, 1804, a day I’ll never forget, a Wednesday, I rose early from fitful sleep. Two of my servants huddled in the kitchen, murmuring instead of cooking. They held the newspaper wide open.
When I walked in, they froze as if turned to stone, and held the paper out to me.
“What is it?” Without fresh coffee I was half-awake. But seeing the paper, I trembled. My mouth dried up. “Oh, no …” I hid my eyes with my hands, I couldn’t bear to look.
“M-Miss Eliza …” Mary stammered. “Vice President Burr shot General Hamilton in a duel.”
Too weak to stand, I grabbed a chair and sank into it. “He … shot Hamilton?” My head spun, dizzy with relief. But I still didn’t know about Aaron. “Is he all right? The vice president?”
“We don’t know, ma’am. It just says General Hamilton was mortally wounded.”
Without another word, I ran down the hall, threw open the front door, not closing it behind me, and raced to Gold Street in the gathering morning heat. Humidity soaked my clothes. I mopped sweat from my face.
I banged on his door. No answer. “Aaron, open the door, it’s me, please, we need to talk!” I banged again. Echoes answered me. He’d fled. But where? When would I see my beloved again?
Hamilton died the next day, and the city fell to its knees in mourning.
The tolling church bells and muffled drumbeats echoed through the sweltering city air.
   I saw Mrs Hamilton on Broad Way, head to toe in widow’s weeds. I wanted to approach her and offer my condolences, but she knew I was intimate with the vice president, so I kept my distance. Their country home, The Grange, was not far from the Morris mansion I planned to buy. We’d be neighbors someday.

Friday, November 2, 2018

For Aspiring Authors: Never Give Up--My Lesson in Persistence

A Lesson In Persistence

My story will inspire you to push on, if nothing else will. I'm probably the longest aspiring author to finally get published. My journey took 18 years. I wrote my first novel in 1982. Although my third or fourth novels came close to getting published with Harlequin, they didn't quite make it. My first published novel was actually the ninth one I'd written. Although I now have a great agent with whom I signed with her two years ago, I had 2 agents before becoming published: one retired; the other gave up. So I made my sales on my own.

I'd like to tell any aspiring authors who are frustrated because it's taking them 3, 4, 5 or more years to get that first contract, remember: I wrote for 18 years before getting the call so never give up!

My Backstory

I thought the way to publication would be to write short stories and get recognition that way, but my former journalism prof told me to forget that, and write a novel. The idea scared me to death, but he sent me titles of a bunch of how-to books, and I hunkered down and began. I quit my full time job, a bold move, and started the first draft of my first novel in 1981, at age 24.

Although I wrote and worked hard for many years, toward the very end, a year before my publication, I'd begun to realize publication wasn't my destiny, so I chose another endeavor. I started studying for a master's degree in archaeology.

Writing = Inventory

Because I kept writing through all those years of rejection, I've amassed quite an inventory. I love American history, so I've written a few books set in the U.S. – Colonial, Civil War, turn of the century, Prohibition, and the early 1960s. I've also written a few paranormals – ghost novels and time travels. My latest work is a chick lit vampire romance set on an Italian cruise ship. (I'd love to write a biography of Mayor Frank Hague of Jersey City, who was very good friends with my great grandmother in the 1930s. If only she'd kept a journal!)

Internet Intervened

I wouldn't be published if it wasn't for the internet. I met many great authors and made some wonderful friends at RWA and RT conferences, and I also increased my confidence to great levels at the editor/agent appointments.

Networking on the Internet helped me achieve my goal of publication. That's where I met my publisher, through Lisa Hamilton, another author I'd met on the CompuServe Romance Forum.

What I Learned

What surprised me most about the publishing business is that it's very hard to be recognized. You really have to work on promotion as well as writing. I've read many differing opinions on this, but I do believe you should promote as much as time allows, without taking away writing time. I have a website, a mailing list, and attend as many signings and conferences as possible.

But you have to be realistic; it's not easy to shoot up to #1. I'd had delusions of being on talk shows and seeing my name on the NYT bestseller lists after my first novel.

My Process

I take a year to finish a book, between research and writing. I've never had a deadline from a publisher, but I'd once sent an agent the first 3 chapters of my vampire romance. He said he'd like to see the entire ms., so I wrote ,5000 words a day til it was finished. He later rejected it. Oh, well. But at least I know I'm capable of turning out 5,000 words a day. My usual output is 2,500 words a day.

