Tuesday, April 30, 2013

End Of The Month Checklist

Currently Reading:  I'm LOVING The Secret of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes!  I'm not quite halfway through the book and can hardly wait to get back to it!  Tried to read The Mill of the Floss, but just couldn't do it.  Won't be able to buy E-books again until tomorrow, and have a tough decision ahead of me:  Spend $14 on an antho, or buy 3 others instead?  Or peruse the .99 books? Check back either tomorrow or Thursday; I should have the list up by then.

Books Read:  Print:  2
                        E-book:  17

Publishing Efforts:  
Searching For Love released last Tuesday, and tomorrow, watch for an announcement on Kenzie's blog:)  I also received two royalty statements which stunned me; I'll be able to not only enjoy my Tuesday night coffee, but even afford a drink or two at karaoke!

My feet/knees/hips are still painful in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time.  I'll be going to the zoo with my youngling next week, and I'm concerned about keeping up with the boys!  Thankfully, my spouse will be going also, and can help corral them until I catch up.

Been three times this month, and did well on Don't Cry  Out Loud (Melissa Manchester); Baby I Lied (Debra Allen); Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer (Kenny Rogers/Kim Carnes); and You and I (Lady Gaga).  Not sure if I'll be able to go this weekend; depends on if Melissa is able to go.

Graduation Prep:
The invitations have been sent; food planned; cake ordered; venue reserved.  Now we have to get the daughter to the store for a complete graduation outfit:  Slacks, nice blouse, and dress shoes.  She's not allowed to wear blue jeans, shorts, or a t-shirt under her graduation robe.

3.5 Weeks Til Graduation; 11 days til Graduation Party!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Flashback Friday: Now What?

Currently Reading:  I forgot to post yesterday; went on a reading spree.  Finished Beautiful Disaster and I'm sorry Mel...I really tried to like this book, but just couldn't get into it.  I did like the beginning and the end, though.  Enjoyed Table For Three by Missy Martine; this showed a good example of how a menage can begin, with all of the 'should-I-or-shouldn't-I?' angst.  Also enjoyed Research Required by Amber Skyze and Immortal Curse by Bronwyn Green.  Loved both of these!  As I read Bron's, I remembered her 'field trip' which inspired the book!  Awesome job and Recommended Reads for both!

Next up:  Downloaded a freebie by George Elliott, The Mill and The Floss.  Also started The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes.

April 2003:
Story  thus far:   After my spouse had his aortic heart valve replaced in Jan, and then undergoing another surgery in Feb for internal bleeding, March passed without any major incidences, and we thought his recovery was going well.  Until we received a phone call in April.

We were enjoying a relaxing day in April, anticipating the end of the school year in less than 8 weeks.  Then a phone call from the doctor's office changed the uncertainty of everything.

"We tested the fluid we took from your pericardium and you tested positive for TB.  We're setting up an appointment for you at the Infectious Disease Clinic for next week.  But first, we'd like you to go get a chest X-ray."

What?  TB?  Would this mean the kids and I were in danger?

We met with the IDC doctor, who expressed his frustration.

"Your chest X-ray is clear, and I sent more samples to other labs which tested negative.  But since there is a test tube labeled with your name, and a positive TB test, I have no choice but to put you on the nine-month medication regimen.  I suspect cross-contamination in that lab, but my hands are tied."

I was relieved when he said that; it meant the kids and I weren't going to have to undergo treatment, isolation, or anything.  But it meant going to the county Health Department every month for his meds, and adding 12 antibiotic pills and 2 vitamin B-6 pills to his already overflowing pill tray per day.

Problems rose in my son's 5th grade class.  He came to us, telling us he was being bullied.  We contacted the school and set up a meeting with the new principal.

Before I go on, I should add my son's 'indestructable' glasses had been broken yet a third time, and we didn't have the money to buy his new ones.  So K was taping his glasses to his face every morning, instead of not wearing them and sitting close to the blackboard (as I suggested).  Therefore, I was thunderstruck when we sat down with the principal and the first words out of her mouth are, "You ARE aware your son tapes his glasses to his face?  Of course the kids are going to tease him!"

Ummm...okay.  Blame my kid.  Blame us for not having the money to get his glasses.  Blame the spouse for undergoing heart surgery.  And if you want to go that route, let's blame IPL for having power lines above my hubby's digging site.  What psychology course did you take (and flunk) while in college, lady?  I was furious.

