Root Beer & Groot Beer Float, killing the narrator - A revised love scene, how my characters tal

On August 6, It’s National Root Beer Float Day!

Float a scoop of vanilla ice cream in an ice cold mug of frothy root beer. This dessert drink is also known as the “Black Cow.” The root beer float got its start in Colorado in a mining camp. Frank J. Wisner of Cripple Creek, Colorado, gets the credit for inventing the “Black Cow” way back in August of 1893.

One night Wisner, owner of the Cripple Creek Cow Mountain Gold Mining Company, was staring out the window and thinking about the line of soda waters he was producing for the citizens of Cripple Creek when he came upon an idea. The full moon that night shined on the snow-capped Cow Mountain and reminded him of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. He hurried back to his bar and scooped a spoonful of ice cream into the children’s favorite flavor of soda, Myers Avenue Red Root Beer.

After trying, he liked it and served it the very next day. It was an immediate hit. Wisner named the new creation, “Black Cow Mountain” but the local children shortened the name to “Black Cow”.

Since its inception, thousands of root beer floats have been enjoyed around the country each day.

HOW TO OBSERVE Gather up some root beer and ice cream and mix up the perfect root beer float. Enjoy a root beer float over lunch or dinner at your favorite restaurant.

Use #RootBeerFloatDay to post on social media and spread the word. For a great recipe there's the basic. but here is a site that has recipes for 27 variations on a theme:


What You’ll Need:

  • Candy Melts

  • Sprinkles, Mini Chocolate Chips, and any other goodies

  • Root beer

  • Vanilla ice cream

  • Wood Straws

  • Pretzel Rods

How to Make Groot Beer Floats:

The unicorn trend really took dessert to a whole new level. We could make a blended root beer float & call it good. But that’s waaaay less fun than a glass that’s rimmed with a second dessert.

To start, melt chocolate candy melts according to package directions. Once melted, dip rim of glass into the chocolate to coat. Add sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, and other other treats you’ve collected. No, you’re not The Collector. Let the chocolate set.

Next, you’ll blend root beer and vanilla ice cream for your float. We used 1 cup of root beer and 2 scoops of ice cream for each shake.

Pour your blended root beer float into the prepared glass. Top with whipped cream and any remaining sprinkles. To represent Groot’s tree like identity, we added a wood-themed paper straw (seriously so cute) & a pretzel rod.

Salty and sweet are as great of a combination as tree and raccoon, right?

When I started to write for publication, I wrote in the narrative third omniscient style I had loved as a young reader of Verne and Melville. I also loved my Classics Illustrated Comic Books. After I self-published Voices in Crystal I received glowing reviews. Readers generally loved the story and the characters but then the critical reviews stated that there were serious amounts of typos and punctuation errors. I needed an editor. That winter (2014) I joined a local Writer's Group: Eastside Media. I was in for a shock. There were other types of errors. I quickly learned that my verbose and descriptive often purple prose might have been sapping the energy of some of my readers...or worse yet distracting and disengaging them. Many friends told me that they were putting the book down because it was "too hard".

When I analyzed the things I was told, I realized it was my narrator's fault. A narrator is, in my opinion, a shadowy ghost that stands between the reader and the action, interpreting the words and acts of the characters for the reader.


I suddenly was swept back to 1974 and a screening of the original "Rocky Horror Picture Show" narrated expertly by Actor Charles Gray to the drunken audience shouts of "He has no neck" and "F*ck that chin!"

Charles Gray (and his narration) kept us from being actively engaged with Brad, Janet, Frank, Rocky and the rest of the cast and his narration even included instructions for doing the "Time Warp" He was there rto insure we had the proper interpretation of the tale. Do we need narrators? My though on this is that we don't. Readers in 2018 are a different and busy breed. We read ebooks and listen to audiobooks while pursuing out daily tasks. Television has existed for 70+ years and we've had movies, radio and comics for longer. We have the internet to constantly pull us away from reading time. We no longer have the luxury of time to spend uninterrupted hours of reading by a blazing fire and getting lost in a literary landscape.

We need to be part of the action - to hear our character's speak about it or telepathically communicate their thoughts as they sort out a problem. The classic problem I saw was one of a cat burglar gazing at a target building and talking about it's Frank Lloyd Wright appearance with odd overhangs and angles. As an Art Historian I would immediately visualize Falling Waters in the Chicago Area.

