No Men For Old Country: Guest Post by Tim Cagle

Good morning! I've got my cup of coffee. Grab your favorite beverage because I have a fascinating guest blogger today.

TimCagle is the author of Whispers From The Silence, a novel based on his experiences writing songs and his career as a singer/songwriter.

You'll read more about his novel later in the post. Now...

Meet TimCagle

Tim is a practicing trial attorney in the fields of Medical Malpractice, Products Liability, and Personal Injury law. He's also served as co-counsel to other trial lawyers by conducting the cross examination of adverse expert witnesses during trials.

In addition, he was a law professor and is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State of Missouri, before the Federal District Court in Boston, and has been admitted pro hac vice for the trial of cases in the State of New Hampshire, the State of Rhode Island, and before the Federal District Court in the State of New Jersey. (Bachelor of Arts Degree from Kansas State College and a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts.)

Photo Courtesy of Tim Cagle
In addition to his many professional memberships in the legal arena, he is also a member of Nashville Songwriters Association, American Legion--he was a First Lieutenant in the U. S. Army, assigned to Military Intelligence--Boston Pacemaker Club, and Sigma Chi Alumni Association.

Tim has led a varied and interesting life. He's played college football, been an assistant high school football coach, and has written over 350 songs. He's played professionally in groups and as a single performer and spent time in Nashville as a songwriter.

His biggest regret in life is that he did not spend more time concentrating on guitar riffs, lyrical hooks and finger-popping melodies, and less time learning about when to blitz if the guards pull on third and long, blistering cross-examination techniques and expert witness fee schedules.

Find Tim Cagle Online

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * LinkedIn.

No Men For Old Country
by Tim Cagle

The question I get asked most often is, “Why would a medical malpractice lawyer from the Boston area write a novel about two country songwriters from Texas?”

The answer is simple. Although these 2 activities are vastly diverse, they have one major thing in common. Words are what matter most for each.

I’ve been writing country songs for decades. I’m sorry I cannot show you unbound volumes of Tim Cagle hits, as many of them exist only in my mind. That’s why I did the next best thing. I wrote a book about the time I closed down my law practice when I was in my early 30’s and left for Nashville.
Source: stock.tookapic.com - CC0

My big break never broke, and I discovered I would always be a songwriter trapped in a lawyer’s body.

The other question I am most asked is, why country?

The first reason is because the melodies are as stimulating as an ice-cold longneck, while the lyrics can be as soothing as comfort food.

What Makes a Hit Record

Songwriting legend Harlan Howard once said the secret to a great country song is, “Three chords and the truth.”

Finding those chords can be easy. Truth, on the other hand, is a bit more elusive. What’s true is often subject to interpretation.

I grew up in the 50’s when rock and roll started. Clergy denounced it and parents banned it, making it the perfect recipe for juvenile rebellion. When Elvis appeared, I wanted a guitar like most kids wanted a puppy.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough money for food, let alone a luxury like a musical instrument. I found a poker game during my sophomore year in high school, won 5 straight pots and made enough cash to get a cheap acoustic. I also learned money won was twice as sweet as money earned.

Black Acoustic Guitar: Attribution at End of Post
In college, rock music was spreading like a prairie fire until Lyndon Johnson escalated the troop levels in Viet Nam.

That’s when the music grew dirty and ugly, as people vowed to put a stop to that unholy war.

Country music was almost universally hated at the time. Most lyrics were still mourning crop failures and binge drinking, while many artists sounded like they had sinus infections.

The Day The Music Died?

Then, rock and roll died, but people refused to let go. Today, we old rockers are listening to country songs that could be a clone for rock’s reincarnation. I challenge you to listen to the mega-hit “Ain’t Goin’ Down Till The Sun Comes Up”, and try not to imagine the sounds of Chuck Berry, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival or Don Felder and Joe Walsh of The Eagles. They lit the pathway for rock and roll; Garth Brooks is now just a surrogate.

