Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Taking A Breather...

Currently Reading: I'm up to Ch 18 of Love Slave For Two:) Looking forward to seeing how the rest of this story pans out:)

Son K and I are heading up to Lafayette later today. His orientation at Purdue is tomorrow from 8-5pm, and Grandpa's also asked him to mow the yard (Mom and Dad are on vacation in Canada with my sister and her family).

Our planned itinerary looks something like this:
Noon: Leave
1:30: Stop for lunch and see my bff E for an hour.
5pm: Arrive, unload car. K mows lawn, plus neighbor's.
7pm: Off to either Pepe's or Olive Garden for dinner. Maybe even a quick trip to the bookstore???
Afterward: Home to sleep.

7am: Leave house
8am: Orientation, a ride on the Boilermaker Express, and a trip to Follett's to buy some of my books back....
5pm: Back to house to collect suitcases. Dinner at Applebee's in Crawfordsville? Golden Corral in Terre Haute??
Late: Arrive home and fall into bed.

We've been requested NOT to use Grandma's computer. Seems between my blogging and email; the kids' games; Face Book; and other sites visited, someone downloaded a nasty computer virus. And since we don't know who did it, the three of us are 'banned' from using Grandma's PC.

So enjoy yourselves and I'll be back for Flashback Friday:)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Sean McLachlan:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Hi! I’m Sean McLachlan, best known as a history author, as well as a travel blogger for I also write fantasy and horror under the pen name Sean J. Lachlan. For history, my latest release is American Civil War Guerrilla Tactics (Osprey, 2009). For travel, it’s a pair of series for Gadling on my two-month journey through Ethiopia and Somaliland. In the fiction department, Damnation Books recently released my historical horror Dannevirke. As far as I know it’s the only horror fiction ever set in the Dano-Prussian War.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
Not really. I read the news too much and the real world is a whole lot scarier.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
My travel writing has a lot of me in it, of course, my fiction less so. Inevitably any fictional work is going to stem from the way the author sees the world. I suppose it’s no coincidence that the novel I wrote after becoming a father had a protagonist who was a father. He’s also a racist bastard so hopefully he’s not all me.
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I do a lot of research before I write. With nonfiction it’s impossible to start without it. Since much of my fiction is historical and I’m a trained historian, I feel the need to research like crazy before I write. In fact, much of my inspiration comes from reading old newspapers, letters, and secondary sources like academic articles and books. A writer needs to know when to set these aside, though, and get on with the story. My latest novel, A Fine Likeness, is set in Civil War Missouri. It was a finalist in the Fresh Blood contest but got nudged out by popular vote. I was out of touch in Africa at the time and couldn’t garner enough online support! Ah well, the hazards of adventure travel. This novel came pre-researched because I had written three books on Missouri history as well as one on the Civil War.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
From my travel writing I’d like them to take the single most important thing I’ve learned—that anywhere you go most people are good. Anywhere. Many people say that and some even believe it, but I know it to be true. I’ve had it proven to me time and again in places like Iran, Somaliland, Bolivia, and India. It’s a fun, friendly world out there, even though a violent minority tries their best to ruin it for the rest of us. This truth seeps into my fiction as well.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
All my stories take on a life of their own whether I plot them or pants them. I’ve written three novels, a couple of novellas, and a dozen or so short stories. I’ve plotted about half of them and winged the others. I’ve yet to settle on a real method. I think different moods and stories and phases in a writer’s career require different techniques and no writer should get too stuck in one methodology.

How long did it take for you to be published?
I started in journalism so I had that instant gratification of daily publication. Journalism and I weren’t a good fit, though, due to my wanting to do more feature-length work, plus the systemic corruption of mass media in the U.S. turned me off. My first book proposal was about my time spent working for the New Delhi bureau of Reuters covering Kumbh Mela, a massive Hindu pilgrimage that attracted 12 million people. I landed an agent for that, and she sent it around to more than a dozen major houses, but it never got picked up. That was disappointing. Shortly after that I coauthored an update for a guidebook to Phoenix, and that same year got a contract with Hippocrene Books to write Byzantium: An Illustrated History. So my road to nonfiction publication was rather quick, although there have been bumps along the way.

Fiction is much harder to get published. Many more people are doing it and the market is actually smaller than nonfiction, although fiction gets a lot more ballyhoo. I’ve been a freelancer for ten years and have published eight nonfiction books with two more on the way, along with hundreds of articles and paid blog posts, but in all that time I’ve only managed to sell two short stories and two novellas. Persistence pays in this business, though, so I keep trying.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Don’t believe anything anyone tells you until you have a signed contract.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
It depends on my mood and location. Mostly I work from home on my laptop, but I don’t like lugging it around with me so when I’m out at a cafĂ© or something (which I do a lot to avoid cabin fever) I use pen and paper. I prefer A4 notebooks because the word count of one page of my handwriting almost exactly equals the word count of a typed manuscript page. Unlike a lot of writers I don’t need silence or isolation to work. That’s a product of learning to write in noisy, crowded newsrooms! I’m not easily distracted except by beautiful women or good music with English lyrics.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Oh, there are so many to choose from! I love Jack Kerouac for sheer forward momentum. H.P. Lovecraft was an important early influence because of his elegant use of the English language. I remember being in high school reading Lovecraft with a dictionary beside me to look up works like “rugose” and “ululation”. When I was a kid I was fascinated with the wider world and got really into Victorian travel narratives. A strange thing for a teenager to read, but it sparked a deep interest that has led me to visit thirty countries.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
My first dream was to be an actor. I got some professional training and made it through the first cut for an off-Broadway production when I was still in high school, but my lack of talent became ever more apparent over the years and I gave it up. One of my life goals is to star in a B horror film.

For Fun:
Mountains or Beach?
Mountains. You can’t climb a beach.

Favorite amusement park ride?
Spook house.

Father’s Day ritual?
Lots of time with my son!

How do you balance kids being at home 24/7 and writing time?
I didn’t balance it well at all at first, but eventually got used to it. Now that my son is in school I discipline myself to work harder while he’s gone so I can focus on him when he’s at home.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
My books are available in all the usual places. I also have two blogs. Midlist Writer gives an honest coverage of the life of a fulltime, professional writer who has made it but not made it big. If you’re a beginning writer, read it to have your illusions shattered and replaced with something more practical. My other blog is Grizzled Old Traveler, a personal/travel blog about living in three different countries and wandering through several more.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Mania

Currently Reading: Still haven't started Love Slave For Two by Tymber Dalton. It was too hectic last week. I'm going out of town on Wednesday, so I'll be able to relax and read a bit.

So I introduced myself to the friendly people of Illinois. One person bought Love Finds A Way...twice.

Let me explain. She arrived at my booth while I was showing off my e-reader to a relative, and piped up, "I have one of those!"

I high-fived her and the conversation continued. She browsed around, looked at LFAW and left. Soon she was back, wanting the print copy AND the CD I'd made way back when. I told her it wasn't the official galley, with no cover, but she said she didn't care. I sent her off with my business card, and told her if she wasn't satisfied with the CD to email me, and I'd send her a better version.

That was on Friday.