But would the character do that? If they were a professor of architecture turned thief they might say. "Good Old Frank Lloyd...scaling problem though." More likely Frank Lloyd would not be mentioned. The thief would likely think "Which of the windows gets me in? Better get started and go slow before I'm seen." My own writing expounded on life, the gods and the myths of ancient times sandwiched in the progress of the story. Critical reviewers said it slowed the pace with a lot of History and Art that didn't move the story or the characters. I had already removed most of the narrator from the later works. After I finished Book 4 (releasing withing the month or two ) I began a revision (4 years later) of the Voices in Crystal By the way, there will be a new cover but hopefully something that speaks to the genre of historical fantasy. It will still be blue, but perhaps there will be a shadowy figure gazing at an object in the back.

What I'm presenting as an example of newer non-narrated version is the beginning of an erotic scene between Marai and often rough and tough ex-thief Ariennu of Tyre.

The original was seen through the character Naibe's eyes (and her psychic ability) after she sees Ari, who never cries returning separately from Marai red-eyed and visibly shaken. Is Naibe needed there?


Ariennu in the newer version is resting with Marai, whom she always wanted to bed. She's gotten her wish, but the spiritual impact and soul-baring nature of the act due to the presence of the Children of Stone was something she hadn't expected. There is slight narration, but it's only there to set the Point of View

Love: What it is (first part) (ADULT CONTENT)

“Damn You, Marai. Damn you beyond the deepest pit…you have no right…” Ariennu sobbed in the big man’s arms. The memories of stopped time that had lengthened a mere hour into several layered hours of pleasure flooded her.

You know I’ve wanted you from the moment I fell on your feet when you saw us in the wilderness, no, before--when I watched you going up against N’Ahab and them like the light of heaven. Do you remember that day? She heard herself saying as they had begun to caress and kiss with maddening hunger. Goddess you were a beauty and I saw you come out of the water naked; everything tall powerful … all a woman could want of a man and more. I was so sick, but I wanted to do anything to get my piece of you, even if the shock of it would end my wretched self…

Shh… Ari… You don’t have to tell me this, he had whispered gently into that place beneath her ear. I already know it. he tapped his brow. Just enjoy us.

She sat calmly astride him, then frowned as his hands fit gently on her hips, denying her at first, then smiling, absent of anything other than tenderness as he entered her, touched her hips and buttocks again and moved them slowly, warming her and increasing her pleasure to the point of instant screaming.

No. Oh no, too soon. Her eyes closed and head bowed to his chest as if all the energy had suddenly rushed from her. “What did you…bastard! Don’t you work my joy with a spell. It’s wrong! I can get there just fine without it unless you think you’re going to fire off like a young boy.” she hissed, already desperate for more of the thunder that generally came at the end of lovemaking after a few upward vaults of increasing pleasure.

No one is that good, she gasped, her heart pounding frantically. Marai touched her lips with his fingertips, caressing them gently; hushing her.

I won’t let you work me, either. he tenderly whispered into her thoughts. This isn’t just another game in the alley, no random bachelor’s tent.

“If you had a problem with what I like, you should have come to me sooner and helped me take the edge off,” she felt his lips touch her eyes and the stone in her brow.

“I didn’t have a problem. I just wanted it to mean something more than a quick guzzle of drink or a knot in your sash.

”Men don’t…" she had started to say but the words never found her mouth. She had wanted to say men don’t care about anything but the joy of the moment or all that builds up to it…and that it needn’t take long, but here was Marai, nurturing her.

He was no ordinary man.

She remembered the way he pecked at her lower lip as they began, took in her breathing and then cooled her with his own sigh.

Somewhere in the middle of all the joy she realized this shared passion wasn’t as torrid or numbing as she had expected. Being with Marai was a gentle act, but it still left her wild-eyed and almost horrified at her own reaction. It wasn’t sex. It was something she’d never felt before: love.

Comfort. She thought. I trust this man, entirely…a trick. I never trusted…Ariennu raised her hands to claw at his face and to somehow destroy the illusion, but her fingers softened at the last moment. She wanted to screech curses at him for bringing her so much pleasure, but the words emerged as laughter and those dissolved into sobs of trembling ecstasy.