My Writing Advice

I never feel as if I have enough information to convey at a workshop, but I can tell aspiring authors this:

1. make the opening a grabber

2. make the characters compelling and interesting

3. make the reader care about the characters so they'll keep reading

4. make the novel well-structured so it doesn't have a sagging middle or pacing problems

5. make the stakes high and not easily achieved

6. make the secondary characters real, not mere cardboard

7. humor always helps.

My Last Advice

Keep believing, and keep the faith! And of course, keep writing, because you'll only get better. And never give up on your dream!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

For Halloween, Book Quote Wednesday's Word is FRIGHT

For Book Quote Wednesday, the word is FRIGHT. 


“Ona, you are in no position to refuse recapture. I shall return with orders to bring you and your child by force.” With a disdainful glance round my home, Mr. Basset's beady eyes narrowed. “Do not dare defy me, girl.” He spat out that last disparaging threat with a turn of his heel as he stomped out. 

Eyes wide in sleepless fright, I dreaded President Washington's vicious nephew’s return with an army of slave-catchers to drag me and my child from my home, never again to see my beloved husband. 


Monday, October 29, 2018

Congratulations Red Sox 2018 World Series Champions!

Huzzah! Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox - 2018 World Series Champions! 
(Paul Revere is a Sox fan) 
Good times never seemed so good.
#LoveThatDirtyWater #DamageDone 


Monday, October 22, 2018

The 13: TALES OF MACABRE by Stephanie Ayers

The 13: Tales of Macabre-
Killer watermelons, murderous jewelry boxes, centenarian sea whisperers, creatures of myth/legend, and more... 
This supernatural story collection will make you reconsider everything you thought you knew. At night you'll hover under your covers while looking over your shoulder in the day. Down, down in the depths they fell; bodies in the dark of a liquid hell.
Can you survive all 12?

From the thrilling author of Til Death Do Us Part and The 13: Tales of Illusory comes a second volume of twelve supernatural tales of ghosts, vampires, and things that go bump in the night.
Ayers Creative Concepts  is very excited to announce the publication of The 13: Tales of Macabre by Stephanie Ayers. Her words will jump from the page and haunt you once the lights go out. They will make you look over your shoulder during the day. This collection will make you question the “what if’s” in a whole new way. This second volume in The 13 series releases on Friday, October, 26th, 2018, and there will be a Facebook Halloween Party open to the public October 12-15, 2018. (link to event here).
Stephanie has crafted each one of these hair raising stories with unique characters and plots that will catch you completely off guard. These stories will have you cowering under the covers and glancing over your shoulders before you’re done. You can learn more about Stephanie Ayers and The 13 by following along with the book blog tour which is on her website.
An Excerpt from THE 13
Kay held the box on her lap the entire car ride home. She found herself unable to stop caressing it. The wood warmed underneath her fingertips. By the time they reached their house, she knew every crack and imperfection, not that there were many, on it by heart.

“So where will you put it?” Mike held the door for Kay as they entered her apartment.
“In the only spot it belongs in! Smack center on the mantle.” She moved gracefully and set the box on the shelf under the big TV. She stepped back and admired it. “See? Perfect!”
Mike didn’t have an opinion either way. Her apartment, her jewelry box, her choice. He admitted it looked perfect right where it was. “Will it open?”
Kay shared a smile and a small shrug and tried to lift the lid. It refused to open.
“Aw, darlin, I’m sorry.” Mike put an arm around her shoulders. She shrugged him off.
“It was only a dollar. Probably because she knew it wouldn’t open.”
“Probably why she closed up so fast afterwards, too.”
“That’s a good possibility. It’s still a great conversation piece on the mantel though. We’ve already stood around talking about it longer than any other object in this place.”
“That’s true.” Mike stepped closer and wrapped Kay in an embrace. “I can think of other things to discuss at this moment.” To emphasize his point, he dipped his head and nuzzled her neck.
She stepped away from his embrace. She didn’t know why but she wasn’t in the mood. She laughed to hide the awkwardness, and touched the jewelry box again. “Do you think it will play anyway?”
Mike picked it up and put it down just as quickly, shaking his hand as if he’d been shocked. “Damn!”
Kay laughed again. “What happened?”
“It- it- it bit me.”
Kay smirked. “It bit you? It’s a wooden box, Mike.” She picked it up and shook it in front of his face. “Look, no teeth.”
“I know it has no teeth, but I don’t know how else to explain it.” He examined his hand and held it up. “Look! Explain that, then.”
Kay took his hand. She turned it this way and that way. She opened his palm and flipped his hand over. Her grunt shared all the disgust she felt. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say it’s a rather nice hand. Too bad it’s attached to a brain dead body.”
Mike’s eyes widened. His mouth opened and closed again. His nostrils flared. He pointed to his wrist, “You don’t see that mark?”
She studied his hand again and then dropped it and stepped away. “No, I don’t. There’s nothing there.”
He pointed to the side of his hand where the meat sat ahead of the bone. He could see the bite marks clear as day. They were small, but they were there. “I can’t believe you can’t see them. They are right there.”

