Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break, Eagle Scout Ceremony, and Good News!


Remember these pictures of the body slide at Buccaneer Bay last year?

This is what it looks like from the inside...You climb the stairs and get into the tube at the top....














And it takes you outside the building, turning three times before it spits you back out inside...













My little one discovered he was tall enough to go down it, and LOVED it!












This is W, after he came down it the third or fourth time. The second time, he went underwater and decided to join me in the hot tub for a few. And then he found a group of kids and they spent two hours running up the stairs and sliding down.









(I had a picture disappear on me; I'll post it tomorrow!)
This is Kazuko Sato, the Japanese lady my dad chauffeurs around, since she has macular degeneration. She's also the author of Memories I Choose To Keep, and she was the Guest Speaker at my mom's Young At Heart group. I joke she only comes up to my dad's elbow...I took this pic of her with my parents and discovered she's just slightly below Dad's shoulder! But she also had high heels on, so maybe in her bare feet she's barely at his elbow?

She was thrilled to see me, and to learn my books are doing well.









This is my son K, a brand new Eagle Scout, getting his official badge from his scoutmaster, 'Grandma' B.











And here is me, trying not to cry as K pins the 'Mom' pin on me. My eyes were blurred with tears as I turned to go, and thought 'Oh dear Lord...don't let me fall down these stairs!'








So last week was alternately relaxing, fun, stressful, and ended on a high note. Tomorrow I'll post pics from the reception.

Good News!
I received an email from my publisher concerning Book #3 of Forbidden Love:
(My Q in query letter: Just let me know if it has potential?)
A: It absolutely does. You'll need some cleaning up, but what I've read so far has a lot of potential
.

Yay! Now to clean it up...I finished writing it back in 1996 or 7; decided to cut the last two chapters and rewrite the ending in 2007; Cut the first six chapters and re-worked the beginning in 2009...Keri is extremely put out with me. BUT, I had waaaay too much overlap. That's what happens when your write the books out of order, sigh:)

Anyone else have this problem, or decide to rewrite a story and have your characters yelling at you to stop it?

Currently Reading: I LOVED Regina Carlysle's Edge of Nowhere!!!!!! Definite Recommended Read for this entire shifter series! Now I'm on Ch 5 of Dakota Rebel's Mitch:)

Print book: Also reading Married Lovers by Jackie Collins.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Margay Leah Justice:)



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

Hello, my name is Margay Leah Justice and I am the author of Nora’s Soul, a story about one woman’s struggle with faith who becomes a pawn in the struggle between two factions of angels, one light and one dark.


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

Not in a horror story sense, but yes. I think it scared me because it hit so close to home for me.


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

See question above! Yes, I have, in a few stories that are still in the process of being written/rewritten.


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

It depends upon the book and its theme. For historicals, I would do a vast amount of research to make sure that I got it right. Same goes for stories with paranormal themes, such as magic or shapeshifting. Usually, I research first and then write, but I have stopped in the process of writing to do more research.


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

I don’t think there’s a specific message. I try not to moralize or preach to readers; I try to get them to think for themselves about the themes I write about. But I would like for them to look at things from different angles in my stories and, most important, I want them to enjoy what they’re reading.


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

I am usually a plotter. In fact, I plot in such detail sometimes that I often refer to it as my first draft. I have gone the pantser way for a couple of stories, though, and that was interesting. When I have gone the pantser root, the story did take on a life of its own, but in a good way.


How long did it take for you to be published?

I have been trying, some times harder than others, to be published for at least ten years.


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

Don’t stop trying to achieve your dream because one person said no. Keep on going until someone says yes. Don’t let anyone take that dream away from you. (It’s something I have to remind myself of to this day!)

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

I do still write some in pen and ink, but for the most part, it’s the laptop now. My must haves are coffee, a block of quiet time and a story I’m passionate about writing.


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

Julia Quinn, Jane Austen, Sabrina Jeffries, Luanne Rice, Adriana Trigianni, Jude Devereaux, Lisa Kleypas, to name just a few! I think Jude Devereux was a big influence on me growing up. I used to write nothing but medieval love stories when I was younger because of her, but they never materialized into anything. Might have to revisit them someday…


What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I share my name with a cat. Of course my mother didn’t know this when she named me, but my name (the nickname of a relatives’ girlfriend, derived from Marygail) is also the name of a wild, South American cat similar to the ocelot.

For Fun:
What is your favorite Spring Break vacation?

A book! Let the young kids have Florida and what not, I’d rather read.

Favorite St. Patrick’s Day memory or ritual? (ie: Do you wear green? Fix corned beef and cabbage? Speak with an Irish dialect for fun?)

Definitely the corned beef and cabbage. My mother fixes a mean corned beef and cabbage!

I’m a March Madness fan. Do you follow the college basketball tournaments? If so, who’s your favorite team?

No, not much of a basketball fan in general. But give me the Patriots and I’m there.

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

Thank you so much for having me! It’s been fun. You can find my book on Amazon.com. For further information, you can find me at http://margayleahjustice.com and http://moonlightlacemayhem.blogspot.com/

Blurb for Nora's Soul:
When angels of light and dark collide on earth...

Once he held a favored position in the heavens. But one moment of weakness casts Dante out and now he is cursed to walk the earth, collecting the souls of vulnerable women to buy his way into hell.

All hell breaks loose...

But standing in his way is Peter, an angel of light. Peter is everything Dante is not. Pure, above reproach. And determined to prevent Dante from achieving his goals. Peter will stop at nothing to protect the souls in his charge, even if it means achieving the impossible - leading Dante back onto the right path.

And no one is safe from the fall-out.

Nora Kendall believed in angels. Once. But then she lost her brother to cancer despite all of her prayers - and she lost her faith in all things angelic. Now, she is a lost soul who wanders through life like a sleepwalker, playing it safe and leaving the risk-taking to others.

Kyle Cameron is one of those risks. Burned by a bad marriage, his only concern now is providing a stable life for his children, who are left motherless by the unexpected death of his wife. This means working overtime to grow his architectural firm into a viable business - and leaving the care of his children to the care of someone he trusts. Despite his past connection with Nora, Kyle isn't certain that she's the right person for the job. He also doesn't want to reconnect with her and repeat history.

But fate - and the machinations of two angels - has other ideas.

