Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Karaoke Wednesday

Tonight, at the Billie and Molly Show Spectacular, along with Vickers, Steve, Cheryl, and whoever else decided to join in, I will be attempting the following songs:
-Back at One-Brian McKnight
-Band of God-Belinda Carlisle
-Because of You-Kelly Clarkson
-Before He Cheats-Carrie Underwood
-Because You Loved Me-Celine Dion
-Bad Company (maybe...I'm still undecided)
-Beauty and the Beast (if I can find someone willing to duet with me!)

Yes, I hear you...I posted these same ones last week.  BUT, being the night before a holiday, the bar was packed; we didn't have our usual table; and the rotation was an hour long.  We're hoping for a smaller crowd tonight.  I'm finally on page #2 of my selected songs; I've been doing this now for what, two or three months?  And just now got to the 2nd page?

I think the week of my birthday, I'm going to select a few of the new ones and sing those.  Or maybe devote that week to Christmas tunes.  Who knows; I still have three weeks to decide:)

Anyway, I'm off to the writing cave.  Today is the last day of NaNoWriMo, and I think my combined word count is roughly 10K.  So I'm doing fine:)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaNo Update: Diving Into New Territory....

Normally by now, I'm either hyperventilating or bemoaning the fact my muse is exhausted from trying to pound out 1600 words every day.  In 2007, my family was ready to have me committed to the mental ward, as I pretty much neglected the housework.  In 2008, I didn't put so much pressure on myself, but was mad at myself for not doing more.  2009 and 10, I relaxed.  And this year, while I didn't sign up for NaNo, I spent the first two weeks editing a 50K manuscript and my 2007 NaNo project, now whittled to 41K.

Last week, I spent two days typing up the 4K handwritten paranormal I'd begun in 2002 or 3 after reading my first EC books.  And kept going, adding another thousand words.  Took a break for Thanksgiving and to spend time with my kids.

On Sunday, something unusual happened around here.  The youngling found Gnomeo and Juliet on his brother's NetFlix account, so I watched it with him.  Meanwhile, the daughter hijacks my laptop for homework.  After reading everything on my e-reader, and after the college kid left to return to Purdue, I wandered into the living room where the SU was watching The Walking Dead marathon.  I'm not into zombies, so after a while I wandered out of the room again.

The youngling was watching Toy Story 3 on the desktop by this time, so after watching a little bit with him, I was restless.  Puttered around, doing minor chores, and then finally wandered back to the living room.  And ended up watching three complete episodes and pissing off the SU by asking questions during the commercial breaks.

Ended up sticking around at midnight to watch the rerun of the finale, since I had been putting the youngling to bed, and watching The Talking Dead, where the host interviewed the creator, producer, and one of the actors.

Fell into bed at 1am.....and woke up yesterday morning with an idea.

If you've been a loyal reader of this blog, you'll remember one Saturday morning when I woke up with a Very Angry Person in my head.  I wrote down his story, then wondered what to do with it.  I sent it to a friend, who sent it to another friend, who emailed me.

"I sooo see zombies in the next scene!"

I told him to write it, and it was decided the three of us would collaborate.

But the boys never held up their end, and it's just been sitting there on my hard drive, collecting dust.

Until yesterday.

It took me a while to find it; I'd forgotten what I'd named the file.  But after I re-read the original 3 pages, I flexed my fingers and began writing.  Three hours later, I had another three pages written (among various interruptions!), and another thousand words added.

And then I hit the creative wall.

I'm going to try punching my way through it today.  I don't know if I'll succeed or not, but thankfully tonight at Crit Group, I can get input on where it needs improvement or more ideas on where to take it.  This is soooo far out of my comfort zone!

But every now and then you just have to step out, right?

Wish me luck:)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Book Review (And Stupid Saying)

First of all, today's stupid saying:
In the future, I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make.
-socialite Paris Hilton

Duh!  (head slap) I would certainly hope so!

And now for the books I've read lately:




This book contains both Woman On Fire and Jillian's Job.  I'd read Woman On Fire before in e-format, so I eagerly devoured Jillian's Job.  I loved it and had a hard time putting it down:)



This was my first Linda Kage book, and it took me back to my own high school years of finding out the 'popular basketball player' was actually interested in (gasp!) ME!  Very enjoyable read and one I definitely recommend:) I look forward to Ms Kage's other work!



I think this is the one I had to finish reading on my laptop; for whatever reason, only pages 1-8 showed up on my laptop.  I really enjoyed the story, and watching Sara's ex-husband taken down a notch.  I'm going to download it again so I can read at my leisure, rather than scrolling rapidly to avoid underage eyes from seeing anything inappropriate, lol!



I really enjoyed this one!  I wanted to grab Colin and go with him back to Scotland, lol!