Saturday, temps soared into the mid-90's. People showed up for the parade, wandered around, and left. I talked to several people, mostly those who were interested in Sandra Cox's book or the 'I've always thought about writing a book; how did you get started?' ones. I did encourage the more serious ones to come to our writer's group. And encouraged a young poet to follow her publishing dreams.

The Book Mobile was there, and the lady was thrilled to know there were four published authors in the general area. She took my contact information and may secure us a speaking engagement. I told her three of us (and maybe the fourth; haven't seen him for a few weeks) would be thrilled to talk about our road to publication, or how to get started.

At closing time, I felt my body going beyond simply hot. I thought I'd be fine once I was in the van with the a/c on...but after loading up and driving one block, something told me if I didn't get my body temp down, I was going to pass out. So instead of turning right and heading home, I turned left and pulled into Hardee's. I ordered a sweet tea, sat in the coldest booth I could find, and finished reading Anny's Carnal Camelot. Two other vendors came in and greeted me, and we talked shop for a while. Forty-five minutes and two cups of sweet tea later, I started feeling chilly. The other vendors were cooled off as well, so we all walked out together.

MIL Still Hospitalized
She's not looking so good. We've got a meeting with Hospice later this morning. My SU sat with her a lot over the weekend, and she kept telling him she loved him; she also made several comments about not knowing how much more she could take; and at one point, asked 'Do you like me?'

When he replied, "Yes, Mom. You know I like you!", she told him she wasn't asking him.

My great-grandmother passed away in 1998, and my mother reported Grandma talked to her as if she was talking to her own mother. So I suspect something similar is happening.

Come back tomorrow for an interesting interview with Sean McLachlan, travel author:)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flashback Friday: Play Ball!

Around the first week of June, I decided to quit griping about my concession reps not opening the stand a half hour early, and my family was happier when I only made one trip per day to the ball field, instead of two or three.

The temps soared during tournament, and we were thrilled when K's final year in Pee-Wee baseball was a success! They went all the way to the League Finals, and were very proud of themselves. K was even chosen to be on the All-Star team; we would be hosting it and the Girl's Softball Tournament in July.

One of the other team's concession stand began serving hamburgers. I inquired as to their cooking method; they were using a George Foreman Grill. Since it wasn't in our budget, and being my first year as Concession Manager, I opted to run it by my fellow board members for next season.

One Year Ago Today....
Michael Jackson left us.

I remember begging my mother to buy me Off The Wall LP, but she said it was too expensive ($20). Several years later, I found it in the discount bin, marked down to $10, but before I could buy it, someone else did the honors. Finally, around ten years ago, I happened to buy the CD through BMG Music for free, thanks to my 'free music' points.

My sister bought 'Thriller' when it arrived, and we eagerly watched 'The Making Of Thriller' when it aired. We didn't have cable ( finally became available in our area in the fall of 1985), so no MTV viewing unless we visited friends in town. I cut my afternoon classes one day when a HS field trip didn't happen. I was already 'excused' from classes, so why not go to Showbiz Pizza with a friend after watching an hour of MTV at her house? Oh....there was a rule where if a planned field trip was canceled, then we were supposed to return to school...(my one and only HS trip to the principal's office...)

I didn't care for much of Michael's other albums. I love the songs 'I'll Never Stop Loving You', 'Man In The Mirror', and 'Black or White'. Thriller is my all-time favorite album, with 'Beat It' as my favorite song and video. I also love the video to 'Black or White'.

My daughter is begging me for 'This Is It'. I may break down and get it for her, and watch it together.

And let's not forget Farrah Fawcett passed away this time last year as well. I'll admit, I didn't care for her as an actress, but she was the reason I was soon hooked on Charlie's Angels when I was ten, even though Jaclyn Smith's character was my favorite Angel.

Scheduling Has Slowed!
I am now booked through April of 2011! Whew...who knew? And look; my followers now total 30:)

Weekend Plans:
Tonight and tomorrow I'll be at the Lawrenceville Patriotic Festival in Lawrenceville, Illinois. Don't know if my fellow Writer's Guild members will have the brochure finished or not; as long as it's finished by the Watermelon Festival, I'll be happy.

Don't know if I'll post tomorrow or not; it depends on how tired I am in the morning. I don't have to be there until eleven my time (cross the Wabash River and we lose an hour, lol!) so we'll see how late I sleep in. Apparently it was a good thing I took that 'personal day' last Saturday! After this week, I need another one, LOL:)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Currently Reading: Finished Love Slave For Two: Beginnings last night, and am now starting on Love Slave For Two by Tymber Dalton. This one's a long one, so it will take me a while, in addition to the other craziness going on at the moment. As for Beginnings...I wondered why some characters were in the book, since I kind of knew who the story was about. But as I reached the final three chapters, it became more clear. Very well done, Tymber! I too wanted to beat the snot out of a particular character, heh heh, heh! Recommended Read:)

And the responses keep on coming....where was everyone last November? I tweeted yesterday I was up to 49 the number has climbed to 56! My poor blog has now been booked well into April 2o11...and still no word from my blogmates (Molly pouts). Sigh...I guess they get enough publicity from me when I read their books? LOL....

I'll try to think up release ditties for the Eagle's series, Barb...I've been soooo swamped with this scheduling thing, my family has threatened to shut off the internet. Hopefully things will slow down a little.

In the middle of all this madness, my MIL entered the hospital. Turns out the muscle which controls the 'flap' that closes off the trachea when she's eating has weakened, causing some of her food to go into her lungs. Right now, she's working with the speech therapist, trying to do whatever can be done in order to avoid a feeding tube. So please keep her in your prayers....Hospice is even being consulted, because she's constantly demanding attention. I took my e-reader with me last night, as I wasn't interested in the program she was watching. But as soon as she realized it, every two minutes she wanted her pillow fluffed; her feet readjusted; her tummy hurt; she wanted a drink (which she can't have at the moment, so she sucks on a wet washcloth); or she needed to roll to her other side. It literally took me ten minutes to read one page. Finally, I gave up after an hour when the program changed.

Also, the brochure I put together for our Writer's Guild has been deemed 'We can do better'. So now the person whose idea it was in the first place has taken control and is being accomplished on a home computer, rather than me sending everything to Office Max. As I told them the other night, I was tired of talking about doing it, and finally put it together with what I had. This provided a figurative 'kick in the pants' for him to take control of his idea! That's the kind of person I am; if you're going to talk about doing something, but never seem to get around to it, I'll eventually get tired of hearing about it and take action. This usually gets others involved and the goal accomplished. I mainly provide the 'kick'. Anyone else like this?

I'm off briefly to do laundry, make sure the younglings aren't hurting themselves, and to go read my friends' posts.

Have a good day and I'll try not to be too grouchy today. Had to get up extra early to meet with the MIL's doctor.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Overwhelming Response

Currently Reading: Finished Michael Crichton's Prey and am now up to Ch 12 of Tymber Dalton's Love Slave For Two: Beginnings. Finally the threads are beginning to tie up:)

I'm tired and it's not even noon yet! Why?