Excerpt:
“I don’t want there to be any misconceptions or hurt feelings between us, Nora.”
The sound of his harsh voice snapped her attention back to him. “Misconceptions?” she repeated, confused. “About what?”
“About what you and my sister expect is going to happen here.”
“I don’t – “ Her protest died on her lips when he placed a fingertip over them, silencing her. She nearly choked on a shallow breath at the fireball of sensation that roared down to the pit of her stomach at that minute touch. Thankfully, he withdrew the finger before she could do anything really damaging to her pride – like suck it into her mouth – but the fiery sensation lingered in her stomach, quietly banking a fire of old sensations into full life.
“I don’t need a social secretary,” he said, seemingly unaware of her reaction to him. “If I did need a secretary, I’d find one through a headhunter, not my sister.”
“Okay.”
“And I certainly wouldn’t take one whose background is in social services.”
“Well, then, it’s a good thing I’m not here to be your secretary.”
“Good. Now that we’ve got that established, let’s move on.”
“Please do.”
Kyle ignored that last comment as he launched into his speech. As he spoke, he made a leisurely circle about Nora, pausing to lean toward her in punctuation of each sentence.
“I’m not looking for a wife or a new mother for my children – “
“I’m not – “
“ – so if that’s the little scheme you’ve got going with my sister, you can just forget about it now.”
“I don’t have any ‘little scheme’ going with Joelle - or anyone else, for that matter!”
“Glad to hear it,” Kyle said, his tone belying his words. “Let’s move on, shall we?”
“Oh, please do.”
“I live alone. I like that.”
His breath skimmed her right ear as he leaned in close to her, front to front. She tried not to shudder at the pleasurable sensation it sent shimmering down her neck and into her stomach, where it joined the fire still banked there. She feared that she failed miserably. She almost didn’t hear his next words in the aftermath of the sensations he aroused in her.
“I throw my clothes on the floor when I undress.” He slipped around her right shoulder, but circled close to it – too close. “I leave the toilet seat up. I squeeze toothpaste from the middle. I sleep in the nude.” He leaned over her shoulder. His lips pressed to her ear, his breath searing a path down the left side of her neck now that, oddly enough, brought chills to her spine. “I like that.”
As the chills rippled through her, Nora swayed, slightly off-balance. Kyle righted her equilibrium with a quick, painless jab of his knees to the backs of hers. Then he pulled back, abruptly, completed his circle as he drilled home his point. “I don’t want anyone picking up my clothes. I don’t want anyone putting down the toilet seat or telling me where to squeeze my toothpaste.” He paused to quirk his lips in what could almost pass for a smile at the suggestive statement. “And I don’t want anyone buying me silk pajamas. I don’t want to be reformed.” He leaned his face so close to Nora’s then that his features filled her entire realm of vision. “Got that?”
Well, of all the arrogant, insufferable – ! Nora was trembling with rage by the conclusion of Kyle’s little speech. Just who the hell did he think he was, anyway, making demands like that?
“That’s what I missed about you all these years, Kyle,” she said with hard-won calm. “That charming personality.”
Kyle smiled then, but it was just a flexing of the muscles; there was no warmth to it. He leaned nearer to Nora, the tip of his nose in a position to touch hers should either of them make the slightest movement. It was an oddly intimate pose; a slight twist to the left, or a slight twist to the right, and their lips would be touching, even if no other parts of their bodies were. But the heat of his body – emanating from his skin in a wonderfully male scent that reminded her of warm summer days at the beach – did touch her; like a brand, searing another impression of him on her heart. The urge to melt into him wasn’t as hard as the urge to pull away; it took all of her strength to resist it. Oh, no, she wouldn’t give him that.
“Oh, I can be very charming.” He dropped the smile. “Or not.” Withdrawing, he stared down his nose at her, pointed a finger toward her collarbone. “Your choice. Just remember this – I don’t want to be seduced.”
“Oh, I don’t think there’s any chance of that,” Nora said, her voice so thick with sarcasm she nearly choked on it. She thought she detected a flicker of something – admiration, perhaps – in his eyes when she stated, “I’m here to take care of your children’s needs, not yours.” But whatever she thought she saw in his eyes was gone before she could name it. Must be my imagination, she decided.
“See that you remember that.”
“Oh, I will.”
They faced off for an eternal moment, two battle-scarred warriors at an emotional impasse. Each waiting for the other to flinch first. When that didn’t happen, they simultaneously relaxed their stances, as if by some silent agreement.
Kyle took a wary step backward. His eyes never left her face. “Good. Then there’s nothing left to discuss. Is there?”
“Just one thing,” she said when he would’ve turned away. She ignored the annoyed look he cast over his shoulder as he paused on his flight up the stairs. She started down the hall toward the sounds of merriment emanating from the kitchen, but paused when she came abreast of Kyle on the stairs. “I take my responsibilities very seriously.” She hesitated, for effect, then drove the statement home with, “All of them.” And then she was gone, leaving Kyle to stare after her in wonder.

Nora’s Soul, by Margay Leah Justice
http://margayleahjustice.com
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1935171216/ref=cm_pdp_arms_dp_1

Monday, March 29, 2010

Update

The surgery went well! Now the only problem is getting him to stay in bed. The danger is, gravity will pull those stitches out of his eye. He's supposed to stay in bed, on his right side or prone, for the next three weeks. Pretty hard to do, considering this man astounded his nurses seven years ago by asking to sit in a chair, twelve hours after his heart surgery!

We're headed to Evansville again for a post-op appointment. I'll update tomorrow.

Eagle Scout Court of Honor went well:) I'm slowly getting the pics loaded onto my FaceBook page. Maybe tomorrow will be a little less crazy around here and I'll be able to post pics. So come back tomorrow for the Tuesday's Terrific Author:)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sorry To Post And Run...

Arrived home and found myself in the middle of a crisis. Long story short, I've got the SU's eye surgery tomorrow, so we had to drive to his pipeline school to get his things. Stop at favorite stock-up store for canned goods. Dropped off old BSA pictures to be developed; they're on 35mm film, which Walmart no longer will process. Fortunately, there's a Kodak store who will very nicely convert old film to digital! Unfortunately, I could not do all four rolls; that would take a week, and I need the prints by Sunday. So I took off my glasses and looked at the index prints (thank GOD I had those made!) and selected the pictures I needed. Cost: $6 and ready in an hour. We went to lunch.

Add to this running around rain and wind. NOT fun. And since I'd overslept this morning, had to forego a shower until around 5pm.

And now I'm finally getting around to checking everything, and it occurred to me that my basketball games are on tonight! And since I have no idea when or if I'll even be home tomorrow, here's the Regional Picks:

Today:
Kentucky WIN:)
Washington Lost:(
Butler WIN:)
Xavier Lost:(

50/50...let's see how Friday's games go...

Friday:
Michigan St WIN:)
Ohio St Lost
Purdue (Duke...) Duke won....
Baylor WIN:)

Saturday:
Butler WIN:)
Kentucky Lost:(

Sunday:
Michigan St WIN:)
Baylor (Duke...) Duke won...

50/50 again...I'd love to see a Butler/Duke matchup in the finals! Do ya think Michigan St will fail to show up again, ala last year?? Check back next week!

As soon as I can, I'll post updates on the SU's condition. Keep him in your prayers; we want his vision to be normal!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Elaine Hopper:)


Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Thank you for inviting me into your cyber house. I always have a good time on your site.

My first sweet romance in a long time, "Always A Bridesmaid", releases Wednesday March 24, 2010 by The Wild Rose Press at:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/always-a-bridesmaid-p-3940.html

Here's the blurb:
Hell has finally frozen over. After nine long years, Breanna Parker has come home to be her sister's maid of honor. Just her luck that the first person she runs into is her ex-fiance, Troy Youngwolf—the man who eloped with her ex-best friend and broke her heart. Now a widowed father and sheriff of their Florida home town, sexy bad boy Troy wants another chance and won't take no for an answer. However, every time Breanna looks at Troy or his little girl, her heart breaks anew. She can hardly wait for her sister to get hitched so she can escape back to her urban family in Ft. Lauderdale. The risk is too high that Troy may discover her most closely held secret, one with the potential to destroy them both…perhaps this time forever.


Just a fun little piece of history about this book - it began as a sequel for one of my spicy romances, but the characters and the story called for it to be sweet. Breanna, the heroine in this story, wasn't about to get intimate with this hero again without a wedding ring on her finger, so I changed the names and the rest of the story spun out.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
One of my spicy romances is a vampire romance. I wanted to learn about vampires so I joined some vampire loops to find out how they think, act, and speak among other research. My critique partner thought I was putting myself into danger and was scared for me, even though I used a pseudonym.


Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Yes. Events in my life have inspired stories. Also events in my genealogy have inspired books.

Years ago, my oldest child was suspended from school because he hacked into the vice principal's computer and changed his password to "Jack Ass". The VP was furious! I was shaking in my high heels. Everybody else thought it was hilarious. Thus, a romantic comedy was born, inspired by that incident. Unfortunately, the book "Next To Forever" is out of print.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
Some of both. Sometimes I research a lot before beginning a book. Other times, a new idea will come to me in the middle of writing and take me off on a new tangent. Thus I may research as I write.


Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I've recently realized that my stories are sometimes cathartic. They are often about forgiveness and redemption, about getting and giving second chances, about growing and maturing. Thus, I hope my readers will walk away from my stories with a feeling of hope for a better future, not just about love with a soul mate but love for self, love for others, and love for life.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I'm usually a pantser and I think I already answered your second question, above. LOL. Yes, my stories often take on a life of their own. It's more fun for me that way. I know the beginning, the end (usually) but don't always take the straightest route to it.


How long did it take for you to be published?
I started writing my first romance story while I was in college. I graduated with my BS degree in 1988, so I suppose you could say I began around 1987. I didn't get really serious about writing until the mid 1990's and I was published in 1999 by New Concepts Publishing whom I met at an RWA conference in Florida. Thus about five or six years.