The second reason I love country is personal. My father died a few weeks before I was born, and I grew up as a poor kid. When I was 15, the only summer job I could find was in a town an hour away. I stayed in a dumpy old hotel with a group of elderly residents, in a run-down room with a pull-chain light and a bare, unshaded light bulb.

All I had for entertainment was a cheap transistor radio my girlfriend had given me. I had no car, no friends and no outlets.
Photo: Min An, Attribution at end of post

After twelve-hour workdays, I spent nights alone in my room listening to the only station I could find, one that played country songs.

It was the first time sad lyrics triggered my emotions, and my throat grew tight and parched as I listened.
When the music finished, my sorrow felt purged.

Country Music Can Be Cathartic

That October, my grandmother died. It was my first struggle with death, but I refused to cry. As I sat in church, an image appeared of that stark hotel room and a string of poignant songs began playing in my mind.

After the funeral, I broke down in the car and bit my bottom lip to stay strong, but hot bitter tears kept flowing like raindrops trickling down a windowpane.

When the car stopped, I jumped out and vowed no one would ever see me cry again. Then, I went on the attack, shouting that country songs were harsh and cruel, before music whispered in my ear for the first time. It told me to write my own lyrics so I could cry inside.

That hotel room created my epiphany into how song lyrics can paint a portrait. That’s why my favorite lyric is from Gretchen Peters, in her song about domestic abuse, Independence Day. A wife pretends her abuser has quit drinking, yet her 8-year-old daughter points out proof to the contrary could be found on her cheek. It’s hard to imagine anyone who would not be moved by that image.

Photo Courtesy of Tim Cagle
Giving Back

My years as a musician have helped me give something back, now that I teach guitar and songwriting to my neighbor’s teenage daughters. Taylor Swift is their favorite singer, while they refer to my repertoire as “Civil War campfire songs.”

My theory about the power of words blossomed when I taught them a three-part harmony version, which blended the lyrics from Taylor’s Stay, Stay, Stay, with those of Maurice Williams, whose biggest 50’s hit was called Stay, and inspired covers by the Four Seasons and Jackson Browne.

Teaching them has also convinced me this is what songwriter Lori McKenna meant when she wrote a Grammy-winning hit for Tim McGraw called Humble and Kind, all about helping who’s next in line.

That’s why I have found whether I’m acting as a songwriter, a lawyer, or just a guy, words are what matter most. To paraphrase what Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb of the BeeGees once told us in their mega-hit Words, words are the only thing we have that can take our hearts away.

Whispers From The Silence by Tim Cagle

J. W. Steele’s lifelong dream is to be a songwriter. Once the quarterback for the New England Patriots, he was stuck in a marriage he described as 6 years confined to a Turkish prison with occasional time off to go to small appliance sales with the warden, until she left him.

After moving to Nashville, he finds his soul mate in former attorney Angela Trappani, called Trapp. They fall in love, personally and professionally, and call their act Steele Trapp Mind. They write songs by waiting for the silence to whisper the lyrics.

The sky’s the limit until tragedy strikes. Trapp's father is a victim of securities fraud, loses everything and suffers a stroke. Although she has quit practicing law, Trapp moves back to Houston to take over his practice. Once there, she and J. W. become estranged after she rekindles a past romantic relationship.

J. W. fights to win her back but nothing works. That’s when he grabs his Martin guitar and pleads with music for help. The silence starts to whisper.

Finally, he knows exactly what to do…

Add Whispers from the Silence by Tim Cagle to Your Library

You'll find Tim's first novel in print and ebook at Amazon.

Tim's second novel, Unexpected Enemy (Ultimate Revenge), is now available also.

Graphic Images

Black Acoustic Guitar Photo from Picjumbo.com via http://www/Pexels.com/photo/black-acoustic-cutaway-guitar-on-tree-225230/

Man in Black Dress Shirt... Photo by Min An from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-black-dress-shirt-with-blue-denim-shirt-sitting-on-black-concrete-bench-near-green-plants-720362/

Takeaway Truth

Looking for a good book? Try Whispers from the Silence by Tim Cagle.