This is my first Allie Standiffer book, and it won't be my last!  I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between Petra and Roman, and loved how she included Duchess the dog near the end!  Great job Allie!

Next up:
I'm currently reading A Long Time Coming, soon to be followed by Wet Ride, then Whiz Bang.  I somehow managed to skip Bound and Determined, so need to go back and read it.  Desiree Holt never fails to entertain me, as does Rita Carlysle.

Happy Saturday:)  Today on the agenda is putting up the tree and decorating the house for Christmas.  My College Kid returns to Purdue tomorrow, so I'm enjoying the time we spend together.

Kenzie will be posting a short story tomorrow on The Writer's Evo blog, so stop by and say hi?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flashback Friday: My New Job

November 2001: 
A friend of mine was now a monitor on the preschool bus at the school corporation and mentioned they were in a bind:  One of the drivers had an emergency coming up and they needed another driver/monitor.


"Didn't you tell me you used to drive for somebody to and from school?"


"Yes; Crossroads in Indianapolis."


"You really need to talk to Mike, and put your application in."

I thought about it; talked it over with the spouse, and as the deadline drew nearer and they still hadn't found the right person, I put my application in.  A phone call later that day, and I was heading in to talk to Mike, the head of the Transportation Department.

He asked me about my driving experience and education background, then hired me on the spot.


"You've got the best resume of all the ones I've seen.  Can you be here at 6am tomorrow?"


"S-sure."

6am?  OMG...suddenly I was going to have to wake everyone up at 5:30am; make sure my kids got on the bus at 7am, and have the teenage neighbor watch them after school.  Thankfully, this would only last three days, and then I'd be on call.  I could handle that, right?

And it was fun, at first.  I got to know all the kids and both drivers, and after dropping the kids at school, we met at a coffee shop in Clayton for breakfast.  I was home by 10:15 and collapsed into bed for a nap.

At noon, I took a shower and was back at the school by 1, then arrived home around 5.

Thanksgiving arrived, and we traveled south to the MIL's house.  And received a shock two hours later:  Nephew D and his girlfriend arrived....and announced they were expecting.  "Andrew" would be born in the spring.

I don't think Niece J and little MDQ (age 3 months) were there that day; I don't think I met MDQ until Easter 2002.

Present Day:
I made chocolate chip muffins this morning.  I'd started watching The Social Network last night when company arrived, so finished it the morning.  It nearly made me want to delete my FB account.  MZ came off extremely arrogant, but after I thought about it, I think he was snowed over by SP, and it was a case of bad decision-making.  Slow-rise vs meteoric rise and not caring who gets hurt in the process?  Everything worked out in the end, but the mom in me wanted to storm in and knock some heads around, plus deliver a loyalty and friendship lecture.

I am not a Black Friday shopper.  I don't have the desire to fight the crowds, nor do I have the finances to shop.  If we do ever get fiscally solvent again, I plan to shop online or at least get the majority bought by October.  I heard a woman pepper-sprayed her 'competition' in L.A. over an X-Box.  Seriously?

I plan to take down my Thanksgiving decorations and start hauling up the Christmas ones.  And that means rallying the troops to clean up some of the mess from yesterday.  Yes, my spouse and the teenagers left sticky plates in the living room, and crumbs on the floor.

Have a good weekend!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving:)


I love this song:)

Happy Thanksgiving:)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Wednesday:)

The winner of the free download is......

Liz Crowe!


Congratulations!


My College Kid arrived home safely yesterday and surprised his little brother at his class's Thanksgiving Feast:)  He also rescued me last night when the tire blew on my car, and was able to put the doughnut on it.  Thankfully, I was only going 25 mph and never lost control of the vehicle.

Today we will be cleaning up the house in preparation for tomorrow.  I have no idea if anyone else will be here, but we've got a turkey, ham, stuffing, noodles, mashed potatoes, veggies, and rolls planned for tomorrow, as well as whatever desserts we decide to whip up.

And tonight at karaoke, I plan to sing:
-99 Times (Kate Vogel)
-Angels Will Fall (I plan to practice this BEFORE I leave, lol!)
-Back At One
-Band of Gold
-Beauty and the Beast (if I can find a duet partner)
-Because of You
-Because You Loved Me
-Before He Cheats

I finally started my NaNo project!  (Hey, better late than never!)  I began typing up the paranormal romance I began back in 2002 or 3.  It is 26 handwritten pages and when I quit at 1am, I'd typed 13 pages of it and was over the 2K mark.

So have a Happy Thanksgiving and if you're in the mood to laugh, check back tomorrow. But if you don't like Adam Sandler, stay away.  Just giving you a head's up!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Cover Art!