If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
To practice more balance in my life. I was so obsessed with writing, I didn't take time to exercise or take care of myself. One day I woke up and had gained a LOT of weight and felt old before my time.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Today, I used pen and ink. When I get really stuck, I usually do that.

However, I often take my laptop to Borders or the library and write there on it. Sometimes, especially at the ball field during my daughter's ball games, I write on my alpha smart.

I like variety. I don't like to do things the same way all the time.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
I'm not sure who influenced me the most. Some of the writers I like are Sheryl Woods, Merline Lovelace, Holly Jacobs, Stephen King, and Stephen White.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
That's hard. I've conducted so many interviews I've already told everything about me. I have an MBA, am a customer service manager, am a disabled vet with hearing loss, a mom with five children, married 30 years, am a huge cat lover, and am a Trekkie. I hate asparagus, tuna, and sauerkraut. Let's see - my favorite movie is Mulan and I watched it so many times my kids (who were still little at the time) begged me to stop watching it.

What is your favorite Spring Break vacation?
Well, it was really wild. I went on a road trip to Ft. Lauderdale with my girl friends. We met a bunch of rowdy college guys who had a lot of clambakes on the beach. Elvis fell out of love with Mary Ann somebody, a former beauty queen, and fell for me instead.

Oh shoot! That's my favorite Elvis movie about Spring Break.

Honestly, I've never been wild and I don't drink although I used to love to go to the disco and dance 'til the wee hours.

When I was in college I was married with three children so my spring breaks were filled with diapers and Big Bird, so I've got to reach back to high school. One year it was pretty warm in Ohio during Spring Break. My friends and I hung out at Winston Woods (a big park in Cincinnati) on the lake a lot.

Now, if you say summer break, it would have to be boating and water skiing on the Ohio River with my dad when I was a teenager.

Favorite St. Patrick’s Day memory or ritual?
About five years ago, I sprayed green hair color on my hair, glued on my elf ears from the Renaissance Fair, and went to work as a leprechaun. My coworkers and I had a St. Patty's Day lunch as well.

This year, everybody wanted to pinch me on St. Patty's Day. I FORGOT to wear green. I wore an all pink suit. I didn't have a lick of green on. I tried to buy some kind of green cookies or cupcakes that morning to take to my co-workers, but the grocery store I stopped at didn't have any. I'm not big on corned beef so didn't think about making corned beef and cabbage for my family until after we ate. I promised them I will next year, of if they like, sooner.

I’m a March Madness fan. Do you follow the college basketball tournaments? If so, who’s your favorite team?
No, not at all. Is "March Madness" a basketball term? I'm clueless. I'm like my dad - I like to play sports, not watch them, with the exception of watching my kids play a sport. My older daughter loves basketball. That was never my sport, however. That said, occasionally I like to watch baseball, especially when the Cincinnati Reds come to town or I get home to Cincinnati.


Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
"Always A Bridesmaid" releases Wednesday March 24, 2010 at The Wild Rose Press at:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/always-a-bridesmaid-p-3940.html

"So You Want To Marry My Mom", a paranormal romantic comedy will release the week of July 4, 2010 from Amber Quill Press.

My blog is at:

http://www.elaineannhopper.blogspot.com

On Twitter I'm: @elaine_hopper

Thank you for interviewing me and asking me about my books. As always, I've enjoyed chatting with you.

Thanks Molly!

Excerpt:
“So this is how the worldly Breanna behaves in her off-duty hours?” Troy righted Breanna, his hands lingering on her arms.

She stepped back, quelling the desire to rub away his prints. She chafed that Sierra was getting a big head start and she was left alone with Troy. “What are you doing in my house? Daddy’s not home.”

“Is that how you greet your boss? Or your old flame?”

Fire smoldered in Troy’s eyes as mischief danced in his voice. Knowing Sierra was way ahead, she sighed. “What do you want? More memos copied? Someone to pour you a coffee?” she said with saccharine sweetness, vowing to return to college and upgrade her career.

“I stop by periodically to make sure everything’s okay. This is my last stop of the day.” He didn’t move to leave. “Everything okay here?”

Was he daring her to make him leave? She scowled. “Only if you call having a crazed sister okay. Or having my boss intrude on my personal space.”
He didn’t blink, just advanced a step. “Is being around me really that bad? You didn’t used to think so.”

Before she realized his intentions, Troy backed her against the wall and crushed close. He captured her lips in a searing kiss that left her weak-kneed and breathless. Soft hands cupped her face, stilling her head. His hips pinned her to the wall so she couldn’t do more than squirm against his solid frame.

How long they kissed in the hall, she didn’t know. She was powerless to break the kiss—as if she’d been starved for it for years. Shirt balled in her hands, she molded her body to his.

He drew back a short distance. “You can kiss me like that and still say you hate me?”

Monday, March 22, 2010

On Vacation...

Currently Reading: Finished Blue Gold...and everything 'fell' into place finally! Full of action, drama, suspense....but I was disappointed in some spots. I may read this again at a later date. Also read Anny Cook's Larkspur, and now I understand one of her blog posts from last week, concerning 'stranger sex'. Also finished The Oath, Book #3 by Adrianne Brennan. Next up: The final book loaded on my e-reader, Dakota Rebel's Wolf in Men's Clothing! Can you tell I've been lounging at the pool? Thankfully I brought along Lethal Seduction and my father gave me two more John Irving books:)


I know; this is my 3rd 'vacation'. But this time I'm with two of my kids, enjoying an indoor water park.

Come back tomorrow for my interview with the newly published Elaine Hopper:)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Currently Reading: Still on Blue Gold...I'm up to Ch 47 (p. 316) and finally the pieces are beginning to fit:) Very clever, Lindsay...


This one's for Travis...

On Employees, Not Quite Zombies

David Blunkett also revealed yesterday that employers in the hotel and restaurant sector and the food manufacturing industry were to be allowed to recruit less killed workers from abroad early next year
.

from a story in The Guardian (UK)

Have a good weekend:) Two of my kids and I are headed to Grandma's next week, and since I've not yet received my Tuesday interview, don't know if I'll post or not until we return on Wednesday.

Happy 56th birthday to my SU:) Fixing him Johnsonville brats for dinner, along with a cake. Celebrating tomorrow at Lone Star with my parents:)

March Madness, Round #2:
Today:
Kansas Lost:(
Kentucky WIN:)
Tennessee WIN:)
Washington WIN:)
Butler WIN:)
Baylor WIN:)
BYU Lost:(
Villanova Lost:(

5-3 tonight:)

Sunday:
Maryland Lost
Cornell WIN:)
Georgia Tech Lost
Missouri Lost
Gonzaga Lost
Duke Win:)
Purdue WIN:)
Xavier WIN:)

4-4 today:)

I only missed two yesterday:) Let's see how well I do this weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday: My New 'Office'

Currently Reading: I'm up to Ch 34 (p. 233) on Blue Gold:) And discovered I already own one of the Jackie Collins' books I'd bought, Lethal Seduction. But what the hell...I'm rereading it anyway! Just wasn't in the mood for the VC Andrews book just yet.


2000:
We had 'clean-up day' at the ball field. I went over to lend a hand and discovered the concession stand had undergone a change! There was now a doorway to the storage unit (previously, if anything was needed, one had to exit the stand, walk all the way around to the doorway, and retrieve it.) and a set of shelves on the wall. The treasurer also handed me a blank check and told me to go buy three new microwaves and a chest freezer.

Lowes had the best prices, so we made the trip into town and bought what was needed. I also was interested in a nacho cheese machine, as I'd burned my hand the previous years on the crock pot, heating up the cheese in the microwave. I actually enjoyed contacting various distributors to find the best price, and when I picked it up, the seller gave me a brief tour of his warehouse and even knocked an additional twenty dollars from the overall price. My spouse even showed me how to take the pump apart for maximum cleaning.