Spent most of the day yesterday tied to my email and my calendar. You are in for a treat during September through November and maybe even into December. I sent out a call for interviews, and forty-three authors are now scheduled every Tuesday between now and February 2011, as well as some Thursdays, to accommodate release dates:)

Have I bitten off more than I can handle? We'll see. The Madness begins in September, so keep coming back!

Off to check the blogs and heal my aching fingers...

Oh, and go congratulate Regina: Eagle's Refuge releases today!


Book three in the Texas Passions series.

When Callista Hill settles in tiny Morgan’s Creek, she vows to make a better life for herself. She never figured lust and screaming-hot orgasms were part of the equation. One look at the local bar owner and she’s flooded with the need to have him in her bed. He burns her to ash with every erotic touch, bringing her sex-starved body achingly to life.

The instant dark, moody Mac Moreno claps eyes on Callie, he knows he wants her. Her lush curves turn him inside out and have his libido racing from zero to sixty in three seconds flat. Burning up the sheets with this sassy, sweet lady brings him back to life. But when her stalking ex hunts her down, will Callie run?

Not if Mac can help it.

An Excerpt From: EAGLE’S REFUGE

Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2010

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Chapter One

Mac Moreno leaned back against the corral fence and looked out over land that now belonged, in part, to him. A year ago, he would never have imagined such a thing but with Joe Morgan’s death, the White Eagle Ranch had been split into thirds, leaving his half sister Leah, half brother Dash and himself with a legacy that was pretty overwhelming to a guy who’d scratched out a living alone for most of his life.

Heavy noonday sunshine beat down on him. Mac swept the battered straw cowboy hat from his head and mopped his sweaty brow with a bandana he kept tucked in his back pocket.

Damn hot today.

A savage shriek ripped through the air. Mac squinted at the violently blue Texas sky and watched a lone eagle glide through that vivid palette to land on the roof of the barn where it pierced him with an unblinking gaze. Eagle and man shared a moment of utter communion. No doubt the bird of prey wondered what the hell a nobody like himself was doing out here laying claim to this land, this ranch.

Mac had asked himself the same question a million times over the past few months. Sending his gaze over the immediate area, taking in the stately ranch house in the distance, the corrals, the barn, he wondered about the fickleness of fate. His mother Elena had been the housekeeper for Joe Morgan thirty-odd years ago and on one hot Texas night, she’d slept with the boss and wound up pregnant. That event had ended her employment at White Eagle Ranch and she’d moved on to clean the houses of wealthy folks in the town of Morgan’s Creek, scratching out a living as a single mother until the day she’d died.

Mac’s jaw tightened.

As he shifted his gaze to the side of the barn, memories assaulted him, bitter and ultimately humiliating. He’d been sixteen, a gangly kid who knew full well the rich, powerful Joe Morgan was the father who’d never claimed him, never wanted him.

“What the hell are you doing here, boy?”

Mac swallowed hard. His hands were shaking but he didn’t want his father to see so he shoved them in the pockets of his jeans and tried like hell to look cool. “Looking for work, sir.”

Joe scowled at him. He was a big man with a shock of white hair and as intimidating as hell. This was the man who didn’t want him, didn’t speak to him on the streets of Morgan’s Creek, the town that bore his name. The big man looked down and then up, taking him in, sizing him up, and Mac knew Joe Morgan didn’t like what he saw. Nope. He didn’t measure up but had he thought he would? He’d been fooling himself.

“Aren’t you Elena Moreno’s kid?”


Silence fell. Mac sucked in a breath and held it. What the hell had he been thinking? Had he imagined his dad would call him son and hug him like he meant it?

Suddenly Mac felt stupid and dumb and more on the outside than ever before.

Why would the all-powerful Joe Morgan ever in a million years acknowledge a poor Mexican kid from the wrong side of the tracks? To most of the town, Mac was nothing but trash. He had no hope of college and could lay claim to no kind of future. Hell, his mom had saved for years just to buy him a class ring so he could remember his high school days. Dumb thing but it made Elena proud to do it. She’d saved every dime so he could have a couple of new pairs of jeans at the start of every school year. She’d worked her fingers to the bone, scrubbing toilets and polishing floors, to give him the bare necessities of life. Joe Morgan had never contributed. Not once.

In the distance, a horse galloped across a pasture. Pretty Leah, his half sister, the legitimate child of Joe Morgan, was out riding her beautiful mare, her ponytail whipping out behind her like a shiny flag. Resentment welled up deep inside him. His heart tightened and frustration dug steely spurs into his belly. She had everything. He had nothing. The fact that she didn’t know he was her brother wasn’t the issue. Mac was so jealous he wanted to just die.

He was the unacknowledged bastard kid of a rich dude who apparently hated his guts.

Mac focused on the older man and wanted to kick his own ass. His being here was stupid, ridiculous.

Joe shifted his stance and gave him a fierce look. “Think you’ve got what it takes to be a cowboy, kid?”

The spit dried in Mac’s mouth. “Yessir.”

“Well, I don’t think so,” he drawled. “Got plenty of hands and they don’t need to be babysitting you. Now you get on out of here, kid. You don’t belong here.”

Mac watched him walk away without a backward glance, standing there, his eyes burning like hellfire from tears. Then he turned and ran as fast as he could to the old beat-up truck he’d borrowed from a friend. Slamming the door of the truck, he rubbed his stinging eyes before driving away.

Buy it HERE

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Lisa Lipkind Leibow:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.

Hi! It’s so nice to here. I’m Lisa Lipkind Leibow, Author of Smart Women’s Fiction. My press-ready bio is: Lisa Lipkind Leibow is the author of Double Out and Back (Red Rose Publishing), which takes the reader on the roller-coaster ride of infertility treatments as seen through the eyes of three women. Originally working as a lawyer, Lisa decided to trade the billable hour lifestyle for fiction writing. Lisa’s work has also appeared in Pisgah Review and Sanskrit Literary Arts Magazine. She lives and writes in Northern Virginia with her husband, three sons, a clumber spaniel, and two red-eared sliders. You can learn more about Lisa and her writing at her website .

But since this is a friendly place, I’ll just introduce myself as Lisa, the recovering attorney-turned-novelist! I’d love to share more about my novel. I hope you’ll add it to your summer reading list.

Double Out and Back, a novel
by Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom.
Who will find friends, family, and fertility?

Three women’s lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients’ dreams a reality.

After more than a decade, of mourning her parents’ deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.

Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?

This is an interesting question. Two stories come to mind – both works in progress. First, I’ve spent the past 7 Novembers participating in National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo: 50,000 words in thirty days). I usually use it as an excuse to try something completely new—step out of my comfort zone. A few years ago, I tackled a political thriller with the working title FLU. It involved a twisted tale of bioterrorism and overthrowing government. It scared me that I was capable of hatching such a plot. There’s a second story that is scaring me for a different reason. I’m in the midst of crafting a novel that takes place in Colonial America. The project is daunting because of the shear challenge it involves. It’s my first truly historical fiction. I dabbled in creating a time and place I didn’t experience first-hand in DOUBLE OUT AND BACK when I built Chandy’s world in pre-Apartheid South Africa. However, what’s different with my current project is there is nobody alive today to interview or run ideas past to check veracity. I must rely solely on museums, historical documents, and accounts to bring the world to life on the page.