Blurb:


Meet Keri Patterson, a sophomore at Arbor University, pursuing a ­dream to one day be a part of an Indy car racing team.  Along the way, she meets and falls for an older man.  With the innocence of her first love, Keri tries to balance her ambition to be the first female member of a racing pit crew and her awakening femininity.  Will Keri and Kyle’s romance survive the hairpin twists and turns, or is disaster looming?


Kyle is not without problems of his own.  He wasn’t expecting to meet the girl of his dreams before the ink is dry on the divorce petition.  Trying to keep the two facets of his life separate, he discovers there is a fine line between love and hate, as well as deception and protection.  But life doesn’t always get wrapped up in neat packages.  Sometimes it blows up in your face.

Releasing Jan 2012:)

I've also been interviewed on Drea Becraft's blog, so come over and say hi?  Leave a comment and you just might win a free download:)






Monday, November 21, 2011

Kenzie's Good News!


Teacher's Pet has a release date!   This book will finally be released on Dec 13th at Freya's Bower:)

For those of you who have been patiently waiting and thinking, "Gee, you've been talking about this book forever!", you're not alone.  Here's the timeline (life line?) of this book:

Sept 2007:  Was challenged by another author to see if I could increase my heat level from sensual to hot.  Wrote out a three page scene and sent it to her.  Reaction:  "Yeah!  That's exactly what I mean.  Now stay with it!"

Nov 2007:  Decided to sign up for NaNo and work on this story.

Nov 30th 2007:  After the story tried to end itself twice, I finally put enough BS scenes to get to the 50K word length and happily downloaded my 'winner' certificate.

March 2008:  Decided to open the document and reread it, having been so sick of the characters and the story on Dec. 1st, 2007, lol!  Discovered I have a pretty good story....

Summer 2008- May 2009:  Worked with a crit partner to clean up any issues and tried to work up the nerve to submit it.  All She Ever Wanted had been published, so decided to send TP off.

Dec 2009:  Received contract.


January 2010:  Received cover art.

May 2010:  While in the middle of Graduation Hell, my new editor introduced herself.  She mentioned she was working on nine other MS's, so I wrote her back and told her to take her time with mine; my oldest child was graduating from HS and I was more than willing to wait a few weeks.

June 2010:  Said editor dropped me and four others, due to overwork and other issues.

Fall 2010:  Another editor introduced herself.


Spring 2011:  Two editors decided to swap MS's.

June 2011:  1st round edits finally arrive.


Nov 2011:  2nd, third, and final edits arrive and finished.

Nov 18, 2011:  Release date is revealed and TP joins the 'coming soon' page on the site.

Now, all I have to do is write my dedication once I get the galley and promote the hell out of this book!  And yes, make a PG version for my mom....

Wow!  Can we get a blurb and the link?

Sure:)

What happens when you discover the man you had mind-blowing sex with three months ago is your son's teacher?  Tammy Saunders is horrified when she realizes the man who set her heart racing is her son's favorite teacher.  With one bad relationship behind her, will she trust her heart again, or will she continue to deny her feminine side?
   
     And is this particular teacher popular only with his students?  Kevin has made some bad choices in his life, but sleeping with not only one, but now two, of his students' mothers, has got to be the worst mistake he ever made. Especially when he realizes he's lost his heart to one of them...

Excerpt:

“Mr. Taylor?” She hesitated in the doorway. “You wanted to speak to me about Danny?”

He shoved himself off the desk, his erection growing stiffer by the moment. “Call me Kevin.” He took her hand and closed the door. “I’ve been out of my mind, wondering who you were these past few months.” He brought her hand up to his mouth, lips grazing the backside.

She jerked her hand away. “That was a mistake.” She put some space between them. Color flooded her face. “I can’t believe we…that I allowed…you know,” she sputtered.

“To fuck you brainless?” He arched an eyebrow.

Her complexion was now darker than her t-shirt. “Could we please talk about my son?” she asked, teeth clenched. She cleared her throat. “I mean, that is why you called.”

“I lied. You’ve haunted me for months, Tammy. I go to sleep at night, and you’re in my dreams. I catch sight of a woman whose hair flows down her back and try to see of her face, hoping it’s you.” He noted her startled expression and stepped back. “Don’t tell me you haven’t thought of me these past months…”

                                                 * * * *


Oh the arrogance of a good looking man! I may have let Bruce steamroll over me in our marriage, but I’ve grown up in the past three years; I know how to handle men like you. 

Her eyebrows arched. “Thought of you?” Time to take him down a notch. “Oh, right. Let me see if I have this correctly. We have mind-blowing sex, I run off to collect my kids, and you’re telling me that you, Mr. Obviously Popular, can’t sleep at night because the poor sex-starved widow never bothered to tell you her name? Is your ego that fragile?” She laughed. “Believe me,me; I’ve lost no sleep over it.” She crossed her arms over her chest. That ought to cool him off.