The facts:  Yes, K DID go against my advice, so okay, he asked to be teased.  BUT, he also stood up to the teasing, but when he could take no more of it, he went to his teacher and principal, expecting to be backed up.  The kid was an A student; he wanted to learn, not dread going to school every day.  And a check from my parents arrived soon after this, so we were able to afford his new glasses frames.

Baseball practice began; K was now on a 'major' league team, and proved to be a pretty good 2nd baseman, as well as his skills for sliding into home plate.  S was now in her 3rd year of Pee-Wee Softball, and was still enjoying her position as catcher.

Present Day:
Going to a glass-blowing exhibit over at the college today.  One of my friends has been enjoying this class, and invited me to come to their open house.  I'll post pictures next week.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sleep-Deprivation Wednesday

Currently Reading:  Loved, loved, LOVED Mother's Day Babies by Mona Risk:)  Definite Recommended Read!  (Not surprising, right?   I loved the other two books in this series!)  Tried to read Only Skin Deep by Mahalia Levy, and could not finish it.  And this is partly my fault; I didn't realize it was three books in one, and was confused when I saw 'chapter 1' again.  So might pick this up again and read it at a later date.  Now I'm on Table For Three by Missy Martine.

A BIG thank you to everyone who congratulated me yesterday for the release of Searching For Love:)  Had an enjoyable day with lunch/trivia playing at BW3; then eating cheesecake after dinner with my fellow Writer's Guild members.  And at 11pm, met friend BC Brown at Denny's, since she had to work and couldn't make the celebration.

Today, we're back to Normal Life.  Grocery shopping, cleaning up the kitchen.

Want another excerpt of Searching For Love?

“Can I ask you something?” Stephanie took a long drink of her third beer.

“Ask away.” Jodie opened her arms wide. “Professor Jodie at your service.”

“Ha, ha.” Nervous, Steph shifted in her seat. “My friend, Steve, likes those stupid porno mags and one of them had two guys getting it on. So I was wondering, guys do it up each other's you-know-where, but how do gay girls, ah, you know?” She could feel her face growing hotter by the minute but still plunged on. “Do you, like, strap on a fake one or something?” She didn’t dare look at Jodie.

Jodie burst into laughter, much to Stephanie’s relief. “No, it’s just like regular foreplay with a guy, only I personally think it’s a lot more loving. Just a lot of kissing, touching, and our feelings are portrayed more openly. And yes, sometimes sex toys are used, if one or the other is into that sort of thing.” She cocked her coppery head to the side. “Why the questions? Starting to get curious? I’d be more than happy to show you.”

Thank God she’s only teasing me! “No, no, that’s okay.” Stephanie held up her hand. “He just brought up the fact he couldn’t see how anyone could stand having it...that way, and it just made me wonder. You’ve got to know Steve.” She swung her feet around and leaned forward. “He likes porno flicks and keeps telling me his ultimate fantasy would be to have two women at the same time.”

Jodie nodded. “Some guys like that, watching two women go at it.”

Stephanie shuddered. “I don’t think I could stomach watching two guys.”

“Me neither,” Jodie grinned. “But believe it or not, Daphne said it was a turn-on.”

Stephanie made a face. “Forgive me if any of this sounds stupid, it’s just, I’ve never really had anyone to ask before.”

“It’s okay, really it is.” Jodie reassured her. “I’m comfortable with myself, and I don’t mind sharing. I’m not going to run to Laurie and say, You’ll never guess what Steph asked me the other night. Does that make you feel better?”

Stephanie exhaled. “Much. Okay, here it goes...don’t you ever wonder if it was just the one guy? Maybe the chemistry wasn’t there, and maybe you just haven’t met your man yet.”

“Have you ever slept with anyone you couldn’t stand?” Jodie sat up and tucked her legs beneath her. “I mean, have you ever gone along with it, even though he repulsed you during foreplay?”
Stephanie thought for a moment. “No, not really. Now, I’ve woken up some mornings and wondered what the hell I’d done, but I just made sure I never saw them again. Is that what you’re getting at?”