I guess when it comes right down to it fear of some sort is part of my creative process. It is one of the things that keep my creative fires burning.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?

When my husband and I set out to start a family, I listened carefully to the warnings and advice from my doctors. I have always had an extremely vivid imagination. The information physicians must disclose every time they prescribe a treatment or medication, make my wheels start to turn. My characters experiences grew out of these churning thoughts rather than my specific experience, I found myself ruminating over what would it be like if ALL of these remote-chance risks happened?

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?

Well… remember when I mentioned above that I’m a recovering attorney? I shy away from offering legal advice and work hard not to write my fiction in legalese instead of plain English. However, research is one area that my legal experience is a tremendous boon to my fiction-writing. I love to get lost in the research. The challenge of integrating what I have learned into a story without forcing in facts that don’t contribute to character or plot. To answer your next question, as to whether I research first, and then write or write first, then research as needed? BOTH. I research before I begin. But it’s an ongoing process. If questions arise as I write, I mark a spot in the draft, and go back later to research in order to perfect the scene.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?

I hope readers of DOUBLE OUT AND BACK will be left with a message to approach life by doing everything in one’s control to achieve one’s goals, but learn to let go and realize some of life is left up to chance.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

I fall somewhere in between. I plot and craft an outline in advance. However, I’m not afraid to (and often do) deviate from my initial outline if the mood strikes. With DOUBLE OUT AND BACK, I wrote as a panster. Then I took all of the puzzle pieces and revised and rearranged to enhance character arcs, weave together the multiple plot lines, and build an intricate tale.

How long did it take for you to be published?
I’ve been making up stories since I could talk. If I count from there, it took me about 39 years to publish! However, I only seriously considered my fiction fit for the public about six years ago. Therefore, even though the path to publication felt like a marathon, in the scheme of things it didn’t take me that long.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?

I would tell my novice-writer-self, “Don’t forget to write for the love of writing. Treat your writing the same way a musician treats her instrument. Practice every day. Don’t focus so much on getting published. Focus on improving your craft. Being published is icing on the cake. The process of crafting a novel is a blast!” – I sure talk a lot! Do you think my advice is too long-winded?

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?

Again. Both! I write most everything on my laptop. However, if I’m on the run, I keep journals and pens with me. It helps me stay more productive. While the laptop is portable and fine for coffee shops and libraries (and curling up on the sofa at home), I like to go outside or experience a setting first hand. Nothing beats a nice roller-ball and paper for that!

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?

I have diverse taste in reading. I enjoy reading fiction with a strong voice and unique perspective. I love quality women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, historical, and literary fiction. I read and love so many authors, it’s difficult to narrow it down. However, here are some of those I consider the masters. I’m in awe of Alice Munro’s ability to sum up an entire lifetime in a sentence. I love the quirky characters of John Irving, the vivid, detailed descriptions of Ayn Rand, and the strong, pithy dialogue of Ernest Hemingway. I admire the character driven fiction of Julia Glass and the expertly plotted tales of Steven King. I admire the boldness of Barbara Kingsolver to tackle multiple, first-person points-of-view in one novel, and Amy Tan’s ability to carry me to a time and place I’ve never been and make it seem real to me.
I'm also a fan of John Irving and Amy Tan!

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I’ll bet your readers will be surprised to know that while my kids are at camp this summer, I’m planning to go to Trapeze School! There’s got to be a story in there, somewhere…

For Fun:
Mountains or Beach?

Mountains in the winter. Beach in the summer.

Favorite amusement park ride?

This is a great question for me—the author of DOUBLE OUT AND BACK! Roller coasters all the way, baby! They give the illusion of danger while actually keeping you safe. The title DOUBLE OUT AND BACK alludes to the roller coaster of life. A double out and back roller coaster is one that travels “a circuit which heads out and then returns to the station, progressing over a number of bunny-hops, and then traveling out again and returning finally to the station.”

Father’s Day ritual?

Burgers and dogs on the grill are a mainstay Father’s Day ritual. Having family together to honor my father and the father of my children is the best!

How do you balance kids being at home 24/7 and writing time?

I’m learning more and more every day that the key to managing the juggling act of writing and everyday life, is to forgive myself for dropping balls left and right. I don’t have an immaculately neat house (some would say that’s an understatement, wink). I let go of the illusion of perfection.
I make my writing a priority – it’s an appointment on my calendar two days each week. On those days, I’m not available for meetings, school volunteering, routine doctor’s appointments, and the like. If I can fit any other writing time in, it’s a bonus.

I also multitask. For example, I’ve been known to listen to audio-books while I fold laundry or drive carpools, brainstorm a plot point while my son’s baseball team warms up, or use Lacrosse halftime to work on a stretch of dialogue. My children’s activities keep me running around most afternoons and evenings. This means letting go of cooking elaborate family dinners. It means throwing something in the crock pot early in the morning to be ready when we finally get home, or take out – so many nights of take out, oy vey.

It’s a challenge, but worth it! I feel so lucky to live in the midst of happy chaos.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.

My pleasure. I enjoyed this visit!

Where you can find my book

Small presses like Red Rose Publishing care enough about the world of independent publishing to support me and my book, I whole-heartedly recommend you support them and me by purchasing my book from them.

Available at Red Rose Publishing

Also available here

All Romance Books
Book Strand
Diesel e-Books

EXCERPT (rated R):
"I'm ready!" Summer sprinted from the bathroom, where she had just rinsed her mouth with her favorite cinnamon-flavored mouthwash and inserted her diaphragm. It was probably overkill, since she also wore a birth control patch, but she refused to take any chances.
Summer sped through the condo, running through rooms all lined up in a row, from the tiny antiquated bathroom through the eat-in kitchen with her grandmother's old Formica table and vinyl chairs, then past Jeremy's hideous bachelor sofa that dominated the living room. Some people called the condo a railroad flat while others called it shotgun-style. She liked the former description better; it sounded less violent. Although, she supposed, she would have a greater chance of dodging a bullet racing through her home than she would of escaping a train barreling through it.

Summer dashed past the entrance of the small study alcove off the living room and into the bedroom where Jeremy waited. She pounced on the finest mattress and linens – her and Jeremy's sole splurge.

Eagerly, she wrapped her arms and legs around Jeremy. She expected him to return her playfulness, but tonight he pulled away from their tight embrace and held her at arm's length, his hands on her shoulders. His hair, so black it looked blue, always captivated Summer. His eyes, equally alluring in their darkness, were solemn.

"We have to talk," he said.

"Now? What is it?" she asked.

Summer untangled herself from him and pulled up the patchwork quilt. Jeremy swallowed hard, but still he said nothing.

Summer said, "Tell me. It can't be that bad." She combed his dark bangs with her fingers.

He cleared his throat.

"Jeremy, tell me. You're making me nervous," she said.

"Okay," he said, "here goes." He cleared his throat again, and then said, "Summer, I've never told you that," his speech accelerated, "I'm adopted."

"What?" she asked.