March Madness, Day #2
I was 9/16 yesterday; not too bad:) There were several close games; looking forward to today's games, which include Purdue vs Sienna. Here are today's picks:
Michigan State (last year's runner-up) WIN:)
Maryland WIN:)
Temple Lost...I KNEW I should have picked Cornell...
Wisconsin WIN:)
Missouri WIN:)
W. Virginia WIN:)
Georgia Tech WIN:)
Ohio St WIN:)
Syracuse WIN:)
Duke WIN:)
Louisville Lost
Texas A&M WIN:)
Purdue WIN:)
Gonzaga WIN:)
Xavier WIN:)
Pittsburgh WIN:)

Yay! 14/16 today:)

Have a good day! Temps are still in the upper 60's and W has slept in 'Big Boy' underwear since Tuesday night, and woken up dry! Looks as if I can donate the rest of his nighttime pullups:) And get rid of that $15/month expense! Way to go W!! Mommy's proud of you:)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Rumors Of Her Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated..."

Currently Reading: Finished The Book Of Scandal, and now I want to read Highland Scandal! This series is fantastic! Definitely a Recommended Read:)

E-book:
I'm still on Blue Gold; I'm up to page 186, Ch 27.

Phone call around 10am yesterday
:
"We're calling in order to clear up a discrepancy in our records. Is (MIL) still residing at (facility) or is she in fact deceased?"

"Unless there's been a severe communication breach; she was alive and kicking the other day!"

"Okay...here's what I need you to do..."

I went out to the facility yesterday and paid her monthly bill, plus confirmed that yes, my MIL is still alive:) A conference with the office staff revealed someone in either the Medicare office, Social Security office, or other, accidentally pushed the wrong record button, rendering my MIL, at least on paper, deceased. This has caused a headache for medical billing, prescriptions, and other 'red tape'. Due to commitments with my 'other daughter' yesterday, I was not able to make it to the Social Security office. But as soon as they open in about a half hour, I'm heading over there to straighten them out. We can't get a 'deceased person' on a Medicare D prescription plan! Plus, I had to have the facility hold the check I'd written, until her bank statement arrives, proving the funds are there.

"Are You Ready To Rumble?"
It's that time of year again! Earlier this month I was worried about having to watch my March Madness on the computer, or at least keep track of the scores that way. But now, I'm free to watch all the basketball I want, and UPSTAIRS this year:) Here's my first round picks for today:
Kansas WIN 90-74
UNLV Lost 69-66, another buzzer-beater.
Kentucky WIN 100-71
Texas Lost 81-80 (I almost picked Wake Forest, but changed my mind. Grrr...)
Tennessee WIN 62-59
Georgetown Lost, 97-83
Washington WIN 80-78
New Mexico WIN 62-57
Butler WIN 77-59
Florida Lost, 99-92, Double OT
Kansas St WIN 82-62
Notre Dame Lost, 51-50. Geez...I leave to pick up W and it's a one-point loss...
Baylor WIN 68-59
Richmond Lost 80-71
Villanova WIN 73-70 OT
Vanderbilt Lost, 66-65 buzzer beater:(

As always, I'll post the outcome in purple as they come in.
9/16 the first day. Not bad. I'm going to quit posting the scores; that was too time consuming!

Temps today are supposed to hit 70! Looking forward to another day of open doors and windows:) Sometimes fresh air inspires the imagination...especially since I have about seven pages of longhand to type!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Unicorn Song

Blogger's not cooperating with me; I wanted this sweet picture of baby Shaant at the end of this post. But every time I try to move it down, it disappears. So enjoy this baby eye candy (LOL!) and enjoy my personal favorite St. Patrick's Day song.

Sam and family came over last night; I'd baked her a Red Velvet cake plus fixed chicken and rice in the slow cooker while I was at my weekly writer's meeting. Shaant was alert and happy during his mommy's birthday celebration, and we captured this smile:)


The Unicorn Song, by The Irish Rovers
Enjoy:)
Click here

Everyone remember to wear green today, or you'll get pinched! I'm fixing corned beef for dinner and heading over to either Long John Silver's or KFC for some yummy cole slaw.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Belinda McBride:)

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

Hi! I’m Belinda McBride, I live in Northern California near Mt. Shasta, and I write erotic romance. Hmm…I specialize in sci fi and paranormal, and from there, anything goes. LGBT, m/f, BDSM, you name it. My paranormal sci fi Belle Starr is an EPIC finalist this year, and another of my books, Sex and Chocolate: Toxic was nominated for a CAPA in the paranormal division.

My newest release…well, actually I had two release within a week of each other. The first is An Uncommon Whore at Loose Id. That’s a m/m space opera about a Helios, a slave who is much more than he seems. He’s found by his former bodyguard, who was also his lover. Griffin Knows that he must return Helios to his people and his rightful position, but if he does so, might lose the love of his life.

The second release is Last Call Europe: Devil’s Advocate at Changeling Press. Of course, Satan’s favorite demon is also an attorney…LOL! A young tiger shifter couple bargains a night of sex with Jedidiah Wormwood Worth in exchange for his legal skills. Jedidiah thinks the job will be a breeze, and thoroughly enjoys his night with David and Mya, but things don’t go as he expects. When the morning comes, life will be very different for the Councilor!

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
Actually, yes, several projects have kind of frightened me. An Uncommon Whore was one, because I’d never done a m/m story before, so I felt I was stepping out on a limb with it. It started as a m/f story, but it just felt wrong with a heroine. When I tried a male voice, it simply clicked for me. Also, the subject matter was somewhat harsh in places, but Helios was such a graceful character that he made it easy!

The hardest, most scary thing for me is to write the sequel to a popular book. I hate that!

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Well, tiny bits. For example, I love Chinese martial arts, so they are heavily featured in the Black Planet series. Belle Starr was inspired by a late night adventure with my Siberian Huskies. I collect gemstones, so gems and minerals tend to pop up in storylines.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
It depends on the project. I’m starting an urban fantasy series set in an alternate Las Vegas, and am doing quite a bit of research for that story. When I’m doing a story like Belle Starr, I don’t worry about research, per se, but I make sure that the rules of my make-believe world are all organized. I hate reading a series where a character is his aunt in one book, then her aunt in the next.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
Again, it varies from book to book. In An Uncommon Whore, I wanted to convey the message that sometimes we are powerless, and can only accept and learn from the situation that we are experiencing. In the Black Planet books, there is a character named Guo Lee, who is an incredibly powerful character. In spite of his age and skill, he sweeps floors and wears canvas tennis shoes. I think he was inspired because I once met an incredibly powerful and influential man, and he was the most humble person I’ve ever met.
Sometimes there’s no message at all, just fun. J

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I’m both. I can sit down and take off sometimes, but once I have a clear feeling for the book, I lay out the beginning, middle and end, as well as character charts. The better you know your characters, the more likely you won’t lose control. And yes, I’ve had books just take off on their own. Belle Starr was like that; Belle Oakley had such a powerful presence that the entire story was completely improvised. And I think it turned out fine! Soul Keeper was also completely pantsed, and that book ran around 95K!

How long did it take for you to be published?
I spent about a year writing, and then started submitting. Imperative: Missing You was rejected once, then picked up at Changeling Press, Soul Keeper was accepted at the first publisher I sent it to, and it took about a year for them to respond. That was a very long wait! LOL! So about a year from finishing to contracts for them both.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
“Be patient, grasshopper.”

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Laptop all the way. I do take pen and paper notes if I’m away from the computer. I have been known to outline a story on a napkin. Must haves? Silence, a comfortable chair. That’s pretty much it.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
I have to say that Georgette Heyer’s anti-heroes from Black Sheep and These Old Shades influenced me. They were dark, sexual heroes who gave me naughty thoughts. I really got enthused when I read Emma Holly books. I have an ever-changing series of favorite authors, but Neil Gaiman, Laurell Hamilton, Marjorie Liu and Charlaine Harris (her Grave series) are always at the top of the list.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Not really about me, but my daughter is Johnny Depp’s yacht chef.

For Fun:

What is your favorite Spring Break vacation?
Hmm…since I don’t really take a spring break vacation…here’s one from my memory: When I was little, we used to always visit my grandparents. One year, Grandma hid the Easter eggs. My brother and cousin were big bullies and always pushed us away from the eggs. Well, Grandma had a chicken that laid green eggs, so she put a raw green egg at the top of a pole. They climbed to the top, Craig put the egg in his pocket and Donald reached in to grab it. They both got egged!

