Unquiet My Heart

Unquiet My Heart
A Romance Novel by Debra Giuffrida

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Hop

What a great way to kickstart my blog! A blog hop sponsored by the Insecure Writers Support Group!

If you are new here you will notice the name of my blog. Yes, I am a reluctant author. Why you ask? It is because I am insecure and it seems like I am not alone. I found this weekly group through another author friend, Diana Wilder, and I am happy that I did.

It seems that IWSG blog and website is just what the doctor ordered. Especially now that my first draft is in the hands of BETA readers! Yes, I said my completed first draft! I got off my duff and finally finished it. But wait...it's not The Beautiful Woman Has Come nor is it Unquiet My Heart, the completed draft is of the prequel to The Beautiful Woman Has Come and I don't have a title for it yet, which is driving me crazy.

I sure could use some help there. You see, it is about Helen of Sparta and Paris, my version of the story.  I am going to slip in a little snip here so that you can get an idea of the direction I am going with the story.

So for all those insecure writers out there...just keep plugging and chugging and don't let the nay sayers get you down!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Helen and Paris (Working Title) copyright 2014 all rights reserved by Debra Giuffrida


“Well, that is the end of this adventure, shepherd boy, let us prepare to depart on the next outgoing tide. Father will be glad to see us return.” Hector was watching gulls circle and dive, their bodies white against the crisp blue Spartan sky. His feelings of unease caused him to frown and set his jaw as he scanned the horizon.
“But why, brother?” Paris walked up behind his elder brother who turned to face him. “Menelaus wants us to stay, doesn’t he? We are like family, yes?”
Hector snorted through his nose.
“That, that speech he made to us before all his generals and toadies?” Hector snorted again and grabbed his brother’s shoulder giving it a squeeze. “That was all show and bluster, shepherd boy. The Great King Menelaus no more wanted us for sons than he wanted his balls to burst.”
Paris snickered.
“Don’t laugh, we need to leave here. This place makes my skin crawl. We are watched everywhere we go. I for one have no love for this Sparta.” Hector clapped his brother on the back. “So, tell me, shepherd boy, why do you want to stay among these people? You are nothing here but one more toady of the Great Kings, but in Illion you are son of the High King, Prince among men.” Hector let the question hang between them waiting for his brother’s reply.
After several pregnant moments Paris turned from his brothers scrutiny and rested his palms on the shelf of the open window.
“I had a vision, or something like that.” Paris waved a hand. He turned to face Hector. “It was before the banquet. I found myself among the gods, brother.”
“How is that possible? You were drunk, you were...”
“No,” Paris said shaking his head. “No wine or beer passed my lips. One moment I was watching the pleasure slaves in the agora and the next I was lying on my back staring up at three goddesses.”
When Hector did not say anything Paris continued his story.
“The air around me shimmered and the ground beneath me moved. They were beautiful beyond compare. And, and, they wanted me to settle an argument between them. Me, just newly come Prince of Illion, me, they wanted me to choose who was the fairest among them. Aphrodite, Athena and the great Hera. How could I choose?”
“Truly, brother, this happened? It was not some wine soaked dream?” Hector knit his brows, his lips pressed into a straight line and he crossed his arms over his chest.
“No, I mean, yes it happened, Hector, believe me. The mighty Hera helped me to my feet and there in the olive grove of Mount Olympus I chose Aphrodite to be the fairest among them!” Paris grabbed his brothers arm. “She gave me a prize, brother. She promised me the most beautiful women in the world and I saw her. She is here, here in Sparta.”
Hector snorted and yanked his arm from his brothers grasp. Shaking his head he sighed.
“So, who is she, this prize?”
“Helen, Queen of Sparta.”




Happy writing!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Wanna Be a Publisher


Yeppers, I do, cause I just did a critique of a friends almost finished book and it makes me want to fling money at her so she could quit her day job and write full time.

Wish someone would do that for me.

I receive emails everyday from various self-help writers groups/blogs/companies. Writers Digest saturates my inbox with multiple emails touting various books, webinars, articles, blogs...all aimed at helping the would be writer find an agent and have that agent hook a publishing deal...oh and also they want to part you from your meager funds too.

I read the blogs, pass on the books and look askance at the princely cost of writing courses and webinars. Why spend good money on stuff you can go down to your local library and check out, for free. Or I just surf the web to find the info I need. Like how to write a sword fight scene. That was one I queried google on and found a plethora of articles. I also shopped Amazon and downloaded samples from interestingly titled books that would help me spruce up my plot or they had the secret formula to writing a best seller.

But I didn't want to write a formula book...I wanted to write a unique take on a very old subject. Trouble is...so are a lot of other writers and they are all self publishing their ebooks on Amazon. I seem to be late to the parade.

So, back to the title of this blog. I want to be a publisher and publish my own book and those of my friends, cause they are good writers, just stuck on the hamster wheel of work, bill paying, work, bill paying. Just like me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Becoming a Real Author

The title of my blog is The Reluctant Author and I have emulated it fairly well, if I say so myself. But the time has come to put up or shut up.