Cruising Through the Holidays

It snowed in Houston last week so I'm checking out of the cold and into the Caribbean.

That's right, Darling Hubby and I are taking a cruise.

I had planned to have several posts lined up, but you know what they say about plans.


Be sure and check out Tim Cagle's post on the 13th.

Santa's Book Shop will be December 22, and Boxing Day will be December 26 so mark your calendars now and spread the word. These annual events are huge with lots of authors, lots of books, and lots of bargains.

The house sitter just showed up and Hubby is standing behind me saying, "Wrap it up." So I'll see you in a few days.

Takeaway Truth

I'll be back before you know it with 2 fabulous Holiday Events.

Book Birthday: Nobody's Cinderella



Today is the Book Birthday for Nobody's Cinderella.

The Cinderella theme is one of the most popular in genre fiction. After all, the right pair of shoes can change your life. Just ask Cinderella.

Although that may not be a strong enough rationalization for buying a pair of high heels that probably cost more than my first car, I do wonder if the whole Cinderella/Glass Slipper thing is responsible for my shoe addiction.

The Cinderella story was my favorite fairy tale when I was a kid, and I've probably seen every big screen adaptation of the myth.

Ever After starring gorgeous Dougray Scott and Drew Barrymore is my favorite.

The Cinderella Myth

Did you know that the Cinderella myth is still one of the most popular folk tales worldwide? You'll find it in not only European countries but also in India, Vietnam, and Africa. In truth, it crosses all cultural lines. There are hundreds of folk tale versions of the Cinderella story in just about every culture.

One of the earliest recorded versions comes from China. According to the Chinese story, the heroine doesn't have a fairy godmother, but a magical fish who helps her. However, a golden shoe leads a prince to her, and they marry. Some sources say the story actually originated in Greece even earlier.

Nearly 1200 years later, Cinderella is still having her story told by countless authors – including me. Don't let the title , Nobody's Cinderella, fool you. 
Most Cinderella stories don't show Cindy and her prince living happily ever after, but I do. You'll see Darcy and Chase again in Cinderella Blue, (Book 2 of San Antone Two-Step), because I like to see love validated. Isn't that what a sequel is for? Book 2 stars Darcy's brother Bruce. You'll meet him in Nobody's Cinderella, and he'll meet his match in Cinderella Blue.

My Cinderella Titled Stories

Nobody's Cinderella is the first book in the San Antone Two-Step Series.

 Heroine Darcy wishes on a Christmas star. She wants her prince—Chase Whitaker, her boss—to want her. Unfortunately, Chase doesn't know she's alive—outside of the office, that is. She's not even a blip on his radar.

Darcy's fairy godmother—her scheming BFF—gives Darcy a makeover, but instead of a pair of glass slippers, Darcy slips into a new attitude. But she should have been careful what she wished for!

Of course, the cover of Nobody's Cinderella features pretty shoes. After all, what is Cinderella without a pair of knock 'em dead shoes?

In Cinderella Blue, Book 2 of San Antone Two-Step, Andie wears her heels when she needs to boost her personal power.

She too finds her Prince Charming—even though she's not looking for one, doesn't want one, and can't figure out to do with him when she finds him.

In Cinderella Blue, these 2 cops who seem total opposites are actually 2 kindred spirits. Many readers label this romantic comedy as laugh-out loud.

Takeaway Truth

Do you like the Cinderella myth? What's your favorite Cinderella portrayal?

How do you like to see it re-imagined?

Unfortunately, I can't make either of these Cinderella romances free today.

But, you can download a free romance short story LuvU4Ever. Since it's set at Christmas, it's perfect for a short holiday read.

Small Town Saturday with Constance Bretes

If you're fascinated by small town life and love to read about it--or write about it--Small Town Saturday is for you.

Today on Small Town Saturday, my guest is Constance Bretes, author of Blue As Sapphires.