Favorite St. Patrick’s Day memory or ritual?

When I can, I go out and listen to some of the local Irish and Scottish groups perform. That’s always fun!

I’m a March Madness fan. Do you follow the college basketball tournaments? If so, who’s your favorite team?
Nope. Not a sports fan. Sorry! I do root for Karen Ramstead and Team North Wapiti in the Iditarod!

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
I write for Loose Id, Changeling Press and New Concepts Publishing. Most of my books are available at All Romance E Books, Fictionwise, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.com, as well as at their publishers.

My website: http://www.belindamcbride.com
My blog: http://www.belindam.blogspot.com

TITLE: AN UNCOMMON WHORE

AUTHOR: BELINDA McBRIDE

GENRE: SCI FI/SPACE OPERA, M/M

BUY LINK: http://www.loose-id.com/An-Uncommon-Whore.aspx

EXCERPT WARNINGS: M/M sexual interactions

BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=TK0Ub47US0w

BLURB:

“As a general rule, you won’t find the love of your life while you’re on your knees under a table.”

Helios Dayspring

Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most dangerous bar on Warlan. He has no memory, no future of his own, yet deep inside Pasha knows that that he is meant for better things. The day that Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows that he mustn’t let the stranger slip away, regardless of what he must do to attract his attention.

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the greater part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his knees, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, the hardened officer finds himself falling for the allure of the sensual creature who has taken his place. Returning Helios to his position on the throne is the only right thing to do, yet Griffin knows that in doing so, he risks losing his lover forever.

“A whore is a whore is a whore, unless he’s something else completely. I guess I must be an uncommon whore.”

Helios Dayspring

* * * * *
EXCERPT

I continued to evaluate the room, when my attention was caught by a long, lean figure sprawled negligently at a table near the back exit. Even seated, it was plain that he was taller than the average humanoid. He was hard muscled and battle worn. His black hair was overlong and tumbled in a wavy mass down his neck. The profile he gave me was hard as a blade. An arched nose accentuated cruel, sensuous lips. He wore a black leather patch over one eye, and a scar bisected his high, hard cheekbone. Since he was blind on my side, I took the occasion to watch him openly. He couldn’t possibly see me behind the veil, but I was certain that he felt my stare.

He surveyed the room slowly, stopping to watch a whore take position between a gambler’s knees. After a few moments, the pirate reached down and readjusted his cock, and then turned his attention elsewhere. He might be interested, but he was here for a reason other than sex.

But God! His head turned slowly in our direction, and my mouth grew dry. My head spun at the impact of that gaze. His remaining eye was black as night and as fierce as flame. I felt the weight of his gaze from behind the veil, where my eyes were covered by a mesh panel. He looked at me for a few heartbeats and then moved on.

I shifted uncomfortably; my cock had grown long and heavy beneath the sheer gauzy robes that covered me from head to foot. Pain lanced through me as it reached the limits allowed by the chastity ring that shackled me. Every instinct urged me to cross the room, to take his arms and look into that dark face…to make him see me.

Sadly I could only go where summoned, and not far from the dark man, a nervous-looking human was gesturing to U’shma. My chest went tight as my owner rose to begin negotiations with the john. They whispered and they argued, and finally U’shma signaled defeat. Not really defeat; the twitch of his blunt fingers told me that he’d negotiated a higher-than-expected price.

Rising smoothly to my feet, I carefully manipulated the folds of fabric that shrouded my body and face. There were perhaps three seconds for me to decide on a course of action. An erupting fight in my path held me steady in place, buying a few more seconds and ultimately, the opportunity to act. I’d paused within a few paces of the dark man when a body inevitably slammed into mine, throwing me in his direction. My hand lashed out, knocking over the goblet of sweet wine that sat on the table.

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered as the bloodred fluid soaked into his shirt and beaded off the battered black leather of his pants. He growled in annoyance and stood, hands brushing at the wet stains. I was tall, but he towered over me. His shoulders were nearly as wide as U’shma’s blockish form, and the black eye was as fierce as I’d imagined it would be.

Once again my lust surged, my heart pounded, and I knew that this man could not be allowed to walk away.

Happy, happy 18th birthday to my 'other daughter', Samantha!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reclaiming My House

Currently Reading: The Book of Scandal by Julia London (print) and still on Blue Gold by Lindsay Townsend. Really didn't do a lot of reading over the weekend.


How did it get to be March 15th already? I guess being out of town for six days makes one lose all track of time.

Anyway, I'm back to being In Charge again, with my first executive decision being no more morning news, other than the weather. I discovered I didn't have to watch it, and my morning goes more smoothly once I actually get moving. Dropped off the teens and took W to Burger King for breakfast before dropping him off. Came home, drank a cup of coffee, put the dogs out, made the bed, did my Quiet Time, and here it is, 9 am and I'm already on the computer. Feels good to be back in the swing of things:)

Over the weekend, I managed to whittle my 25 episodes of Law and Order down to twelve:) I'm still finding repeats I don't have to watch, so I suspect I'll whittle it down even more this afternoon.

I may have to enable comment moderation on here; over the past week I've received some strange, anonymous comments which have NOTHING to do with my posts. I'll give it another week. If it continues, I'll do it. Spammers, consider yourselves warned.

Nothing new on the writing front. I'm continuing to write 300 words here, 500 words there. Nothing consistent, so I hope my creativity breaks free soon:)

Happy Monday.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday's Stupid Saying and Update On My Health

This one's for Ashley:)

On We're Depending On You, Poets!
Only Poets Can Save Us From Millennnium Buggery

headline in The Times of India, referring to the so-called Y2K bug that was supposed to cripple computers

Health Update:
Last week, I was able to squeeze in a visit to my favorite dr, Dr. S. He was the dr assigned to us nearly eighteen years ago, when K was nine months old. Five minutes with the man and our personalities 'clicked'. I love and respect him as a medical professional, and he enjoys my wacky sense of humor during certain exams, plus the fact I wear Christmas socks 'to give him something better to look at':)

Anyway, after the expected scolding for not getting a yearly mammogram and for not having an exam in two and a half years, plus the brief 'catch-up' on the lives of everyone in my family (I even whipped out my e-reader and showed him Kenzie's book, hee hee hee!), he listened to my chief complaint, gave me a thorough exam, and ordered blood work. And since I'd not eaten yet, he threw in a cholesterol check. And yes, gave me an order for a mammogram.

Monday, the results came back:
Estrogen: Low. He's putting me back on on low-dose pills.
FSH hormones: Elevated, suggesting that yes, I AM in perimenapaus. See above medication.
Thyroid: Consistent with under-active thyroid. I'll now be taking a daily pill, and guess what? I may lose some weight...(rubs hands together in glee!)
Cholesterol: 244. Supposed to be under 200, so right now, diet and exercise. There go my beloved carbs...the SU laughed at me.

"I've been telling you to eat more fruit!"

News Flash: I only eat the occasional apple, banana, and slice of watermelon. I'll eat more honeydew melon and red seedless grapes. Veggies? Corn, peas (if they start out as frozen), and carrots. And I've already vowed to start walking again, once the weather cooperates.

And since it's Lent, I'm still following my portion-control diet. Although I slipped up last week with the trip to Cold Stone and my order of Chocolate Jello Pudding ice cream (Afterward, I decided I'd given up grocery-store ice cream, lol!). And last night at Ponderosa; I ate four dinner rolls with my two plates of food (hey, they were nice and yeasty...just the way I like 'em!)

I'll be good this week; I promise. The SU begins Pipeline School/training tomorrow!

Have a good weekend; I'm off to watch another of the 20+ episodes of L&O. Maybe I'll get lucky and most are repeats of what I've already watched??

Currently Reading: Finally finished The Heavenstone Secrets. Now onto the sequel. And yes, I was still rolling my eyes at the end. But I want to see how this will play out...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sleepwalker Checking In...