Respect. I don’t deserve it, her thoughts had cried out at one point.

But you do, lady, you do, his mouth had found hers again. Go on, do whatever you want. Laugh or cry, but don’t keep secrets anymore; don’t hide your heart.

Ariennu remembered thinking she had lived far too long to let any man into her heart. She learned early that sex, though a delight for her, was best used as a tool to get a good meal, some strong drink, or a soft bed, and a chance to take advantage of her situation.

Must be the way it’s intended because the Children gave me a better skill at keeping secrets. Now I can take my pleasure without a man thinking he owns me. I can make him forget he ever knew me. It’s better that way. Whenever I’ve been memorable, men have always tried to claim me.

Her lips trembled. She recalled how weak and yet emboldened she felt; how she ached to know the reason for that sensation. Was it created by the calm silver blue light that colored over his jet black eyes? He stilled her, then asked:

“Did you name him?”

“Who?” she paused, “Name who?” She sobered, sensing the forbidden nature of the question.

“Your son. The first one.” He paused in his caress and sat with her, stroking her hair as if he knew her reaction would be a bad one.

“Stop it!” She had frozen, all pleasure fleeing. “Don’t you dare ask me that! Don’t…” She pushed away from him and would have quit him, but the conflict in her heart wouldn’t allow it.

I’m sorry, sweet woman. He had shut his eyes and sighed into her mouth, followed by a caress and gentle gliding. He’s still with you, even now, because you always wondered what became of him, didn’t you? And what happened when you bore him is why you started running, isn’t it? his thoughts breathed through her, explaining to her that he already knew and really didn’t blame her. She hadn’t cared. Her head bowed in a storm of protest. She didn’t want to remember even if it was true.

“As bad as Naibe pulling secrets out of Bone Woman, you miserable bastard! Did you think it would help? Did you think it would make the sex better? Get away…” Ari remembered she had struggled but he had held her on his chest until she had calmed and he had infused her with much more pleasant thoughts.

“Shh.” He assured her. “It hurts. I know it hurts, but you pretend it doesn’t. You close his very existence up in a box and hide it as if he never lived or lived unwanted. Tell me. I really do want to hear it from you and not the link between our Child Stones.” his lips had found hers. As she struggled, he bowed his head to her nipples and caressed them with his tongue, leaving her silently cursing the desperation that filled her again.

“Fine. Little Bump. That’s the only thing I ever called him.” She sulked, but slowly began to relax in his arms. “Oh Marai, you’re killing me…Please don’t make me remember.” She rolled backward and lay by his side, her leg wrapping over his hip.

“I was so young and deaf; alone and hungry -- easy prey. A man named Sam-eron found me in the street stealing dried fish and brought me into his house as a concubine. It was his child. He had riches and fine things.” Ari’s voice drifted as the pleasure seized her again. “Can’t talk…goddess, Marai…”

“Then remembering is all you need to do. And freeing your heart.”

And she had easily freed her thoughts to sooth the hunger that blossomed in unheard of places. In the background she saw the bitter memories once more and then released them in favor of the bliss he offered to take its place.

A son. The man lost his wealth as I carried the child. Sam-eron’s wife said it was a curse and to pass the boy through the flame…snatch him from me in the night and do it. A serving girl warned me, and I got up out of bed with him and ran, bleeding and weak as I was. A woman nearby whose own boy had just died, was grateful to nurse another. The gold from it was good. Wanted to check on him…find out what name they gave him for a while…then life got in the way and I drifted. I didn’t want more children after, but I still had four more: two boys and two girls. I was still moving fast and sold every one of places. When I moved around to the northern islands of the Green Sea I found that “heart seeds” kept a child from forming, so after that there were no more. I never needed to even think about it, until you made me remember. For that, I should curse you.

“I understand, sweet lady...” Marai whispered, “and I know that’s where you think your heart grew hard. No woman should have to make that choice. No man should either. And I feel it when you touch me that what you do isn’t about taking pleasure at all, but replacing the love that was torn from you. It was from those little ones that had to be let go...” he whispered. “But your heart never was that hard...I already knew you were the one who helped my sister Houra get away. I recognized you.” His smile had warmed her soul.

Ariennu nodded, still misty, because although she thought he would have guessed that about her through their stones, she had never mentioned it.