In Her Own Words: Constance Bretes

I started writing contemporary romance and contemporary romantic suspense 15 years ago. After multiple rejections, I got my first contract for Delayed Justice, which was released in 2014. I live in the small town of Basin, Montana, with a population of 250 people, and a lot of pets.

Three feline furballs own me and my husband, and a dog that lives next door named Sara thinks she also lives part-time with the Bretes family.

I love the mountains that surround my home, I love basket weaving, jewelry making, and just visiting all the folks in the small community we live in.

Visit Constance Bretes Online

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Email Constance: bretesc at gmail.com

Why A Small Town Setting In Blue As Sapphires
 by Constance Bretes

I have a love for sapphires and gold digging. We’ve gone to Philipsburg, Montana, on many occasions to do hunt for sapphires and dig for gold.

Philipsburg is a real small town just a little bigger--population of 970--than my town of Basin.

In Blue As Sapphires, I used a stand-in for the real town and called the town I created Frankenburg.

In larger towns or cities, it seems harder and more unlikely that old friends could reunite. The heroine in this story came back to the town she grew up in to hide and escape. However, no matter how hard she tried to be isolated and be by herself, the Sheriff and her old friends refuse to let her be by isolated.

Typical Small Town in U.S.A.
Almost all my books are located in small towns, some are real, some I’ve used a stand-in name for a town.

I’ve got several works in progress where I use the town I live in--Basin--which I've changed to Mason for my purposes, and Boulder, where I changed the town name to Rocky River.

One of the best things about small town life is the closeness everyone feels for others, the protectiveness, and always the willingness to help your neighbor.

I also like positive gossip. I hate negative gossip. In other words, I love to hear about good things in people or good things that happen to people, but I walk away when someone starts badmouthing.

If you’re a visitor to Montana, make Philipsburg one of your stopovers. They have a huge candy store, an opera house, and lots of activities in the summer which I’ve included in my book, Blue As Sapphires.

There’s a mountain nearby, called Gem Mountain, where the owners go into the mountain and dig up dirt and bring it to a base, where visitors can shift through for sapphires, or buy a bucket or two and take with them.

What's next for me? I’ve got 6 + books in various stages of edits, and critiques. I am currently working on a story called Roadside Love, situated in another small town in Wyoming. I hope to be able to have at least 2 more books released by the end of 2018.

Blue As Sapphires by Constance Bretes

Marissa's home was her haven--until Riley invaded her space.

Escaping from her abusive ex-husband, Marissa Simpson returns to her hometown to start over. She spends her days working at the local jewelry store, and the rest of her time is dedicated to mining along Red Rock River, searching for precious gems.

Marissa has no intention of getting involved with another man, or with the community she left behind all those years ago. That is until Riley McCade shows up.

Riley is the Sheriff of Quartz County. He loves his community and goes out of his way to protect and serve. When he meets Marissa, he's bound and determined to get to know her even though she insists she's not interested.

The more Riley learns about Marissa's past, the more he concludes that she may be in danger. When her ex-husband shows up, can Riley protect her? And can he earn her love in the process?

Add Blue As Sapphires to Your Library

Amazon * B&N * Kobo *

Takeaway Truth

I don't know about you, but I'd love to visit Montana and try my luck at Gem Mountain. If you can't take off for Big Sky Country, grab Connie's book and take a vacation between the book covers. Grab a copy of Blue As Sapphires today.

Audio Book Party Starts Today

Today is the day for Thrill Me, an audio books party, that continues through tomorrow too. Lots of authors (see the list below) to chat with and lots of prizes.

Looking for a thrill this chilly winter night? My author friends have joined forces with me to bring you amazing Thriller, Mystery and Suspense stories as well as Horror tales and Romance too! 
 
Come to Thrill Me today and tomorrow. You just might win some great prizes.

Click Thrill Me and then click Going. I'd love to see you there.








The Determined You





Takeaway Truth

Lots of authors lots of audio books mean lots of fun. Hope to see you there.