"I'm adopted," he repeated. "That's why I want us to have a baby so badly."

She released a chuckle, feeling a great sense of relief. "That's your big secret? Oh, Jeremy, you had me scared out of my mind." She moved closer to him. "I was thinking, some horrible disease, or you used to be a woman," she said and then laughed, adding, "I guess I wonder, though, why you didn't tell me before."

Jeremy's face looked pale and tense. His normally sonorous voice became tinny. "I remember when I was five years old. Two neighbors from down the street, both mothers of big families. Between them they had nine children. They gossiped on the playground at my school while I was bouncing up and down on a seesaw with my friend. Maybe they didn't know I was there, but I heard them clear as anything. They were talking about a local couple planning to adopt a baby and one said, 'I would rather be childless than to adopt someone else's problem.' Problem! Can you believe it? I was only five, but I knew I was adopted. From that day on, I vowed never to tell anyone. It's none of their business."

Summer pressed her hand against Jeremy's shoulder, guiding him to rest on the bed again. He didn't budge. She kissed him and asked, "Adopted?"

"Yes," he confirmed.

"So you're telling me now? As foreplay?" she asked, laughing aloud.

Then he relaxed into a smile and said, "I know it may not seem like such a big deal, but it is to me. I really want to have a baby so I can know someone who is part of me. I want my children to feel certain they're wanted. Plus, I've never had the experience of knowing someone biologically related to me. You need to be sure, too." He brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. "I have no idea what's in my genes. Hell, someday our kids could look like…like the jolly green giant – nothing like either one of us. You would wonder, right?" Jeremy retreated.

"That doesn't matter to me." Summer scooted closer to him. She contemplated how seriously Jeremy took this. How could he worry about this when having a child was years away? Summer felt positive she would be concerned about giving birth to a healthy baby when the time came, and not how much the baby looked like her or Jeremy.

Jeremy's confession brought them closer together. He shared with her what he believed to be his deepest, most intimate secret. Jeremy smiled, revealing clean, white teeth. The top two front teeth overlapped just enough to make him look real, not like an airbrushed GQ type. Summer's freckled nose rested against Jeremy's nose. When she looked into his eyes from that vantage point, she spied his heavy, neat eyebrows. His chin felt smooth against her chin.

Jeremy smiled. "The thought of you having my baby just thrills me. We could have a son or daughter with your gorgeous eyes, silky hair, and my golf swing; or with your long legs, my black hair and flair for logic. It's phenomenal no matter how I imagine it. Plus, whoever our baby is, that little boy or girl will be the first person biologically related to me I'll ever meet. It'll be great." He looked unsure for a moment. "Don't you think?"


Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Recap

Evansville was a blast! Forgive the pictures; they were taken with someone else's camera and swiped from Face Book.

Our Writer's Guild: Amanda France, BC Brown, J Travis Grundon, myself, and Ben Martinson.

Here we are with Jane Friedman, editor of Writer's Digest. She had a Kindle; I was showing her my Sony Pocket.

And here's a better picture of Jane, with BC Brown and I. There was a lot of information in the second half of the workshop which I found very helpful. The first hour focused mainly on social media, and she encouraged me to spend more time on GoodReads and Twitter.

We ate lunch at Crazy Buffet, and wandered through a collection of stores: Coconuts (music and movies), Borders (Travis saw Jane on her laptop; I was investigating Marion Keyes, Phillipa Gregory, and the new Kodo device), two vintage clothing stores (bought Michael Crichton's Prey for fifty cents, and 'found' my RITA dress, hahahaha!), and finally, an adult store, where, to everyone's amusement, we played 'How Red Can Molly's Face Get?' FYI: I got slightly pink! Yes, I'm 44.5 years old and I still get slightly embarrassed at times!

It was BC's birthday, and my 'half-birthday', and we enjoyed ourselves.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Customer: I bought your fancy graphics card, and my Windows display isn't any better than it was before.

Tech Support: We'd better look at the installation then.

Customer: You mean I have to install it?

actual call to a computer help line

Mission Accomplished!
I finished my self-edits on the book I wrote back in 2007, Wild At Heart, and sent it off to a publisher. I managed to 'soften' up my rough hero, and those who've read the first couple of chapters say I've been successful in 'reigning' him in. I also cleaned up some POV issues; got the time line under control; I'm happy with it. Now if the rest of the world agrees with me, look for a trip to Colorado to be announced next year.

Today, I'm rewarding myself with a trip with my friends. They found a free workshop in Evansville, so after some discussion, I'm going with them. I've worked hard on that wip nearly every day for the past week, sometimes staying in my jammies until 2pm. I deserve to have some fun.

Happy Father's Day to my dad and all other dads out there! I'll be cooking my SU a nice meal on Sunday. What are your plans?

Oh, and today I'm blogging over at Romance Books R Us blog. Go over and leave me a comment? Please?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Flashback Friday: Kickoff to Summer of Hell

Multiple things were going on in June of 1990.
-Idiot and I had a major fight over, of all things, my views of the Catholic Church and things I didn't agree with. Instead of accepting my right to an opinion, he pretty much yelled at me I was stupid and refused to end the fight until I acknowledged he was 'right' and I was 'wrong'. At 2am, desperate for some sleep, I finally told him what he wanted to know and wearily crawled into bed, resolving to end this toxic 'relationship' once and for all.

What really ticked me off the most was 'Common Ground' was showing on TV, and since I'd read the book not only in college, but many times since, I'd wanted to see it. But about thirty minutes into the show, I made an innocent 'this is what I disagree...' statement, not knowing I was pushing one of his 'hot button' issues. And you really can't stop in the middle of a fight and say, 'Oh, let me throw a tape into the VCR since you're not going to let me watch the rest of it in peace'.

The next day, I called into work for a personal day. Called a friend of mine, who came over and we moved everything of The Idiot's out of my apartment. Unfortunately, this only lasted a week. (Yeah, he wooed me back with some sweet talk and false promises, but that's another story!)

-I started supervisor training. After an eight hour intense training with the other eight newly-chosen supervisors, everything I'd learned the past three months was tossed out the window as we implemented a new 'system'. I had two new workers to train, plus one of my 'kids' wasn't taking the changes very well and had to be dealt with in an extremely patient manner. She had taken a dislike to me when I met her, but since I was now the only person she recognized besides the aides, she latched onto me after the first week and wanted to follow me everywhere, interfering with my work with the other 'kids' in my group. But after a week, she relaxed.

This was also the time when my boss discovered I held a Public Passenger/Chauffeur's License. In addition to my duties, I was also asked to drive the facility's two vans whenever a group decided to take a 'field trip' or one of the school-age kids needed to be picked up from summer school. I actually enjoyed these outings; I was allowed to take my own music along, and we'd detour past Ryan White's house and Dairy Queen. I could turn my group over to another worker and happily disappear for two hours, depending on which person I had to pick up, or how long the 'field trip' lasted.

-So why the 'Kickoff to Summer of Hell'? The facility was in a state of transition. We were being asked to do things we'd never attempted before; the residents were suddenly in groups with new rules, new workers, and new routines; two new QMRP's were hired and more 'hands-on' than the previous one. So everyone was nervous. Add to that my personal turmoil with the Idiot and you have a recipe for disaster.