He closed the distance between them. “Then let me refresh your memory.” Kevin cupped her face in his hands and angled his mouth over hers. His tongue prodded between her lips; with a quiet moan, she opened them.

Link:

So what was your other news?

My first official post is up on The Writer's Evolution:)  Go over, say hi, and let me know if the same demons are stalking you?

Thanks for having me on here today Molly!




Friday, November 18, 2011

Flashback Friday: Baby Shower!

Nov 1991:
As I entered the last month of pregnancy, two baby showers were held for me.  Among the gifts were a baby book; Mickey Mouse bumper pad and quilt set; onezies; sleepers; crib sheets; a baby's 1st Piggy Bank (complete with plenty of coins inside); Mickey Mouse mobile; and a bear which played 'Jesus Loves Me' when you wound him up.

I was now seeing Dr. Mark every two weeks and was still in good health.

At my weekend job, I was excused from the mandantory Thanksgiving Day shift and my belly was so huge, I literally could not see my feet.  One Sunday morning, I was struggling to cram my swelling feet into my work shoes when the country club manager saw me and asked how I was doing.

"I can't get my shoes on!"


"You know what?  Just wear your tennis shoes and be comfortable."

I almost kissed him!

Kathy, the other waitress who'd come up pregnant, went into labor.  She'd previously told me she'd planned to have her sister come over when her labor pains began, in order to French-braid her hair.  Well, as luck would have it, Kathy went into labor in the middle of the night.  The first thing she told me when I went to see her?

"Cut your hair!  I was miserable with all this hair hanging in my face!"

I'd already made an appointment to get my hair cut:)  The spouse wasn't happy about it, but I didn't want hot, wet, stringy hair hanging in MY face either!  Yeah, I'm all about comfort:)

One of the lenses to my glasses popped out; I drove myself to Dr. Tavel and found a set of replacement frames.  It turned out my frames had broken in two; thank God for prescription sunglasses!

Funny Cravings:
Winter had officially 'hit'; a blizzard had arrived and all of a sudden, every night at 10pm, I wanted a Hardee's chocolate Frozen Yogurt cone.  There were three Hardees within a mile's range of us, and the spouse received some funny looks the nights it was 10 degrees, snow blowing, and we pull up to the drive-through and order ice cream.  Usually I got a nice tall cone, but one memorable evening the spouse was thankful the pregnancy was nearly over.

We had gone to the closest Hardee's, but the cone was so small, I had it consumed by the time we'd left the parking lot.  I asked him to get me another one.  Instead of turning around, he drove to the one across the highway, who still had their light on.  But as soon as we pulled up to the drive-through, their lights went out.  We sat there for a few minutes, but no one took our order.  So we drove to the one closer to town, and my cone was about five inches high!  I happily licked it all the way back to the turn off to our apartment.  The spouse decided to go to the airport to watch the planes and asked if I minded.  But my bladder was getting full, so I asked him to stop so I could use the facilities.  Burger King happened to be open, so we pulled in and I ran inside.  We continued on to the airport and watched the planes taking off and landing a while, then returned home.

Next month:  The Big Day arrives!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SERIOUSLY?????

First of all, Kenzie's guest blogging over at Tina Donahue's place, so drop in for a sneak peek at Teacher's Pet and say hi?

One my daughter's friends informed us she was going to Walmart at 9pm on Thanksgiving Day in order to be in line for a 40" television ($250).

I asked, "You're going at 9pm just so you can be first in line at 4am?"

"No; Walmart is opening at 10pm Thanksgiving night."

O.M.G.

And then I heard this morning on the radio some stores are opening at midnight, which means some workers have to leave their families in the middle of Thanksgiving festivities in order to have everything ready for the INSANE shoppers who 'just can't wait'.

When did we get so greedy?

I think I complained the week of Halloween because I was seeing Christmas decorations go up Oct 31st.  And Christmas carols being played on Nov 1st.   Seriously?  I know there are only two T-day songs (Adam Sandler's Turkey Song and Over The River And Through The Woods), but good gravy....at the rate we're going, Christmas will be an all-year event and it won't be special anymore!  Think about it:  Some places already do 'Christmas in July' specials, so is Easter/Christmas really that far behind?  'Black Monday' the day after Easter?  Give me a break!

I heard the workers of Target and some other stores (forgive me; I was in shock that people actually had to DO this) have started an online petition for retail workers to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families.  I'll admit; not everyone has the luxury of being at home on holidays.  Heath care, travel industry, food service/hospitality/entertainment and any service-oriented career workers have to work.  Plus gas stations need to be open, and a few convenience stores....hey, I once ran out of diapers or baby wipes, or forgot we needed milk.  But I digress.  Where was I?  Oh yes.  I remember a few years back when a family friend got up super early on Black Friday to take advantage of the $25 DVD/VCR combo player.  Guess what?  Two weeks later that very same item was STILL only $25!