Enter Secret Santa Romance Giveaway

Wow, the events and prizes just keep coming. In the Secret Santa Romance Giveaway, you just might be one of the lucky winners to get a visit from your author Secret Santas!

The Secret Santa Romance Giveaway runs from December 6-26. So...have you been naughty or nice this year? Fortunately, Secret Santa is good with both, and we have the gifts to prove it.

Enter the Secret Santa Romance Giveaway from December 6 through 26, and you’ll be able to download free gift books from our Santas.

You could also be one of 7 lucky winners to take home Kindles and ebooks which are up for grabs!

Our ebook prize packs even allow you to choose the books YOU want to win.

Plus, shop the Secret Santa Book Fair for your next favorite read and enter our Bonus Giveaway. (No purchase necessary)


Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Now!



Takeaway Truth

So many wonderful events. I hope you can take advantage of the generosity of all these authors. Prizes and free books await!

Snowflakes & Christmas Kisses Box Set


My friends and I have created another holiday romance collection just for you romantics out there.

Snowflakes & Christmas Kisses

Do you love cuddle-up romances with “Happy Ever After” endings… ones that brighten your days and delight your romantic soul?

If you do, romp through the Christmas season with fascinating tales brought to you by 7 award-winning, NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors.

We’ve blended suspense tales with contemporary themes and added a mystery to make this collection the best choice this Christmas. Eight novels for only 99¢ cents!

If you're not convinced yet, check out the Snowflakes & Christmas Kisses video!

Authors and Titles

Mimi Barbour ~ Special Agent Finnegan
If love for his father makes a man weak - what happens when he finds his woman?

Mona Risk ~ Husband for a Week
A husband for a week, or a love forever?

Dani Haviland ~ A Stingray Christmas
Love had nothing to do with it – at first.

Traci Hall ~ Holiday by the Sea
The last thing Teagan needs is a music teacher tempting her to stay beyond the holiday.

Suzanne Jenkins ~ Christmas in Greektown
Matters of the heart take a backseat to a murder investigation on Belle Isle.

Nancy Radke ~ A Tennessee Christmas
Good memories are the diamonds of your mind.

Nancy Radke ~ A Christmas Gift For Baby
A baby reunites a family.

Joan Reeves ~ Just One Look
Their sexy comedy of errors courtship generates enough sizzle to turn a blue norther into a heat wave!

Takeaway Truth

What are you waiting for? Grab this collection fast--available only at Amazon--so you'll have something entertaining to do when you get home from work and Christmas shopping.

Super Cute & Easy Holiday Crafts

I've been watching a lot of Holiday Decorating Videos on YouTube. I'm always amazed at what can be found on there.

The decorating videos are from the expensive to the el cheapo. Here are a few I plan to try. Of course, they're all easy and inexpensive and so adorable.

1. Lighted Christmas Picture. The applications for this idea are endless!

2. Sock Snowmen. So cute!

3. Sock Penguin. If you like adorable penguins, you'll love this.

4. Christmas Garland. A show stopper.

5. Dancing Lights Faux Candle Ornament

Takeaway Truth

Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it! Christmas cheer isn't just for kids.

A Christmas She'll Remember Box Set

Have you been hearing those ominous announcements: "Only 22 shopping days left to Christmas?" Yikes, I could do without those countdowns.

In fact, I'd rather kick back and relax with a good book. Fortunately, authors make it easy and inexpensive to do that during the holidays.

A prime example is A Christmas She'll Remember Romance Collection published by my friends and me.

With this collection you get 7
full-length holiday romance novels by NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors.

A Christmas She'll Remember Romance Collection is only 99¢ to buy. Or, read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

More About A Christmas She'll Remember

7 Memorable Christmas Romances from 7 NYT & USA Today Bestselling Authors!

Reminiscences of special gifts and favorite songs, old friends and heart-warming occasions keep most women happy over the Christmas holidays. But what really lights their hearts are the memories of a special romance.