Happy Friday!
I'll be at the Farmer's Market again tomorrow, and I've also been invited to a writer's workshop in Evansville. Don't know if I can do both yet; I'll have to discuss it with the SU. The workshop is free, but it's an hour away. And from what I gather from the invite, my fellow Guild members will be leaving two hours before I'm finished at the Farmer's Market. So unless I can persuade one of them to wait for me, I don't see it happening. I could be wrong, but the only way he agreed to my trip in January was the fact I was car-pooling. God forbid I use any of his gas to do something to further my career....I'll let you know either tomorrow or Monday what goes down.

In the meantime, I've got to put the Writer's Guild brochure together and add the books 'Mistletoe Magic' and 'Sister Light' to my 'Traveling Library'. And pick up some more hand lotion or body spritz. I still have plenty of Smarties and bookmarks. Now if the rain stays away, we'll all be happy! My neighbor is also loaning me his Kindle for display, and I checked at Walmart the other day: Interest in the Sony Pocket E-Reader had definitely spiked:)

Books Bought Yesterday:
-Love Slave For Two: Beginnings
-Love Slave For Two
Both by Tymber Dalton. I should get to the first one either tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday's Tidbits

Currently Reading: Loved, loved, LOVED Sandra Cox's Grounded! DEFINITE Recommended Read! And the Flavors of Ecstasy I...mixed. There were some stories I could not stop reading, and others I skimmed, wanting to get to the end. Nope, not gonna tell you which ones. But I will tell you my favorite of the bunch; Trapped by Cindy Spencer Pape. And nope, not just because I'm in major Cindy-fandom at the moment. So by all means, buy this book and read the talented authors' stories. Don't just skip to the end for Cindy's; you'll miss out on some other terrific books!

A strange thing occurred yesterday. I could only get on the computer twice.

First of all, the morning was a conscious decision not to turn it on, other than to quickly check my email and to congratulate Cindy Spencer Pape on her newest release over at EC, Eagle's Redemption. I then logged off and turned on my DVR, watching a show I'd wanted to see on Saturday. At 10am, I dressed and went to my Oral Surgeon for a consult.

Take Care Of Your Teeth!
They X-rayed my mouth, and told me what to expect next month, even scheduling me for July 21st. And then came the shocker: What our financial obligation would be.

Back in 1978, when I received my braces, I was fortunate not to have to have any teeth pulled, and my mom would constantly remind me there was $1500 worth of dental work in my mouth, so please refrain from caramel, gum, and for-god's-sake-why-did-you-eat-corn-on-the-cob-at-a-restaurant-and-leave-your-toothbrush-at-home??

Fast-forward to yesterday.
It's going to cost $850 to remove my tooth, and another $1550 to put in an implant. And did I mention we have no dental insurance?

And while we were talking about how bad the cavity is, I asked if this could have been caused by sleeping with a cough drop in my mouth, because, oh, that's the corner where I always found it in the morning, and marveled at the fact I hadn't choked while sleeping!


The man's eyes lit up. "Absolutely! You should NEVER go to sleep with anything in your mouth, especially cough drops!" He went on to inform me they were pretty much 90% pure sugar.

No Pictures Available Yet...
Neither Travis nor Ben has uploaded any pics from Saturday yet. This Saturday, I'm going to borrow my daughter's camera and take a picture of my booth. And once again, I was cut out of the publicity shot for the newspaper...Remember two weeks ago, my youngling made the front page as he's coming down the water slide, and if the shot had just been slightly wider, my left arm would have been in it? Well, the picture shown of the Windy Knoll Winery (again, front page of the local paper) shows two customers talking to the winery people. What it doesn't show is I'm standing directly behind one of the women. Seriously. The photographer took several pictures of me, so why cut me out of the one published? Guess I was too hot and sweaty to be photogenic enough...and even the journalist mentioned nearly every single artisan except for myself and another talented artist. So what gives? I've attended this festival for four years now! Come on people; take notice! But then again, the ones they did mention were out-of-towners....

No computer=No Edits
That's right; didn't edit at all yesterday. Guess that's what I get for doing two chapters on Tuesday (grin!). I'm determined to tackle Ch. 5 today, even if it means staying in my jammies until noon. It's already 10am and the youngling and I are the only ones awake. Although...I do have to wash K's uniform before his shift at 2...I'd better run downstairs asap. Yup, didn't do any laundry yesterday either. But I DID go to the store, fixed a nice dinner for everyone, took a nap, and watched two episodes of Law and Order. So it wasn't a total lazy day....okay, yes it was.

Getting off of here to get busy and then attack my manuscript. And no, still no word from my editor on where things stand with Kenzie's book.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Destiny Booze:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.

Hello! My name is Destiny Booze. My younger brother likes to call me "Chuckles." I'm a multi-published romantic suspense/thriller author. I like to tell people I have big plans and even bigger dreams.

My most recent release is Predetermined Endings - Book 2 in my Outer Banks Suspense Series. It can be read as a part of the series or alone.

Just a quick bit: Rogue FBI Agent William Pierce knows that he is going to hell. Then, he meets Angelica. He wonders if, just maybe, she can save his soul... Read more about my books at

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?

My next release will be a romantic thriller called The Curse of a Mind, scheduled for release later this year. Parts of the story are told from the killer's point of view, and certain scenes actually gave me chills writing it. When my family read it, they told me that the FBI is going to come knocking on my door to question me because the killer seems so

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?

No. I have one of the world's most active imaginations. I can really just let my mind go where it needs to go to put myself inside my characters. I will admit that I pull from my own emotions that I've experienced to invoke the feelings I need in my writing.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?

It really depends what I'm writing and how much I know or don't know about it. With that said, I'm also not afraid to use my "creative license" to let my story go where I want it to go without worrying too much about whether every detail is realistic. I'm much more interested in entertaining that making sure every part of the book goes along with FBI procedures. With that said, I do a lot of background research before I begin writing. I also continue to do research as I write. As questions come up, I'll stop to figure out the answers before I continue. If the facts will fit the story, I'll use them. If not, I will alter the truth. : )

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?

I continuously work at growing and expanding as a writer. I want each book to get better and better, so the messages will most likely change as I go. Right now, I believe I do have a recurring message for readers in each story. The message is this: No matter what you face in life, you can find the inner strength to overcome it.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

Hmmmm.... I'm both. I do a very detailed outline of my characters before I begin writing. I'll do a general story outline. I want A, B, and C to happen. I want L, M and N to take up my middle. The ending with be X, Y and Z. The rest just happens naturally as I go. The characters tend to carry my story. I use the plot to chart and guide them where I want them to go, but because I know how each character will naturally respond, it's like watching the lives of others unfold before me on the screen. That's also the reason that the story will definitely take on a life of its own almost every single time. I let my characters take over and just change the general outline as I go.

How long did it take for you to be published?

Many, many, many years. : ) I wrote my first book in high school and it remains unpublished to this day. My second completed novel happened in college and there were many years between its completion and publication. It took me a long time to realize that if I wanted to get published, I needed to learn how the business works. So, I did.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?