Or if you have that money to burn, stay home and shop online!  My favorite Black Friday as an adult was a few years ago when I did most of my shopping on Amazon.com in my pj's.  I ventured out around 2pm and went to a local store and missed the crowds entirely.  The store was a mess, but I found what I wanted and didn't have to wait in a long line OR get trampled by people shoving.

I used to love it when I had the majority of my Christmas shopping in layaway by the end of September.  But those days are now behind us, due to financial reasons.  So this Christmas, I'm having to use some creativity, and besides the cookies I normally make, I'm taking a stab at making my own homemade chocolates.  I still have to buy a few candy molds, but wish me luck!  While the rest of you are fighting the crowds, I'll be in my kitchen, up to my elbows in flour and sugar.  Any local friends reading this:  Stop in from your frenzied shopping and you'll get a hot cup of coffee or cocoa and a fresh-baked treat.  My gifts are made with love and besides, everyone likes stocking gifts, right?

Remember:  It's the thought behind the gift which means the most, not the amount of money spent (until you're old enough to appreciate that statement!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Cover Art!


Isn't it pretty?  I think he exudes Matt's personality perfectly!  A little full of himself and cocky, but you can see in his eyes he loves Amy.  And for her part, that faraway look in her eye tells you she wishes she could see him more than twice a year:)

Blurb:

 Can a blind date turn into a romance?  Amy Callahan wants to find out, so when she flies to California to spend a week with Matt Slagal, she discovers the ups and downs of a long distance relationship.  Which one prevails..."Absence makes the heart grow fonder"  or, "Out of sight, out of mind"?

In other news: 
Kenzie has been asked to join The Writer's Evolution:)  She'll be posting on Sundays, so I'll try to make a point of reminding you, at least on Friday!

I also finished self-editing book #4, Balancing Act, over the weekend.  Now I just need to double check the file; I discovered early last week I'd renamed it 'Gretchen 3', but have been editing 'LTSTA 2'.  So I need to check both files to see where I stopped editing G3.  Very annoying!  Note to self:  Please remember which file is the one to be edited?

Over the weekend, I had hoped to veg out and enjoy a mini-vacation, but when 1am early Saturday hit, and I was still eleven pages from the end of BA, I called it a night and decided to sleep in.  I was mildly shocked when I woke up at ten-thirty!  And discovered Kenzie's Teacher's Pet edits waiting for me also!  So I did TP first, and got stuck on a minor issue.  Finished editing the rest and sent the issue to a friend for input.  Then I tackled BA and finished it.  The SU and daughter had asked me earlier what movie I wanted from the video store, and brought me 'Love And Other Drugs'.  But by the time I was finished with the edits, all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and sleep.

Yesterday after church, I tackled the scene and sent it off.  Then settled in front of the DVR and watched 2 Broke Girls, The Good Wife, L&O SVU, and CBS Sunday Morning.  Then followed it with 60 Minutes (I only wanted to see one segment), and Amazing Race.  Still haven't watched last night's Good Wife or LAOD, but that's on tap for today.  Yes, I am putting off my NaNo project for one more day.  I have some blog posts to write and laundry, then I'm exercising my right to watch TV and one movie today.

I also have to make arrangements for Tuesday night or Wednesday:  My BFF called at 8am and told me her dad had suddenly passed away last night.  So I need to make a trip to Anderson, IN either Tuesday night or at least Wednesday morning.  Now I think I know why I kept forgetting to cash my royalty checks last week:  That's going to be my gas money!  See?  Everything happens for a reason.  Not how I'd envisioned spending my money, and I'll probably miss out on karaoke this week, but hey...it's my BFF.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Flashback Friday: Strange Way Of Making A New Friend!

November 1981:
I'd managed to get good grades during the 1st nine weeks of the semester, plus had a new boyfriend.  I began to relax and notice other kids in my classes.

One guy in my 3rd hour P.E. class looked like a guy in my 4th hour Algebra class.  I took a second look; no, they were two different people.  In P.E., we began a weight-lifting unit, and the good-looking one I'd noticed was paired with me, courtesy of our teacher.

Since I had no idea what I was doing, and Mr. Good-Looking did, I followed him around and copied his movements (often too heavy for me, lol!)  We reached the machine where you hook your feet under the bars to raise the weights, and I guess he decided to take pity on me.

"You want me to change the weights?"

My pride rose. "No; if you can do it, so can I."  I went on to successfully lift the 100lb weights; got up and said, "See? What's so hard about that?"

The next day, I could not get out of bed.  Further inspection showed I'd probably torn or at least pulled the muscles in my legs.  Mom wrapped both knees and sent me off to P.E. with a note.  I limped into class; the teacher told me to only run one lap instead of two.  So after our warm up exercises, I followed along at a much slower pace, sort a wounded horse gallop.