Currently Reading: I'm up to Ch 18 on Blue Gold, and can't quite figure out the story yet. It's intriguing, and while certain scenes are finally coming together, I was tempted to stop reading around page 50. Now I'm glad I kept going; at first it was a case of 'keep reading; surely the storyline will make sense soon!' Proof it's been too long since I've read the blurb or sample excerpt!

I also downloaded Anny Cook's Larkspur, which is a FREE READ over at Ellora's Cave:) I missed out on her chat the other night, but arrived just in time to learn it was free:)

Print Book: I'm also reading my way through VC Andrews The Heavenstone Sisters and I'm having several eye-rolling moments at one of the main characters. It's the manipulations and obvious snobbery of this character; I'm having a hard time believing anyone buying into some of her crap! But then again, some people, when blinded by grief, love, and career pressures will believe anything....


I was all set to resume my normal activities after being a 'lady of leisure' for five days. HA! I was so sluggish yesterday, all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed and sleep. And it had nothing to do with the fact it was my bed, instead of a leather couch.

Nooo...around seven-thirty last night, I discovered what my problem was: A major drop of Caffeine Intake. Instead of starting off the day with two French Vanilla lattes and McD's Sweet Tea throughout the day, I'd begun the day with the discovery of no coffee creamer in the refrigerator. After dropping W at school, I went to the store for some and decided to surprise my hubby with Burger King breakfast. He was very appreciative of my thoughtfulness, and as I consumed my coffee and breakfast sandwiches, we discussed everything that couldn't be discussed over the phone: Mail, bills, K's Eagle Scout Court of Honor plans...and what food was in the house.

And then it was time for his eye appointment. I took my e-reader and read for two hours. It turned out he didn't need to be dilated after all, and we joked I could have actually stayed in Indy for a few more day. Came home and started on the laundry. Checked email and blogs. Went to pick up W, who had asked me to pick him up after school (isn't it nice when one of your kids actually wants to be seen with you?).

Came back and after checking his take home papers, he ran outside to ride his new bike. I decided to watch an episode or two of my DVR'd L&O. But after five minutes, I was barely concentrating on the story and went to lie down 'for a few minutes'.

Three hours later, my SU woke me up and asked if we were going to start dinner. I was appalled I'd been asleep since 2:30 and jumped out of bed. Yawned my way through dinner; yawned my way through Survivor. Sleepily read a story to W and we both crawled into bed.

Not surprisingly, I woke up refreshed at six am this morning:) I think my body's adjusting to the sudden drop in my caffeine level, and though I had three cups of coffee instead of just two, I'm alert and ready to tackle the day. I don't know if I'll get any writing accomplished today, but I neglected my yahoo email yesterday and am expecting twenty or so digests in my inbox. And once again, I joined a new chat loop while having limited internet access, so I need to go over and introduce myself!

Happy Friday! Today I'm back to reclaiming my house and finishing up chores not accomplished yesterday. But hopefully I won't feel the need to sleep until my regular bedtime.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Speedy Vacation

Currently Reading: LOVED The Art of Losing!! Now onto Lindsay Townsend's historical about Ancient Greece, Blue Gold:)


All good things must come to an end....and today I have to head home. I've had a wonderful time, selfishly spending two hours at Starbucks, drinking French Vanilla Latte's, sending and answering emails, and updating my blog. I've also treated myself to lunch at restaurants I've missed for the past three years, browsed through my favorite Border's store, spent time with a friend I've not seen in over two years.

I've also tried to establish a routine in the morning with the 'grandkids', and hope it will continue after I'm gone and their mother takes over. I don't know if it will, because she's been home now for two days and we've fallen 10 minutes behind yesterday and fifteen minutes behind today. But thankfully traffic wasn't too bad, so we still made it to school on time.

I did get a reminder of what I DON'T like about this town: J and I had gone to Walmart and time was running short as I dropped her off at the condo. I left slightly later than I liked, to go get the kids, and got stuck in a horrific traffic jam. The interstate was closed between two crucial interchanges, and we were all directed off onto a main street. Being the savvy person I think I am, I decided to go north instead of following the traffic. But the joke was on me, because of some added stoplights, and I took the wrong street. By the time I found my way over to the street I needed, I was supposed to already be in line at school. I called J and told her to call the school; I would be at least fifteen minutes late. And when I did arrive, we gassed up the car, got a snack, and took an alternate route home. Stop-and-go traffic is NOT my idea of 'quality time'!

I have done some networking while I've been here. I've introduced my e-reader to several people, and handed out business cards. I thrilled a CSM at Borders when I revealed my published status. I've also met another writer who dreams of being published one day, and encouraged him to keep at it.

I've also had plenty of goof-off time, and my SIL and I have enjoyed a nightly movie. We've watched 'Phantom of the Opera' (I confess...I cried like a baby!); 'One Night with the King'; and 'National Treasure 2'. Last week, the younglings were watching The Wizard of Oz, and we were acting out 'We Welcome You To Munchkin Land' in the kitchen. MDQ caught us doing the Lollipop Guild, and laughed at us.

Have I accomplished any writing? A little. A friend told me I was living 'the writer's dream', of having six uninterrupted hours to myself. Truthfully, I needed some downtime. And at night, after the kids are in bed and before the movie begins, I have written a paragraph or two. Then out comes the chocolate wine; she and I put on our jammies; she hits 'PLAY'; and we relax. And I have her son J, who's attending college, somewhat 'trained' to bring me a sweet tea from McD's when he comes home:) I'm sleeping on the couch, so it's nice to be able to simply roll over, grab a sip of cold tea in the middle of the night, and go back to sleep! I don't have to get up and worry about tripping over anything:) Yeah, I've been slightly spoiled....But my SIL doesn't drink tea; she drinks coffee. And McD's is just down the street, a two-minute drive. So everyone is happy:)

Tomorrow, it's back to Reality. Back to being a mom, and taking my SU to his eye exam. I think this time apart has even helped our relationship!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Raine Delight:)


Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
A: Thanks for having me here. My name is Raine Delight and I write for Aspen Mountain Press. I currently have five books with them. Four are part of my popular Devon Falls series and one standalone title. I live in NY with my two kids and my boytoy of four years.  I have a love addiction of Johnny Depp movies, natural disaster films (WOOT to 2012!) and am a self-proclaimed “Book addict”.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
A: Not really. Some of my ideas come from reading an article or hearing something that made me go “Hmmm…..what would happen if this happened instead?”.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
A: Nope *shakes head*. Frankly my life is very, very boring. LOL I may incorporate items like my past jobs as a baker/cook or something like that in them but otherwise nope because frankly, dearest boytoy would kill me. *laughs*

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
A: Depends on what I am writing. I am writing a new paranormal BDSM trilogy that had me researching this world that I have no idea what it involves for close to six months straight. I delved in BDSM world with gusto *Giggles*. Let me tell you, some things were very interesting to hear about and I met some wonderful people who helped get those questions I had answered. It all depends on the storyline.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
A: Well first I want them entertained. Frankly, if you are not entertained by what you are reading then chances is they won’t pick any other books by you and tell their friends to boycott you and so forth. Second I want them to fall in love with the characters. Recently AJ reviewed Haunting Magic (Now available at Aspen Mountain Press) and raved about it. He also gave it a recommended read, my first one! Read the review here: http://ddrreviews.blogspot.com/2009/12/devon-falls-4-haunting-magic-by-raine.html

My characters are, by extension, the people who live in my head, screaming at me (or are that my muse?) and I try to convey who they are to you within the pages of my books.

Third, I will love you forever if you tell me what you liked/loved about it (or hated). Any feedback is good feedback, in my opinion.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
A: Oh god, I am a pantser all the way. I tried the whole storyboard-outline thing and frankly I almost gave myself a heart attack trying to figure where the story would go. When I create a new story, it takes a life of its own and goes in directions even I am shocked by. I let the muse have its head because frankly, I do not want that man yelling at me or leaving me in a huff. Have you ever seen or heard a muse who through a temper tantrum? Mine does on a regularly basis and I get tired of it. *sighs* Nowadays, I let the characters roam and most of the time, it turns out quite unexpectedly.