My current WIP is now 23k words and the end is in sight. It is now time to start creating an author platform to promote my book. Wow... a real book, complete and readable, who would have thunk? So I must create a blog that reflects my professional status. This reluctant stuff was fun but that is all is has been...fun.

My new blog will be serious and informative and full of contests and interviews and all that wonderful stuff that a serious author needs to have. I will be keeping this blog but it will continue to be my sounding board, a place for me to come to muse and complain and just blow off steam.

So what is going to be the name of my new blog? After careful consideration (not really, I am doing this all by the seat of my pants!) I guess I should use my name so that my new fans will be able to find me. But should I remain on Blogspot or move to Wordpress? That is the next decision I have to make. Do any of you know which is a better platform? I have a Wordpress presence but I am having a difficult time getting into to it.

So my question of the day is this:

  • What blog platform is better: Wordpress or Blogspot and why did you choose it?
Have a wonderful Memorial Day!




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shine On Award


What a wonderful thing to happen today. I looked at my blogs and found that I had missed a nomination! What fun! Wonderful, brave, and talented Jo Murphy nominated me for the Shine On Award. The logo is below, as are the rules for the recipient and my revelations and my own nominations.

shine-on-award.jpg


Here are the Rules:


  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements. 

Seven things about myself: 
  1. I taught myself to read using My Book House books. They were a series of wonderful books that was a part of World Book Encyclopedia. My parents had purchased them when I was born. The story that I read all by myself at the age of 3 and a half was The Little Red Hen.
  2. I have wanted to be when I grew up (in order): A horse, the first female jockey, the first female astronaut, a radio announcer, an interpreter, a poet, a professional artist, a Disc Jockey, an author of romance novels, a horse trainer, an author of historical novels. 
  3. My occupations included: Bank Vault Teller, Disc Jockey, Bartender, Pastry Chef, Short-Order Cook, Horse Barn Manager, Professional Dressage Groom, Graphic Designer for a XXX movie company, Administrative Assistant to various forms of business, Faux Finish Painter, House Painter, Portrait Artist, T-Shirt Designer, computer programmer, marketing assistant, insurance sales person, car sales person, and now would be author.
  4. I have been writing one of my current WIP for 7 years.
  5. I currently am the caretaker of a beautiful blue merle collie, a Bengal-cross (I think) cat, two Arabian geldings and 8 chickens, 3 of which are little red hens!
  6. I have been married once, divorced and am currently living in sin with a man for the past 17 years...I think. 
  7. While doing research for my current work in progress "The Beautiful Woman has Come" I found out that my name, Debra, may have its roots in Ancient Egyptian and instead of meaning The Bee in Hebrew it  is from the word for Hippopotamus, which is dby (or Debbie!) in Ancient Egyptian! How rude!
Well that sums up 7 things about me. 

Now to the nominees!
  1. Stephanie Thornton
  2. Diana Wilder
  3. Lavender Ironside

I know that isn't very many nominees, but I realized that my blogfriend Jo nominated most of the blogs I follow! Go figure *smile*. Anyway the three ladies that I did recognize are fellow authors of Ancient Egyptian fiction so they are near and dear to my heart. They all have novels that just came out and are available on Amazon and all three are excellent reads. I would suggest you high tail it over to Amazon and buy them. Yes, right now. *smile*

Once again, thank you Jo, you are my hero.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Race is On!

     This past week a new friend, who is a fellow author, published her second book and it is available on Amazon. I had the good fortune to be a beta reader for it and hopefully my puny contribution helped.

     L.M. Ironside is the authors moniker and she just published her ebook Crook and Flail. It is the second book in her She-King series about Hatshepsut. It is wonderful to read. I encourage all those Ancient Egyptian historical fiction readers to pop over to Amazon and check it out. The reviews are great.

     Which brings me to my WIP. I need to finish it. Libbe (L.M. Ironside) was good enough to give my new book a glance and she gave me some wonderful tips and a lot of food for thought. So now I have to hurry up and get it done and available. You see...she is writing her third book and it is on Akhenaten...Ack!

     So the race is on to see who is first to get their book up. Of course I don't want just any old thing up, I want a perfect piece...so perhaps Libbe will be the winner in the speed competition. I have this awful tendency to constantly edit my edits. If I remember correctly a fellow blogger once wrote a wonderful post on turning off that awful inner editor...time to reread that post and put the suggestions to work.

     So Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mid Month Blues

It is the middle of February and the sky had large cottony looking clouds floating in a sea of vivid blue. This morning saw those clouds dark and threatening and spilling a bit of rain on the dry parched desert.

The weathers precariousness is causing me to delay planting my garden. My poor little seedlings are growing spindlely and pale. I really need a length of good weather. Maybe next week.

Now to my writing...I have been doing some much needed editing on The Beautiful Woman Has Come. Several people have been encouraging me to "get cracking" and finish it. I agree with them, so I am giving what I have written a hard look and plotting out the rest. Right now I have over 12k words written, a good start, but far from finished.