Mr. Good-Looking lapped me, dragging one leg behind him.  "Oh, my leg.  Oh, my leg!"

"Shut up Cross!"  (his last name was on his T-shirt.)

"I offered to reset the weights!"

This went on for two more days.  He and I badgered each other during our one and only class, and when the swimming until began, I proved to be the only female swimmer who could almost out-swim the boys.  And one fatal day, B (yes, I finally asked him his first name!) and I were on opposite sides of the pool (we swam the width, not the length, and in the deep end).  I dove in; surfaced, and began my crawl stroke.  All of a sudden, my right hand landed on a bare shoulder at the same time one landed on mine.  Next thing I know, we're hugging each other and heading for the bottom of the pool.  We let go of each other, surfaced, apologized, then went on our merry way.  And took some ribbing from other classmates about making out, lol!

That was also the day my boyfriend K had asked me to meet him after class, so instead of going out the doors I usually did, I joined B and a few others at the other exit to the gym.

"I hear you're dating K.  Why him?"


"Why not him?  We're both in band, and we spent a lot of time together last month." 


"He has no neck.  How can you date a guy like that?"

I was beginning to fume.  "He does too have a neck.  Why don't you mind your own business?"

By this time, we'd reached my meeting spot.  I saw K and stopped walking.  B grinned, shook his head, and continued on.

The next day, B again questioned my reasons behind dating K.  And then when I turned around to walk with him, K was upset.

"Why are you walking down the hall with HIM?  He's an ass."


"He's in my class, and just a jerk.  He caught up with ME, not the other way around."

But by the end of the month, B and I were on friendly terms, while my relationship with K was strained, since I lived six miles out of town and neither of us had our drivers licenses yet.  And Marching Band contests were over, so we only saw each other in the hallway before lunch, or after school. And none of our other classes 'meshed', so we didn't even see each other during the passing periods.

Next Month:  Good Gossip Travels Fast and The Curse of My Neighbor Haunts Me!  (Yes, it's funny!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Terrific Tuesday with Mahalia Levey:)






Welcome!  Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Good Morning,
I'm Mahalia Levey aka Hales. I'm a multipublished author digitally for now. The Price of Defiance just released. I've been excited because it was released previously but only as a very short story less than three thousand words. It's now forty-eight thousand words and some change :) As you can tell that's quite an expansion.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?

No. I get an idea and just roll with it! I have had stories hit difficult patches but that happens a lot to everyone. 
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?

 Yes. I was adopted and had some emtional trauma and issues in my adoptive family that have made me the person I am today. I have a lot of darkness in me that no one sees. I'm generally really happy but sometimes when triggered the crap comes rushing back and I have to wade through the bad memories. I use my demon world build to unleash all the angst and hurt. It's very theraputic and free lol.
How much research do you do?  Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?

 Sometimes I research. I generally set the settings at places I've been to. I don't do many time pieces so if needed I'll just search up a topic or an area I have never been to.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?

I think it depends on the story. I write a lot of Inter racial and there's always a learning lesson. The unique part of being three different races is that I know the cultural norms of all of them, the bad sides and the good sides of each one. I've also lived in the high mid class neighborhoods and  then you could say near poverty ones. I've been in the culture pot of the world and lived in the hood an seen an entire different life than the one I was born into. Experiences help make us who we are. So I have a ton of life lessons to offer and share. I sometimes do that in a story.
 I think one of the crucial moments in my life was the first time someone pointed out I wasn't white. I was adopted by a caucasion family. I'd assumed I was tan. I wasn't a color growing up I was a daughter and that fist fight in second grade with a little mean boy set the stage for me to lose my innocence very early. After that I understood the whisperings and ways people would look at my mother.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?  And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

I am a panslotter. I have a premise and a title before I begin. I search out names I'd like to use and then put down the beginning, soft middle and possible ending. From there I write until the story is done and I don't write the characters they write me :P I find if I force something I have to backtrack and fix it.
How long did it take for you to be published?

 Um. I was asked to challenge myself in end of 08 with no experience. I sent something in a month later. Got a rejection but revise and resubmit and a handful of months later had a contract. My first book didn't release til May 2010
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?

 If you don't remember basic technique and grammar lessons to brush up. I went in blind and had to do a lot of catching up. I took as many classes as I could find on line for whatever interested me to hone quickly. I'm still working on my craft it's an on going learning process but if I'd have thought to take classes earlier it'd been a lot easier for me.
Laptop or pen and ink?  What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?

 Laptop. My writing is atrocious. I have to have music, noise, snacks and coffee. Used to be chocolate and coffee now it's healthy snacks and decaf coffee.
Who are your favorite authors?  Who would you say influenced you the most?