I would tell myself not to be afraid to dream. I didn't realize back then what I do now. I would rather wish for the moon and only get half of it than wish for nothing and get all of it.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?

Laptop. Writing must-haves: a drink and some background music and I'm all set.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?

Tami Hoag, Dean Koontz, Allison Brennan and Janet Evanovich to name a few of my favorites.

I'm not sure who influenced me the most. Dean Koontz was the first author that made me want to read every single book I could by the same person. His earlier works had me instantly addicted - Phantoms, The Bad Place, Dragon Tears, Icebound... Talk about letting a young girl's imagination just take off! Great stories.

No doubt Tami Hoag influenced the romance element in my writing. Before I began reading her, I didn't pay much attention to the romance genre. She changed all that when I read Lucky's Lady, Night Sins and A Thin Dark Line. Great books.

I've read some of Dean Koontz's books, but not those; I'm going to have to check them out:)

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

Some interesting tidbits about me: I'm addicted to cheeseburgers, the TV show Supernatural, Die Hard movies, learning about sharks or wolves, and baseball caps. Pet peeves: Cooking in general is not among my favorite things, but in regards to food, I really hate it when food runs together on a plate. Anything runny must be put into a bowl.

LOL...I'm with you on runny food! I don't like my food touching unless it's supposed to be a casserole:) And my oldest son loves Supernatural!

For Fun:

Mountains or Beach?


Favorite amusement park ride?

The Water Log

Father’s Day ritual?

We visit family every Sunday. It's family day. My parents will usually feed us. For Father's Day, we show up with a card, a present and a hug. Then, they still feed us. But, Dad loves it. That's how he wants it. : )

How do you balance kids being at home 24/7 and writing time?

My son is in school now, which really helps. I can actually schedule writing time. During the summer, what balance? LOL. Yeah, it's really tough. I have to lean on the hubby to help me out with some free time. Good thing I have a very supportive husband!

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.

Thank you for having me! I enjoyed this so much!

My books are available at the following bookstores. If you don't see it on the shelf, be sure to ask for it at the counter, or order online.



Whimsical Publications

You may also buy in Electronic Format (E-book):


Angelica Chappell’s story makes huge headlines. Only a few months ago, she released a new pharmaceutical drug called Krytonix that effectively slows the spread of cancer cells. She has no idea her story will attract the attention of a serial killer. Suddenly, she is a target whether she realizes it or not. This killer is interested in more than her life. He wants her reputation, too. His first mission is to sabotage Krytonix.

William Pierce worked undercover for the FBI for five years to bring down a ruthless mobster that he ultimately is forced to kill. Two months passes by since that assignment. Still, William saw things he couldn’t talk about. He did things he couldn’t talk about. He believes his soul is damned. Returning to “normal” everyday life isn’t an option. He isn’t the same man he used to be. He refuses to return to FBI headquarters. He becomes a rogue agent with an agenda.

These two characters literally collide when Pierce's agenda leads him to Chappell. It will take both of them to keep Angelica alive and to figure out who is trying to kill her. William soon finds himself developing feelings for Angelica. Too bad for her killer, William worked as a trained killer for the mob. Will he find her killer and hand him over to the legal system to see that justice is served or will he search and destroy?


She wished he would leave her alone. She even considered putting up the optional privacy window between the front and back of the car. Of course she wasn’t okay. Didn’t he understand just how serious this situation was?

“Want me to turn the radio to that funky station you like?”

The “funky” music he referred to was a hip-hop channel that played a combination of some rock, some rhythm and blues, and a bit of rap. It was actually the most listened to station of the area. It was also Patrick’s favorite. The old man had odd tastes. One of her grandfather’s rules was that the station had to be turned off, or tuned into a classical station unless otherwise requested by the passenger. That rule applied to Chappell family or guests. Patrick was asking if she wanted that music so he could listen to what he really wanted to. She wondered if he knew she was onto his little deception.

“Sure,” she said.

“Here you go.”

A new Justin Timberlake song filled the car. It didn’t help Angelica to relax. Her chest burned with stress and fear. The air she breathed actually hurt. Her life as she knew it could be over.

After another couple of minutes, Patrick tried again to start a conversation. “This will blow over, honey. Trust me. Everything does. People aren’t going to blame you. Everybody loves you.”

He was so wrong on so many levels. The public would want someone to blame and she would get that honor. She would be crucified. She expected that reaction and it was justifiable. She knew the burden was hers. Truth be told, she didn’t care what people thought and never had. Why should she? She never saw anyone outside of the lab anyway. She didn’t care if people hated her because of Krytonix. She did care that people were going to die because of her drug. It was her failure. It was her responsibility to figure out what was wrong. People’s lives were on the line. She accepted that accountability.

“Oh shit. Hang on.”

The hair on Angelica’s neck stood up when she heard the panic in Patrick’s statement. Her stomach nosedived to her feet and returned in utter turmoil. Her eyes darted to the road to find the source of the problem. They were close to home, a quiet part of town where tourists didn’t venture and traffic was far less dense. The road was curvy, leading to a steep grade to the top of a deserted hillside that held
the Chappell Mansion.

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit,” Patrick said again.

They were traveling much too fast for the winding road, even heading uphill. Patrick was wildly stomping on the brake, but nothing was happening. The car continued to accelerate as if he held the gas to the floor. He fought for control of the steering wheel, but it looked as if it simply rotated round and round with the ease of an arcade game. Patrick’s face was flushed bright crimson and sweating, his eyes wide and glazed.

“Do something!” Angelica cried in desperation, torn between shock and fear.

It was obvious Patrick was doing his best. The sharp curve before them would be upon them in seconds, and unless some kind of miracle intervened, they were going straight ahead—over a sand dune and into the ocean.

Angelica grabbed onto the seat and held as tightly as she could. The car continued to accelerate. Everything seemed loud. Patrick was groaning. The radio was blasting. The roar of the tires was like drums beating a tune of anticipation.

In the last second, when all possible hope of rescue was gone, Patrick screamed. Angelica dipped her head in her lap and closed her eyes. The Lord’s Prayer was on her lips when she felt the car lurch into the air and plummet into empty space.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hot Weekend!

Currently Reading: Decided to read Sandra Cox's Grounded first, instead of the EC Caveman stories! I'm up to Ch 10 and LOVING it! Sorry Sandra; I figured out a plot twist in Ch 9...but am still stumped on the villain's identity...Recommended Read:)

My camera died last week, and Travis hasn't uploaded any pictures yet, so can't show you my booth over the weekend. Temps were in the 90's; it was hot, sticky, and only the occasional breeze brought relief. I also drank lots of sweet tea, in order to stay hydrated.

The Farmer's Market want me back next weekend:) I managed to sell three books; two Molly and one Kenzie:) And only one Molly book at the Wine and Art Festival...did I mention it was hot? One of the wineries van broke down, so they didn't make it; one winery had a prior commitment; a third was a no-show. In BC Brown's words, we 'felt like ping-pong balls, bouncing back and forth between the two wineries.' No free wine for either of us this year, darn it...but did decide on one or two new favorites to push next year. I liked the Soft Velvet from Windy Knoll and Blue Moon from Best. BC ended up buying the Blackberry from WK; I liked it, but wanted to save my cash. Maybe she'll bring it over next time she visits? Hint, hint, hint....