I thought I'd post a wee snip of the beginning...just a tickle.

The Beautiful Woman Has Come, copyright 2013 Debra Giuffrida, all rights reserved. 



A sweet scented breeze blew against my face as we walked down the main corridor of the palace of the Good God, the Aegyptos king. The air was full of the aroma of honey and burning incense and roasting meat. Servants, their arms laden with folded linen, painted amphores or baskets full of ripe fruit, passed us giving our party only cursory glances. Armed guards stood watch at doorways and the light of the sun streamed through openings high up on the walls, twinkling off their bronze spear tips. We approached a large open gathering hall filled with men and women dressed in all manner of clothing from lands far and wide, come, no doubt, to pay homage to the Aegyptos royal pair. These foreigners stood about in clusters of two or more and the stench from their bodies caused me to pause. My guardian stopped, waiting for me to continue, but leopard skin did not have such patience.
“You must not keep the Good God waiting, hurry along, child,” he said with a rap of his staff.
Now I was a child? It took all my strength to keep from shouting at this little man. Refugee or no refugee I would be treated with respect due a queen. But I dared not test my position, yet. So with set jaw and hands tight fisted I followed leopard skin but neither hurried my steps nor hung back.
At the far end of the hall sat the Good God upon a golden throne, his golden sandaled feet resting upon an equally golden stool. He wore a blue and gold helmet and held the symbols of his royal power crossed over his chest. Next to him sat a small stern looking woman with a huge black wig that dwarfed her. It hung down past her narrow shoulders and had gold beads interwoven within the braids. Upon it she wore a strange looking helmet-like crown, also made entirely of gold, with a sun disk between a pair of large upright horns. My hand absently went up to my windblown tangled locks and at that moment the Aegyptos queen looked straight at me. It was only then that I wished I could have had time to repair my appearance before being presented. Would this fellow queen see me as her equal, a young girl of 16 summers, old before her time, or would she, like leopard skin, look down her nose and treat me as the poor refugee that I truly was? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Liebster Award





Today is an amazing day. Not only did I wake up to a beautiful sunny day but I found that I had been nominated for an award. How awesome is that? I don't win many unsolicited awards. I win the occasional random drawing and have been lucky enough to place first in art competitions. But never has anyone nominated me for an online award for my writing (blog or otherwise).

So thank you Lara! Below I have attempted to fulfill my obligations to the Liebster Award!

1. What's your favorite writing/reading snack?
    I don't eat while I write. But I do drink wine occasionally, coffee mostly but only in the mornings. 
2. Where have you always wanted to visit?
     Egypt and Scotland, desperately!
3. What's your favorite accent?
     Scottish for men, but I also enjoy a French accent and a well bred (posh) English accent. 
4. What movie do you always watch when you find it on TV?
     Several...Dirty Dancing, Casablanca and Young Frankenstein.
5. What's your favorite hobby?
     All of my hobbies are my favorites: horseback riding, reading, drawing, knitting, baking, gardening...it is difficult to nail down just one.
6. Say you can quit your day job and do whatever you want.  What would you do?
    Ahem, I did and I am doing whatever I want which is taking care of horses, riding occasionally, writing my novels and gardening and enjoying my collie and my cat.
7. What made you want to start writing?
     I think the writing bug bit me back in the 1970's, my first foray was a really bad piece of romance. But I have been a poet since I was in my teens. Published too!
8. What is your favorite genre?
     I adore Historical Fiction.
9. Where is your writing/reading nook?
     I don't have one. I write in the living room, sitting on the couch with my laptop perched on my lap.
10. What book do you wish you had written?
     Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
11. Early bird, night owl, or something in between?
     All of the above as the need arises.


I also understand that I must nominate 5 blogs with a following of 200 or under, well, now that is something of a problem. I have little time to follow blogs and most of them are well over the 200 mark, but I did find these favorite seven cause I couldn't stop at 5! So here they are. Wonderful doesn't describe them well enough. And below these nominees are the 11 questions that they need to answer. Oh...and they have to, in turn, nominate 11 more blogs and ask 11 other questions. A huge cycle of recognition!

I found the rules on another blog and here they are:


If you receive the award, you should: 

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you. 

2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. 

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog. 

4. Hope that the people you've sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!



My Liebster Award Five (Seven):
Lavender Ironside
Purl One, Yarn Over, Knit Together
Divine Secrets of the Writing Sisterhood
Jodie Pierce Author
Harriet Schultz
Modern Scribe
The Time Traveler Rest Stop

Questions for the nominees:
1. What prompted you to start your blog?
2. Have you ever published anything, and if so what?
3. Do you belong to a writers group (if you are a writer)?
4. If you could only take one book with you on a desert island, which would it be?
5. What is your favorite time in history and why?
6. If you could live anywhere on earth, where would it be?
7. What is your favorite beverage?
8. Who is your favorite person in history and why?
9. What book are you currently reading?
10. What season is your favorite and why?
11. If you could go back and change anything in your life what would it be?

So there it is. Thank you very much Lara for nominating me and good luck to my nominees!