 I have so many. Sherrilyn Kenyon of course. Joey W Hill, LKH,Anne Rice, C Feehan, Johanna Lindsay, Madeline Hunter, Galen Foley, Karin Tabke, Virna DePaul, Sandy Sullivan, Andrew Grey, Laurann Dohner, KoKo Brown, Debra Glass and there are so many more. SK influenced me the most and the rest are constant inspirations.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

 I don't know. Probably that I didn't grow up in a Christian home.
For Fun:

Favorite Thanksgiving memory?

Hmm. I don't have a childhood one. My mother was an absent parent more into her patients than her children. We usually went to The Holiday Inn Buffet rather than her cooking on holidays.
After I left home I learned how to cook from my children's father and his family. It was my first time sitting at a table with people there and not alone. It was nice. Thanksgiving is now one of my fav holidays. I love to make sweet potato muffins.

Any special Thanksgiving traditions? 

Cooking :P

Pumpkin Pie or cake? 

Sweet Potato Pie. I made pumpkin pie for the family and was looked at like i was crazy. African American families don't gen do Pumpkin pie lol. Needless to say learning dif cousine for the dif sides of me has been an education.
Thank you for being here today!  Please tell us where we can find your books.

 You can find me at
fb search Mahalia Levey

Blurb
America Patterson loves living on the edge. Car model by day, illegal street racer by night, she’s known as the best. Except underneath her flawless fa├žade lies a young woman filled with turmoil. When her hobby lands her in hot water, she finds herself handcuffed and bailed out by the one person who’d abandoned her….


MMA Fighter Alejandro Escovedo is summoned home after a tournament that had left him sore and questioning his career. Expecting a nice welcome home, he instead finds himself rescuing his best friend’s sister out of jail. This time he’s had enough.

Their explosive past gives him all the rights where America is concerned, and he is more than ready to take her on. By ending her daredevil ways and finding the trigger to her self-destructive behavior, will he convince her he’s back to stay or drive her further away?


Genre: Erotic romance, BDSM, contemporary

~Excerpt~

“America, where are you?”

“Saint, I’m in big trouble.” Amy gripped the cell tightly to her ear. “I’m at Truman Memorial Hospital, about to be taken to jail.” She started to sob when reality dawned on her.

“Thank God, you’re alive. I’ve been going out of my mind since the link to the wreck was sent to my cell phone. Sit tight. We’ve been fielding police and the media, trying to protect your professional name. Sis, Alejandro demanded to be the one to handle the situation.”

“I’m sorry for scaring you.” Her brother and his team of misfits were all she had while growing up. Being named after their country of conception and proved just how zany her family was. Saint Vincent got his name chopped in half to Saint. “Is this going to hurt your business?”

“No. Alejandro will make sure you have a smooth transaction. I’m forwarding him your info now. Sit still and relax. Can’t have the baby of the family locked up and forgotten.”

She winced at the thought of seeing Alejandro again after so long. Her voice dropped an octave. “Can’t you come? I haven’t seen him since—”

“Miss, we’re ready to transport you to the police department,” Officer Blake interrupted.

“I gotta go.” Amy snapped the phone shut and handed it back to the officer. He was kind enough to leave, allowing her to change into the scrubs they’d sent for. She rapped and opened the door after toeing into the slip-on canvas shoes. “I’m ready.” Head dropped low, she allowed them to escort her to the jailhouse that was a ten-minute ride away.

Being booked took longer than she’d expected, and it mortified her. A nifty machine imprinted her fingerprints electronically after they took her mug shot. The issue with her identification became clear once she had a chance to speak and separate her professional identity from her personal one. When they finished processing her fingerprints and mug shot, she followed them through general population and looked at all the criminals on the way to her holding cell. The door buzzed and opened, and she was ushered in. She cast a glance at the officer, who shook his head, locked the door, and turned his back.

I’m not a criminal.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Recharging The Batteries

You have to do something for yourself every once in a while, right?  I chose to indulge in some mild 'shopping therapy' the past several days.

-I bought a beautiful, gray-and-black striped shirt for either wearing to karaoke; New Year's Eve; or even to a signing next year.

-I also convinced the SU to let me get a sleeveless white sweater, to wear over any long-sleeved tee or even a turtleneck this winter.  And, I think it will look even better on me if I cut off the belt loops; the belt is too small for my waist, but that was the largest size they had.

-Saturday, I grabbed friend BC Brown and we went off to the VendorFest Craft Show.  Neither of us bought anything; I've set up at this particular craft show the last 2 years just to get the word out that I do indeed exist.  It was not a rewarding experience, and the organizers hiked the booth rental fee, so I chose not to participate.  And judging from those vendors I spoke with, I'm not the only one who was discouraged.  But it did have an upside:  Several vendors remembered me and asked how my books were selling.  So I passed out a few cards and introduced BC, who had brought some of her cards as well.