In these compelling tales shared with you by NYT & USA Today best-selling authors you’ll be thrilled to the core when reading their passionate love stories - 7 times over. Each story shares with you...A Christmas She'll Remember.

Loveable Christmas Angel by Mimi Barbour
Aloha! Sweet romance, lovable angel, and a prickly little boy’s Christmas wish!
"a warm and touching story just right for the holiday season. Enjoy!"—Amazon Reviewer

Crimson Holiday by Patricia Rosemoor
Will this be the Christmas of her daydreams or of her nightmares?
"a great Christmas story that is laced with suspense and romance"—Amazon Reviewer

Nobody's Cinderella by Joan Reeves
This Christmas Cinderella should be careful what she wishes for!
"This was a fun story and I highly recommend it. I'm a real fan of Ms. Reeves writing."—Caroline Clemmons

Two Hearts Find Christmas (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 5) by Tamara Ferguson
Will two lonely hearts find Christmas when love’s magic works its spell?
"Wow. Just wow! How’s that for a review? Author Tamara Ferguson has done an absolutely wonderful job in creating characters that her readers will relate to, care about"—Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite

The Christmas Sparkle Test by Alicia Street
Star-crossed sweethearts get a second chance, but will the magic of Christmas be enough to rekindle their love despite the secrets of the past?
"Warmed my heart and had me believing in the magic of Christmas again!"—Reader review

One to Keep by Ev Bishop

Can love tempt them to commit? Maybe. If they’re brave enough . . .
"This is the perfect cosy, fireside read for a winter's night--then you can enjoy it all over again next winter, because this book is 'one to keep'"—Amazon Reviewer

Christmas Surprise: Santa's Boots Under Her Bed by Stephanie Queen
Sometimes a surprise can change your life. Margo & George are about to find out this Christmas how true that is...
“A refreshing and fun romance story that swept my off my feet.”—I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read

Here's a cute video trailer for this collection. I hope you'll like it. Pass it on to your friends.

Takeaway Truth

A Christmas She'll Remember is the Romance Collection YOU will remember.

Adina's Teacher Christmas Candy

During the first year that my younger daughter taught, she made these candies to give as presents to the other teachers, some parents, and some of her students.

I don't know where she found the recipe--if there actually is a recipe. These are so easy to make that you really don't need a recipe.

No candy thermometers, baking, or proofing required.

No complicated equipment or techniques. No hours in the kitchen.

In fact, this should be called Candy-Making for Dummies because it's so easy and fast to make these delicious little chunks of goodness.

Ingredients

1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of butterscotch chips
1 cup of other chips -- Choose according to your taste: milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or peanut butter. Or put in another cup of the semi-sweets.

Mix-Ins

Nuts of your choice. I always use pecans but peanuts, almonds, etc. work well.
Pretzel sticks broken in pieces.
Raisins, dried cranberries, etc.

Process

In a microwave safe bowl, combine all chips. You'll melt these in your microwave. Since microwaves vary, start with 1 minute. Remove bowl and stir. If not melted completely, do it for another 15 seconds. Remove, stir. Repeat process. Don't microwave longer than 15 seconds at a time because chocolate heats up fast and can scorch.

When melted, stir till smooth. At this point, divide the melted chocolate if you plan on mixing in different ingredients--nuts in one batch, pretzels in the other, etc.

Combine the mix-ins then drop by a teaspoon onto parchment paper. Let cool. If your kitchen is fairly cool, these will set up quickly. If not, move to fridge to chill completely.

To give as a gift, place a paper lace doily in a holiday tin and fill with candies.

Takeaway Truth

These candies are delicious and very addicted so watch yourself! *g*

Merry Texas Christmas You All!

Whoopee! It's December 1 so let me be the first to say, "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I've got a Pandora station of Christmas music playing as I cook breakfast.

Yes, today calls for a country breakfast of Eggs Over Medium, sausage patties (lean of course), gravy, and toasted homemade bread.

I'm filled with holiday spirit. Now the task is to make that last. *g*

Takeaway Truth

Wishing you a great December!