A question I'm often asked is about character language. By education I am an Art Historian. That's a hybrid between a Social Anthropologist, Archaeologist and Historian based on artifacts and writing ancient people left. Research is my best friend and in the 21st century Google became an even better friend.

In Children of Stone my characters would have spoken any number of extinct languages. The Rosetta Stone never translated ancient Egyptian text into English. What we think of the speech people used is merely conjecture. Sounds and English letters were assigned to various recurring characters and combined with what we know of Arabic and Coptic writings and then run through Greek. I haven't studied it that deeply. I do recall that DJ was pronounced D or J as dg is in "bridge". Another factoid is that there were no vowels represented in characters. So is the god Re as in Ray or Ra? Names and entire texts could be read backward and forward. Hordjedtef is often seen as Dedephor. There were given names and event names (like confirmation names) so I have King Menkaure going by the familiar name Kha-ket among friends and family members. The word Pharaoh wasn't used; neither was queen. Sister might mean sweetheart or an actual sister or half-sister. In books 2-4 there is a glossary and pronunciation guide. It's purely speculative. I'll also email it to anyone who has purchased Book 1 (It will be in the revision) A final note. In some fantasy writing I've seen character struggle with a different sort of language, heavy on formality and structure. My characters are poor and earthy. They curse and use vulgar speech. The educated characters might use more wit and sarcasm. For often foul-mouthed Ariennu, I looked up Sumerian and ancient Hebrew slang terms. That was certainly fun. Hope you enjoy when you read and get a feeling of how things were!

The latest author I'd like to present is Paul White. Next week he presents an excerpt from one of his works.

What made you want to become a writer?

It goes back as I can recall. I loved the malleability of words, by the age of nine or ten I was

writing basic poetry and playing with words.

Tell us your book’s genre?

My latest book is Dark Words a combination of Dark stories and Darker poetry.

We all have downs, those dark moments of our lives, the ones where all you want to do is sit alone in an unlit room and listen to sad songs. Well, Dark Words is the book which tackles all those feelings you have during those times... and more. It delves deeper into your soul, stirring the feelings you have locked away and denied, even to yourself. I will also say it speaks of things such as self-harm and therefore I will give a trigger warning.

Tell us about your book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)



Paperback ONLY & exclusive to Amazon.

How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?

One must read for a whole multitude of reasons; to learn how to form a premise and manage plot, to see what style of grammar and punctuation is currentin your genre, even in the books aimed at your target market, i.e.your country. (style varies greatly from place to place.) Of course, one should also read for pure enjoyment and escapism, after all that is what fiction is all about.

Did the Bible or other spiritual works have anything to do with your idea for this book?

No, not in this case. This book is all about emotion and inner feelings. I am certain some people reading Dark Words may feel a religious connection with some of the content. But this was written without consideration of external spiritual entities.

Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?

There is light at the end of the tunnel, which is not as long or as lonely as it may seem. You are not alone.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?

I love it all. It's an exciting challenge to wrestle with.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.

Alone and dead quiet. I do not like interruptions it disturbs my flow. Although I constantly make notes anywhere and everywhere regardless.

What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?

A hot mug of tea or coffee. Later in the night, a small glass of some alcoholic beverage may

occasionally appear.

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF

it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.

I think it was my first novel, . I was excited but unsure of my ability. It was that self-doubt which I needed to fight most. I did okay. But 'The Abduction of Rupert DeVille' has undergone three edits over the years (until it is as polished as it should have been to begin with), as I improved as a writer.

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?

My wife. She encouraged me to write and publish my first book. She is still my most stalwart supporter.

How do you market your book?

Lots of hard work and imagination. I create my own promotional artwork and video trailers. I created CQI Magazine and recently founded Electric Eclectic books,(it's a bit like a literary Tinder for readers and authors), they are promotional tools for authors. I created them because they did not exist and I knew they would help me, and others, achieve readership.



Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.

Yes, several people have contacted me. As it happens, one has just (yesterday) bought a copy of Dark Words. She first bought one of my early books way back in 2013. We have spoken several times since then.I cannot pick a single compliment, but each and everyone brightens my day and lets me know why I do this often lonely and isolated writing thing.

Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?

Luckily, I have several author friends who I trust implicitly to give me genuine constructive yet critical feedback. You must have a thick skin and some resilience to be an author. Often such criticism proves positive and useful. I have learned to understand this and I am a far better writer because of it.