And then I took a wrong turn, so we 'wandered' Washington until we found our way back to the main road!

-After returning to 'civilization', we grabbed something to drink and headed over to Fantastic Sam's and indulged in a wash and style.  BC's turned out great; mine looked like Nigel from Spinal Tap.  But what the hell; it's not like I needed to  look awesome or anything!  Came home, fixed hamburgers for the family, and got sucked into watching Storage Wars all evening.

-Yesterday, I went to across the river and watched a hilarious production of The Birdcage.  I had never seen the movie, and BC was working backstage as one of the lead's dressers, so she told me the story.  I laughed from the time the curtain went up!  I'm sorry I'd forgotten my camera batteries had died; otherwise I'd have pictures of HS football players in drag.  And it was a toss-up who upstaged whom:  The 'butler/houseboy' or 'Albert'!

Now today, it's back to reality.  After suffering through a fifteen minute tirade of 'don't you dare complain about me not letting you have any money; I let you go here and here and there..' as well as complaints about how he let me have unlimited access in the past and 'how you f***ed it up', he shut up and is now letting me type in peace.  Why can't he let one tiny mistake (which happened over fifteen YEARS ago) disappear into the forgotten realm of memory?

But no; he's angry and bitter about his situation and health.  One the one hand, I wonder if my life had been better if I'd divorced him back in 1993, or if he'd died in 2005.  Now, I just want him to hang on until after he gets his disability and my books start earning me a living.

And I've got a secret:  That mistake he constantly holds over my head?  I was helping out a relative w/o his knowledge, and tried to pay off a bunch of medical bills.  If he'd kept his damn hands off the credit card, things would have worked out a lot better.  But he suffers from his family's mentality:  Someone else is always to blame.  And in this case, my signature happened to be on the rubber check.  Never mind his quick trip to KFC, Taco Bell, or even Menards or Lowes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flashback Friday 1971

During my whirlwind trip home over the weekend, I looked through the old photo albums and discovered that while, yes I deed I had worn the witch costume for Halloween, my sister was NOT scared; in the photo, quite the opposite; she appeared to be laughing hysterically at me.

There were no Thanksgiving pictures from 1971, but I have to assume we went to relatives for Turkey Day.  I know my 8th grade year was the first time I remembered NOT going to someone's house, but that memory will be arriving in nine more years.  So check back next month for the 1971 memories of my birthday and Christmas, because there were PLENTY of photos!  Or even next week, as I recant an important social event in 1981.  Trust me; you will NOT want to miss next week's memory!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Life is slowly returning to 'normal', or whatever you care to call 'normal' anymore.  The shock of what happened last week is wearing off, and though reality hasn't quite set in for those involved, we're beginning to work through the issue as a family.  And no, I'm still not ready for full disclosure yet.  Give me a couple more weeks, and I promise I'll stop being so vague.

NaNo is in full swing with my writer's group.  One person has already attained nearly 6K; I edited 24 pages yesterday, so I count it rather productive.  There are only 85 pages left in that MS, so if things go well, I should finish by the end of the week.

Went shopping this morning for a few needed items like laundry detergent.  We'd been low since last week, and I rationed it carefully, only washing underwear, socks, and jeans.  I know several loads will be washed today; that really bothers me when it piles up like that.

Disgusted with the whole 'K' clan....if she filed for divorce, then YES, she SHOULD give the ring back!  (I'm not giving her the satisfaction of my blog popping up on any references to her last name.)  And I heard her whole snit is because she doesn't want to move?  Give me a break!  What part of 'for better or for worse' did she NOT understand?

Tonight on the karaoke singing list:
-Smile (Uncle Kracker)
-Babe (Styx)
-Best of Times (Styx)
-Baby One More Time (B. Spears)
-Bad Company (Same name)
-Bad Girls (D. Summer)
and Baby I Love Your Way, if she has it.

I'm also taking another shot at Melissa Etheridge's Angels Would Fall.  I bombed on it last week, because I forgot the melody!  Note to self:  Refresh memory with YouTube vids before attempting songs not heard in a while????

I've got a busy day ahead:
-Clean up kitchen (hubby griped, but hey, what's stopping HIM from doing it?  Oh wait....that's usually my job....)
-Start laundry (fun, fun, fun.....at least I can edit in between loads)
-Edit some more (hoping for another 24 pages)
-Stop by newspaper office for copies of last Thursday's paper; JF's obit was in it.
-Bank, if other royalty check arrives.
-Take daughter to appointment after school
-Remind the SU to take youngling to dentist; spacers are in for his missing teeth.
-SU said something about a trip to Denny's for b-fast; I want Applebee's for lunch!
-Karaoke tonight! (Hey, I can spring for a round of drinks tonight!)

I also realized I need to write my November newsletter!  Oops.....

What's on YOUR agenda for today?