How long did it take for you to be published?
A: Hmm….*thinks* I think about 4 months. *small grin* I wrote Sticky Magic in one week and in three months it was contracted at a defunct publisher. It was an interesting journey to get to where I am now at Aspen Mountain Press.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
A: Learn more on writing process and what is not welcome in your stories. Work on POV (point of view) and head hopping. I came into this blind and luckily, had some wonderful editors who helped me hone in on my trouble spots and make my writing stronger.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
A: Laptop. Sorry, tried the whole pen and paper thing and it just doesn’t work for me. A blank word doc. is a must for me.

My must haves? Um…green tea and music, even if it is a radio station on low for noise. I also use music to put me in the mood when I write certain scenes in my stories and mention them sometimes within as well.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
A: Oh geez..this is like asking what kid is your favorite. I have so many I would be here till 2012….maybe. But let me see…Deborah Cooke, Yasmine Galenorn, Bertrice Small, LA Banks, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Celina Summers, Jenna Black, CE Murphy, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, JD Robb, JR Ward, Selena Illyria, Lena Austin, Cherise Sinclair and so many more, it would fill the pages.

Influence me? In the beginning it was the way Ms. Small wrote her Historical Romances. Before I got into her books, I read tame stuff that showed “Closed-door” scenes where you just wondered what happened. Then I found her Skye O’Malley series and it opened a world where historical romance can be HAWT! Dang if she got my reading bug lit and then I branched into other authors like Kenyon, Ward and JD Robb to explore.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
A: Well, not sure if they knew this but I drove, by myself at age 23 to work and live at the Grand Canyon, AZ. I had $200 in my pocket (and that was when gas was 99 cents and whatnot) and outran a tornado when I was driving out of Oklahoma. It was an experience I will never forget.

For Fun:
What is your favorite Spring Break vacation?
A: Spring break? What is that? I n ever, ever took a vacation on spring break. I worked or stayed at home. If I could say, hypothetically, to go to Southwest or to Europe (Italy, Ireland or London).

Favorite St. Patrick’s Day memory or ritual? (ie: Do you wear green? Fix corned beef and cabbage? Speak with an Irish dialect for fun?)
A: Oh geez…I am pinky Irish. *laughs* Seriously that is about how much Irish I have in me and on St. Pat’s day, I make shamrock cookies and that is it. I don’t like Corned Beef and Cabbage so I normally don’t make that at all. Though I have been known to tell honey “Kiss me I am Irish”. *laughs*

I’m a March Madness fan. Do you follow the college basketball tournaments? If so, who’s your favorite team?
A: *gulps* Will I be hanged if I said all sports bore me to tears.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
A: Thanks for having me here. I had fun and these questions made me think.
Where to find me:
Website/blog: http://authorrainedelight.com
Reader’s loop: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Author_Raine_Delight
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Raine_Delight
Publisher: www.aspenmountainpress.com
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=raine+delight&x=0&y=0
All Romance E-books (ArE): http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
Fictionwise: http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mwsearch
1Romance E-book store: http://1romanceebooks.com/index.php?searchMe=raine+delight&column=author&_a=viewCa t




Devon Falls: Red Hot Magic
Paranormal Erotic Romance/Light Bondage



Raven Demarco has sworn off men after one too many disastrous dates and soon begins dreaming of a mystery man who makes her feel things that she never expects to feel again. When the auction comes closer, her sensual dreams become more than she can handle and she finds herself wishing her dream man would show up and sweep her off her feet. What will she do when the man himself comes to claim her: Heart, body and soul?

Jean-Claude LeFever is a dream walker and has searched for years for his mate and finally found her in Raven. With his seduction of her in her dreams driving them wild, he makes sure to come to Devon Falls and make her his for all time as time is running out for him and their love. If she doesn’t fall in love with him by midnight, Jean-Claude is destined to walk the planes of dreams for the next hundred years before finding his love again. Can he be able to steal her heart and make her his for all time? Or will it be too late for them?

Adult excerpt:


Raven felt the soft breeze swirl, and the silk sheets slither around her body like a lovers hands. She opened her eyes. Looking around, she knew she wasn’t in her apartment at the same time she comprehended that this was a dream; she also knew something was going to happen tonight and it would change her life forever.

“You’re awake I see. I was hoping you would soon, since we have so many other delicious things to do yet, my love.” The deep voice whispered across the room. Raven shivered as she felt the desire race thru her body faster than she ever could imagine.

“Who are you? What do you want of me?” She asked. Turning left then right, she tried to figure out where the voice came from.

As the breeze swirled around the room, it caressed her naked body, making her nipples tighten and wetness pool in her core. Trying not to let her mystery man know how he much he affected her, Raven tried to still her aching body with deep breaths. That is until she spied the tall man walking towards her from the shadows. With hair dark as midnight, a body that had her almost weeping in pleasure at the strength that seemed to storm her defenses with just a look, stormy blue eyes locked onto her green ones. He was easily over 6 foot 5″ and he was utterly, deliciously naked…with a cock that begged to be suckled and licked. It was absolutely the largest one Raven had ever seen and it was growing larger with ever step he took towards her. She knew instinctively this man would give her the ultimate pleasure she has been searching for with and she would crave more from him.

Gulping quickly, she felt rather than saw him sit on the edge of the bed. As her eyes traveled up his body to his face, she caught laughter in those marvelous eyes as he watched her take stock in his body.

“Love, you don’t have to be afraid. You know who I am even if you don’t want to admit it. I am your soul mate and I have been searching for you for a long time. You need me as much as I need you, Cheri. Don’t deny our love, because I am coming for you.”

Raven shivered as those words slammed into her with a desire that almost had her coming on the spot. Shifting a little, Raven asked again, “Who are you?”

Before she could do or say anything else, this towering man took her hand, palm side up and with a kiss in the center said, “I am your destiny!”

Raven tried to speak, her lips opened but before she could say one word she felt him tip her face towards his and as he settled those sexy lips on hers, one last thought pierced her already lust filled brain…Damn he is like a decadent dessert…all ready to gobble up unless you slow yourself down to enjoy every last bite

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mixing It Up

Currently Reading: Still on Lisa Troy's The Art of Losing. I've made it to Ch. 25, and with fifty pages left, I hope I'm correct about a certain character! I love the humor in this book, and I think I already called it a Recommended Read. If not, I just did! I also received word that last week, I won Dakota Rebel's A Wolf in Men's Clothing over at the RP blog:) I'm looking forward to it; this means I'll get to read two Dakota books this month!!!


Over the weekend, a fellow author emailed me with a question. I wasn't sure about the answer, since I'm still a relative newbie to this biz, so with her permission, I'm throwing this out for expert opinion:

Can an initial 'good guy' hero become the 'bad guy' in a story and vice versa? My gut reaction was 'yes'; it's a plot twist which would certainly create a fresh take on the HEA, and not be so predictable.

I consulted my SIL, who liked the idea. But what's YOUR take? Will a publisher accept a romance in which the heroine ends up with Mr. Unexpected? Or does it just depend on the manner in which it is written?

In other news, I'm back in Indianapolis for the next three days. J is hopefully being released today, and I'm headed to the hospital as soon as I get my internet work finished. So everyone have a good day!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Internet Finally!

Currently Reading: I'm up to Chapter 19 on Lisa Troy's The Art of Losing:) BOY is this book hilarious! Definite Recommended Read, just for the humor alone! And with the past two hellish weeks, I've needed a laugh!


No, I did not drop off the planet again. I'm taking some 'me' time for the second time in two months. I took ME and MDQ to their grandmother's house, and settled in to the routine. So far, everything is going well. I get up at 6 or so and chat with my SIL over coffee. At 7, I wake up the younglings and get dressed. Get them dressed, breakfast eaten, hair and teeth brushed, their bedding picked up, etc.

By 8, we're in the car, headed for school. Drop them off by 9 and return to shower at my leisure. I'm currently enjoying Starbucks coffee and finally getting around to some writing.

Yesterday, I met up with friends I've not seen since 2008 and showed off the e-reader. Our server was interested in it too, so I showed her how it worked. Turns out she LOVES to read, so I whipped out my business card. Guess what? I can write this entire trip off as a business expense.