So Maybe I Should Have Bought Stock In Amazon or Sony...
I had my Sony Pocket E-Reader on display, and I was surprised at how many men picked it up and played with it! I wonder if sales at Walmart spiked over the weekend, or at Amazon...

On the top shelf of the drying rack, I had Sandra Cox's Akasha, Jamie Carie's Love's First Light, Carol Preflatish's Masters and Disasters of Cooking, and my 'Coming Soon' Teacher's Pet flyer. Several kids leafed through Sandra's book; several people stopped to talk about Jamie's books; Half of Carol's business cards walked off with new owners who liked the concept of her cookbook; only one person commented on my cover.

The second shelf held The Anthology of the Living Dead by J Travis Grundon, et al; Dancer's Delight by Anny Cook; and Marriage Proposal by Kelly Kirch. One aspiring writer leafed through Trav's antho; one person commented on Anny's cover; I talked to two women about Kelly's Regencies.

The bottom shelf didn't get much attention. I may move those three books up higher next week. I had Phyllis Campbell's Holding Out For A Hero; Marianne Steven's Second Sight Dating; and the Bound Brits antho. Ladies, I'll get you some attention next weekend:) And I may angle the display, so I can utilize both sides....

Inspiration Continues!
I self-edited Ch 2 of Wild At Heart on Sunday, and woke up this morning 'knowing' how to fix my POV issues in Ch 3. So we'll see if it actually works:) I'll update you on Wednesday.

Have a good day; according to the forecast, we were supposed to be getting hammered with rain by now. Nope; there's cloud cover, but no storms yet. Good; I can stay online a little longer:)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flashback Friday: 1st job

In June 1980, I was too old for Vacation Bible School, but my sister was still in the program. And since my mother was the coordinator, I was placed on Refreshment Detail. Every day for a week, the other ladies and I arranged the cookies, snack cakes, fruit, and various Kool-Aids on trays and took them around to the various classes. Afterwards, there were milk jugs, pitchers, and trays to wash and check to make sure the church kitchen was spotless before we left.

The week afterward, I was bored. We lived too far away from town to bike anywhere, and both my sis and I had long outgrown our childhood pool, now donated to a neighbor with small kids. Mom was still finishing up her final report at work, so she went to her office until noon every day. The third day, she came home with some news for me.

"The hospital is offering Candy Striper training tomorrow; would you be interested?"

Are you kidding me? I loved my Cherry Ames mysteries, and though I was squeamish about really sick patients, I loved the idea of doing anything rather than being stuck in the house all summer long. So in the morning, Mom dropped me off at the hospital and my sister at the neighbor's.

I made an instant friend; we both had gotten 'bit' by the manual credit card machine, and learned we both wanted to work in Pediatrics. I also liked Physical Therapy. When it came time for our assignments, I learned Peds was full; they only needed someone on Saturdays. I was chosen to work in PT every Wednesday, and instructed to 'play' on the various machines when not remaking the therapy beds or cleaning the whirlpool machine. Apparently the last Candy Striper had a habit of hanging out in the waiting room and reading the magazines.

I got to demonstrate how to use crutches; the interns 'practiced' on me, teaching me how to go up and down stairs, and how to hobble around in general. I probably built up my calf muscles during this time, as I spent most of my time on an exercise bike.

One Saturday in Peds, I had an actual patient. We played board games, watched TV, and talked during my shift. The other Saturdays, I spent wandering up and down the halls, reading in the playroom, and wishing the nurses would invent something for me to do.

This was also the first time I ever stood up to my mom and won. The other hospital in town put out the call for volunteers, and since it was the hospital where Mom was well known, she signed me up for training there too, before I was placed at the other one. But after their boring, two-day training session, where day #1 was spent going over the manual (yawn) and day #2 teaching me the same things I'd already learned the week before, I informed my mother I liked the other hospital better; the people were friendlier, and the other kids in my 2nd class had been rather snobby, unlike the previous week. Mom let me stay at the first hospital.

And no, nothing 'mysterious' ever happened. It showed me I was definitely not cut out to be a nurse like my mom, but it at least made me feel important in my red and white striped uniform, and I did prove to be a good helper in the PT room:)

Spouse Update:
I lost my temper on FaceBook on Wednesday. I rarily blow my stack in such a public forum, but this time I felt justified. There's only so much 'Poor Me' I can take!

Anyway, we drove to Evansville yesterday, and his scar tissue was lazered down. Now we wait until the 22nd, when he gets his eyeglass prescription, and then he gets to go back to work! The bad news? His unemployment runs out that same week. Congress now has two weeks to pass some sort of hear me, Brad Ellsworth? We only need a few more weeks....

Bookmarks have been ordered; brochures made of various excerpts by myself and four other Laptop Society members; labels ordered for the Smarties and promo items; I've purchased six hand lotions, four hand sanitizers, and ten body mist sprays in four different scents. Later today I'll go pick up everything plus the Smarties. Hopefully the shelves for the display will be made too. I'll collect my tables, tote, and rolley cart from storage; put everything in the van, since I have to be there at 7:30 am; buy some ice for a cooler; put together some sandwiches and a container of sweet tea; and get a good night's sleep. I'll report on Monday, plus maybe have pictures, if I can borrow daughter's camera.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weekend Fun

Currently Reading: Flavors of Ecstasy I by Cindy Spencer Pape, et al.

The 'grandkids' returned home yesterday.

Here are MDQ, W, I, and friend M roasting marshmallows for S'mores Saturday night.

Took them to the park on Sunday...ME, neighbor R, MDQ, and W.

W and ME on the kiddie merry-go-round. You can just see R as she's sitting on the floor, her back against ME's seat. MDQ claimed her tummy was queasy from the circular motion and sat this one out after a while.

She was also rather put out by the fact R was more interested in playing with her brother!

Getting Ready For The Weekend:
I've started gathering items for the weekend. Bought the laundry drying rack, some plate holders, and some sample lotions as well as four different colored hand sanitizer bottles. Polled two people in the store who said they would be more likely to pick up free hand lotion, but a friend likes hand sanitizer, so we'll see which one is more popular on Saturday. I also found sample sizes of sunscreen, so I'll pick those up today. The temps are supposed to be in the low to mid 90's on Saturday, so I'm pretty certain I'll be dressed for comfort, rather than fashion! Remember my 'Smart Women...' T-shirt? I'm thinking of seeing about a tank top with the same logo....

Today I'll get the spouse to work on building the 'shelves', and go get some more plate holders, since we don't have time to make any. I also need to get the labels, Smarties, and get my tote from storage, so I can decide which books to display.

Who knows, maybe I'll even find time to write today?

Discovered my digital camera may be about to die; I took some pictures of the kids at the pool, but all you can see is white. My friend BC said her camera did the same thing right before it quit working. So I may be in the market for a new one soon; in the meantime, I can use my daughter's. Thank God it waited until after graduation!