Some silly questions!

What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?

I focus on my digital art and, by way of that, I have become book cover designer. I have designed

All my own covers, most of Electric Eclectic books and for several indie authors. (Hint, Hint!)

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is.

Color is easy, it's orange, or dark burgundy red... possibly a pale grey... or maybe...

As for food, OMG... almost anything, but I love street food. Good, down to earth, honest street food. Luckily, I have eaten such street food from South America and the USA through Europe, the Middle and Far East and onwards to Australia.

Tell us your favorite novel?

This is easy. It is the book which influenced me most, the one which made me want to be an author. 'Down by the Dockside' by Criena Rohan, otherwise known as Deidre Cash. See my review on Goodreads,

Chips or crackers?


Hamburger or chicken sandwich?

Chicken Sandwich

Fries or onion rings?

Onion Rings... I think?

Milkshake or smoothie?

Plain cold Milk

Thunderstorms or star gazing??

At sea, on the coast or with a vista it would be a storm. Otherwise, let me lay back and stare at the stars.

Kindle or paperback novels?

Paperback (and hardcover books). You can prop-up a café coffee table leg to stop it wobbling with a paperback book, but have you ever tried to do that with an e-reader or a phone? No, I thought not. Clearly, there is no contest.

Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?

Yes, rushing the post writing stage, not editing it correctly and hence publishing too soon.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?

A.Enjoy the process. Don't rush it. Buy a copy of THE FRUGAL AUTHOR, it's an eBook/kindle,

so you can easily download it right now. It will save you a small fortune in money and time as well as help you avoid making publishing mistakes.

Amazon Worldwide:

Amazon Kindle UK:

Also, join an author's group (some Facebook groups are good),drink plenty of coffeetoo!

When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?

For me, my first port of call is my wife, followed by the authors of APC (Authors professional cooperative), and the authors #Awethors. (Both are indie author Facebooks groups).

Where can we find your author page of your When is the release of your next book? If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.

My next book is imminent and may have been released by the time you read this. It is called 'Within the Invisible Pentacle' and is a collection of short stories all with feminine titles. The prevailing factor is, they are written with consideration for our fragile human disposition, the fears, the dreams and wishes, the uncertainties and self-doubts we all carry inside ourselves, the human element of love, of life and of to follow you and purchase your awesome book?

Check out my website, all my books are there including hardcover versions and books which are not available on Amazon or from other bookstores, along with my Electric Eclectic Novelettes and insights into my current Works in Progress.

After my last incarceration in Facebook Jail, I realized I needed to have a different Promo. I have upgraded my efforts and also made a few changes.

Gone: Incessant Takeover appearances (they didn't bring new readers or reviewers, just people who wanted to win a prize.)

New: Daily promo post for you to share from my author page and group page. Each "like" gets a point, each share gets 2 points. Adding soon: Writing a review = 5 points, review of a verified purchase is 10 points. I am also changing the posts to make them less spammy looking.

Monthly an ebook is given as a prize. I list the top 10 scores and give the first responder the award. (This insures that maybe they actually want to read the book) For US residents I buy your next book. For International, unfortunately due to currency and electronic file glitches, a mobi copy is sent. We'll see how it goes.

The July winner was Anita Stewart who received a mobi copy of Book 1 Voices in Crystal

First week of August Promo champs: (not in order) Johanna Aldridge, Dana Fernandez, Susan Freestone, Denise GremoryKohta, Liz Morrison, Eva Pasco, Charles Patton, Joe Pranaitis, WC Quick, Dianna Slowey-Thomas, Kathy Williams

Good luck and keep up the good work! White Heart Destiny Hawkins 7-18-18 Dark Bloods 7-24-18 Destiny Hawkins C D Gorri 7-27-18 7-31-18 Rosemary Johns

August 13 Left-Handers Day Paul White excerpt +

Lynne Stringer Interview

August 20 National Radio Day

Lynne’s review, Sarah Fenhart +

+ Bill Nash Interview

August 27 National Just Because Day Bill Nash Character – Jack Slater +

Eric Johannsen interview & reviews

September 3 Labor Day Eric Johanssen‘s character – Ji-Min

Carmilla Voiez Interview

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