Purchase THE 13

Visit Stephanie's Author Page on Amazon

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

My Fav Halloween Recipe and Halloween Story

Orb in graveyard at York Village, Maine

I do paranormal investigations with a group near where I live, and I attended my very first ghost hunt with them a few nights before Halloween. About ten of us visited Old Dunstable Cemetery where some victims of a 1702 Indian massacre are buried. It’s the oldest cemetery in Nashua, dating back from when the land was part of Massachusetts. The earliest burial dates from 1687. Researchers had found the victims’ names, so we were able to locate their gravestones. The only equipment I had at the time were my dowsing rods and a digital camera. While others in the group made their attempts to contact spirits, I stood before a gravestone that read: this Man, with Seven more, that lies in this Grave; was Slew, All in A day, by the Indiens.

Orbs inside the schoolhouse, York Village, Maine

Holding my rods, I asked a few questions: Did you die in the massacre? Were you born here? You can only ask simple yes or no questions and ask the rods to cross for yes and separate for no. I got answers to all my questions. I then stood before another stone reading: Rev. Thomas Weld, Born June 1653, Settled as the first minister of the church in Dunstable Dec. 1685, probably massacred by the Indians while defending the settlement June 7, 1702, age 49. All the while, I felt a strong presence, and immediately began feeling dizzy and lightheaded. I found that this happens quite frequently when I ghost hunt. I’ve never seen a ghost, but have felt presences near me, and always get dizzy when I sense someone is nearby. I took several photos throughout the cemetery, and some came out with brightly colored arcs among the tombstones. I didn’t dare visit that graveyard on Halloween night!


3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, no sugar added


Place everything in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a greased or parchment lined cake pan or a mini scone pan.

Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes.

Optional : When cooled, top with whipped cream 


1 serving = 1/8 of the entire cake

Carbs: 13 gm

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Biographical Romance FOR THE LOVE OF HAWTHORNE is .99 for Kindle This Week

We all read Hawthorne's stories and books THE SCARLET LETTER and THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES in school, but did you learn what made the handsome brooding genius tick, and what haunted him?

Here's a snippet from FOR THE LOVE OF HAWTHORNE:

(Yes, he actually did say Thoreau was 'ugly as sin' - maybe after too much Port, maybe not!)

I joined myself to him heart and spirit, but he still remained enclosed in his shell. It softened, yet I couldn’t hasten its shattering. He turned down invites from our friends—rather, my friends—Margaret Fuller, my revered Ralph Waldo, Elizabeth Hoar who’d filled the Manse with those fragrant bouquets, so I invited them to the Manse instead. When my friends Anna Chase and Sarah Shaw called, Nathaniel emerged from his study, said hello, and retreated back inside. He referred to our constant stream of visitors as “persons who venture within our sacred precincts and who have intruded into the hallowed shade.” This happened constantly, not only when he was in the throes of writing. He veiled himself from others, since he veiled himself from himself, a divine mystery, so to himself.
He seemed most companionable with the affable and witty Henry Thoreau. But after too many glasses of Port he couldn’t resist commentary: “He’s as ugly as sin, long-nosed, queer mouthed, and with uncouth and somewhat rustic, although courteous manners.”
If he’d imbibed any more Port, he’d have forgotten his courteous manners.
Did his seclusion bother me? Of course, being his polar opposite. But such was his nature, and I did not attempt to change him. His being gregarious as I would pose a bigger problem. Better that only one of us be overly sociable. Otherwise we’d hardly see each other.

.99 Worldwide for Kindle This Week