Update on J:
They removed her appendix; this morning, she reports the only pain she has is the incision. No word yet on when they'll release her. I have to go home tomorrow, so K can have the car, but I'll be back up here on Sunday night, to take the kids to school on Monday. And both kids were VERY happy to be back among their friends!

Not sure if I'll post tomorrow; if I do, it will be late in the day. If I have time this afternoon, I
may head over to Border's. Or save it until next week. Who knows?

Did anyone else watch Survivor last night? I was able to tune in for the Immunity Challenge. I don't know if I'm upset with JT for flipping his vote, or cheering him on for keeping Colby in the game. Who do YOU think needs to go, in order to unify this team?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Decision Time

Currently Reading: Loved, loved, LOVED Love At First Bight! I was rather surprised when I arrived at Chapter 18...but it worked out in the end. And there was a sneak peek at Tymber's Love Slave for Two, which is also rapidly rising on my TBB list! Another Recommended Read!
Next up: The Art of Losing by Lisa Troy. I read chapter one last night:)

As you know, my 'grandkids' have been here for now twelve days. They were only supposed to be here for two.

We've had to buy them clothing, since they are two hours away from home. They've not attended school, and we've improvised with lots of books and educational computer games. And when my kindergardener brings home reading lists, I make ME, who's seven and in the 1st grade, read them to me. The first time, he was highly insulted. But after hearing him struggle, I realized the kid has no interest in reading.

Tough; he's gotta learn.

This is hard for me, because my kids WANTED to read. Reading was a joy, not a form of torture. MDQ, on the other hand, is reading every kiddie book in the house, and is thrilled when she learns new words. But ME is more content to watch TV or play Putt Putt Saves The Zoo, which involves problem solving. And when I installed Green Eggs and Ham, which helps reading skills, my computer developed a problem and had to be scanned. Verdict: My PC is too advanced for the older Living Books programs (my kids loved them ten years ago, but now we're on computer #3!) so it's back to regular books with him. Which is trying my patience.

So tonight I'm taking them home. I'm packing a suitcase and spending the night at my SIL's house. I will take them to school in the morning and pick them up at night. Their mother is finally going to have her surgery tomorrow, but who knows when she'll be released?

And since K was planning on having the car for the weekend, I have to either return home Friday or rent a car for the trip up and back. I can use J's car while I'm there. I have no idea if I'll have access to a computer; I'm still arguing with my daughter about taking her laptop.

Of course, if the SU would just buy me one...or I'd chosen it over the e-reader...sigh....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Victoria Roder:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
I live in central Wisconsin with my husband Ron and a houseful of misfit pets. Since I have a BA in Education and work with children everyday I thought I should try my hand at writing for children’s books, but that’s not exactly what happened. Although I have written articles, short stories and puzzles for youngsters my novel The Dream House Visions and Nightmares, Asylett Press July 2009 is definitely for adults.

In The Dream House Visions and Nightmares, recurring dreams of a house Hope Graham's family rented when she was a child, taunt her nights with images of a woman in a bloody nightgown pleading for help. Dream sequences of children metamorphosing into rats, blood spewing out of windows, and walking across decaying bones, foretell of sins of the past and forewarn of danger in the present. In an attempt to end the agony of her sleep deprivation, Hope travels to her hometown...only to discover that the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare. The romance comes in the form of a very sexy bakery owner named Brock Cooper. Brock offers Hope all the things her ex-husband didn't, friendship, support, encouragement, romance, understanding and love.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
My dreams have always been a little frightening, and I was experiencing a recurring dream that led to writing The Dream House Visions and Nightmares. My work in progress, The Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary has a few scenes that have kept me up at night.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
I’m a writer so everything I hear, observe, touch, and experience can lead to material for a book. I love observing and analyzing human behaviors. My friend Denny gave me a t-shirt that says “Be careful, you may end up a character in my next novel. In The Dream House Visions and Nightmares and Bolt Action I delve into some of the emotional pain of domestic violence, which I experienced as a child before I was adopted. The Dream House Visions and Nightmares is based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where I was born, and in each of my books I mention Wisconsin life. Of course, I have to reference the Green Bay Packers, brats, cheese curds, various cities, and tourist attractions in my novels.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
Each of my books has required research, which I do as I write. Some of the research I’ve done has been for the Lotti Cooper, police procedure, autopsy facts, domestic violence, guns, medications, serial killers, and breast cancer statistics.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I want them to enjoy the story, but I want to convey that in the good or bad situations that life my challenge us with, we choose our attitude. Life can be hard, but we can make it or break it by with our positive or negative attitude.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I don’t outline, so I guess I’m a pantser and I wing it. To begin I have an idea and a character in mind. The characters end up taking the story line over, so it is also a surprise to me how the story will unfold and conclude. Sometimes while writing The Dream House Visions and Nightmares I would edit things the next day and never remember writing them.

How long did it take for you to be published?
It took me a year to get a contract from Asylett Press for The Dream House Visions and Nightmares and then a year for the book to come to print.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
“Qtip” Quit taking it personal. This is in regard to the rejections that will come. If I get a rejection I immediately look over my submission materials and send it out again. Determination, hard work, and persistence pay off.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
I must have coffee to write! I write my novels on the computer, but I copy the pages off to edit. The more I learn as a writer the more the pages look like a very mean English teacher got a hold of them.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Stephen King, Jordan Dane, and Heather Graham. I guess the influence would have comes from everything we read including the news.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I have no sense of direction and I don’t like to travel. I can even get disorientated trying to find my way out of large buildings. Good thing I don’t mind asking directions, unlike my husband.

For Fun:
What is your favorite Spring Break vacation?
When I was eighteen years old my sister Tammy and I went to California to visit our sister Helen. The highlight…a hot tub with a Scottish Rugby team.

Favorite St. Patrick’s Day memory or ritual? (ie: Do you wear green? Fix corned beef and cabbage? Speak with an Irish dialect for fun?)
My friend Alice showed up at work all decked out with green hair, green top hat, and a shamrock on her cheek. She was running around with green shot glasses and a bottle of something. I nearly had a heart attack because we work at a church. I was relieved it was only juice because I didn’t want to pull the I’m the boss card on my friend!

I’m a March Madness fan. Do you follow the college basketball tournaments? If so, who’s your favorite team?
Wisconsin Badgers of course!

The Dream House Visions And Nightmares by Victoria Roder Rated BEST BOOK by The Long and Short of it Reviews

Recurring dreams of a house Hope Graham's family rented when she was a child, taunt her nights with images of a woman in a bloody nightgown pleading for help. Dream sequences of children metamorphosing into rats, blood spewing out of windows, and walking across decaying bones, foretell of sins of the past and forewarn of danger in the present. In an attempt to end the agony of her sleep deprivation, Hope travels to her hometown...only to discover that the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare. The romance comes in the form of a very sexy bakery owner named Brock Cooper. Brock offers Hope all the things her ex-husband didn't, friendship, support, encouragement, romance, understanding and love.


Excerpt: The Dream House Visions And Nightmares, by Victoria Roder Asylett Press 2009.

I looked up and down the dimly lit street. There was no evidence of life. Nor were there any sounds. No dogs barking. No horns honking. No children playing. Nothing. I focused on the house-on its paneless windows, weathered boards and dilapidated porch sinking into a sea of overgrown grass and weeds-and nausea overcame me as an overwhelming moldy odor permeated the air. The look of the house didn’t make my skin crawl; it was the essence of it. I watched the dilapidated house-it moved closer. Perhaps it lured me to it. I began to shiver. I looked down at the white cotton nightgown that I wore. Silk embossed flowers decorated the bodice. I was still straining to hear a sound when I realized, blood had saturated my gown until it had become a second skin. I felt a tug on my gown. I looked down-Rae’s hair cascaded over her face as she clasped my hem through the fence. She pleaded, “Please, help me, please. Can’t you hear my children screaming?” I struggled to get away…

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

Visit me on my website www.victoriaroder.com where the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare.

Asylett Press
http://www.asylett.com

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Dream-House-Visions-Nightmares/dp/1934337641/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2

Barnes & Noble
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Dream-House-Vicions-And-Nightmares/Victoria-Roder/e/9781934337646/?tm=1