“Partly.” Jodie stood and went into the kitchen. When she returned, she had a fresh beer in her hand and handed one to Stephanie. “I can count on one hand all the guys I slept with, to make sure, I guess you’d call it. And in every instance, I either found myself wishing I could get him to stop or wondering what the hell I was doing. Then, one night, Laurie spent the night with me, and in the morning I realized what the difference was. I didn’t feel dominated, threatened, or used. I felt like an equal. Does that make any sense?” 

Buy Link

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Release Day!!

Currently Reading:  Finished The Dark Path by James Bowers, and I enjoyed the beginning of the book. I'm not a fan of fantasy/magic stories, so I felt the middle dragged a bit.  But did enjoy the last chapter or two.  If Lord of the Rings is your favorite series of books to read, you might pick this up and try it.  James is a friend of mine; I don't think he's read my work, but I tried to struggle through his.  And there WERE parts I liked.  Also finished Essence of Time and I protest at a certain character's demise!  Now reading Mona Risk's Mother's Day Babies and finding it hard to put down!

I have reached a publishing milestone.  Somebody pinch me.

Searching For Love is my 6th book, and when you add in Kenzie's four, that makes TEN published books.  And here's the scary part; I have three more releasing this year!

Want another excerpt?  Here's the funny one, the incident which really took place in my dorm room.

To set this up:  This is a flashback to what's going on in Caitlyn's life in fall 1988.  Caty broke up with Bryan, due to all the stress, and began dating a young man named Peter,  who lives in Arbordale, and has zero drama in his life (other than Caty, lol!)  But after Thanksgiving, she breaks things off with Peter, in order to be with Bryan again.  And Stephanie is fed up with her indecision.

“Will you make up your mind?” Stephanie lost her temper with her friend’s indecision. “So now who the hell are you taking to the Formal? Or is Peter going to 'accidentally' show up and request a few dances with you?”

“No, he’s not.” Caty sat on Gretchen’s beanbag chair. “We talked, and he wasn’t exactly happy about the news, but he’ll just have to accept it. I was subconsciously taking the blame, and now I see the situation differently. Bryan’s looking forward to putting this whole mess behind us.”

“Bullshit. You’re giving in to your mom’s plans, aren’t you? Amy told us about your mom calling her to see if we were influencing you and the arguments the two of you had. You’re as bad as Gretchen was when she couldn’t cut Joe loose last year.” Stephanie stomped around the room for emphasis. “I always admired you, you know? You always seemed to know exactly what you wanted and how to get it. You and Bryan always seemed so solid, when the rest of us were falling apart. God, first he’s arrested, and you stood by him. Now, the infidelity, and you can’t handle it. What about all the times you cheated on him with Todd and now Peter? Isn’t the score even? Oh, I forgot, Bryan doesn’t know all the details of Todd or Peter. Is that it? You judge him but forget the fact it’s because he was caught?”

Caty’s green eyes blazed as she stood up. “That’s not fair. There were other factors in the decision that have nothing to do with his infidelity.”

“Like what? Like that bullshit nonsense of ‘living your mother’s dream’ you told us about? Feeling like Bryan only used you for what they call a Trophy Wife?” Stephanie stopped in front of Caitlyn. “You used to be the morality register around here, remember? Well the shoe’s on the other foot, and you’re hiding behind Mommy and Daddy, not standing on your own two feet.”

“You don’t understand.” Caty’s teeth clenched. “Let me through. I’m going back to my apartment.”

“You’re not leaving until you’ve answered my question.”

Caty took a deep breath. Gretchen continued reading on her bed, no noise registering from the other side. 

Caty set her full can of soda on Stephanie’s chest of drawers beside the closet. “If you don’t move by the time I count to five,” she threatened in a low voice. “I’m pouring this can over your head. One.”

“Two.” Stephanie put her hands on her hips. “I’ll even help you count, Dr. Ruth.”

“Five.” Caitlyn picked up the can and dumped its contents over Stephanie’s head.

Buy Link:  http://store.sweetcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=159&zenid=8ba1cdde59c835a453197b721580ff7d

When this happened, I was sitting at my desk on the other side of the room, trying hard not to laugh, in case another can would be dumped over MY head!  Nearly 30 years later, we still laugh about this incident!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Mania

Currently Reading:  Finished Nina Pierce's Blind Her With Bliss and really enjoyed it!  Recommended Read:)  Began Essence of Time by Liz Crowe, and I'm more than halfway through it.  How am I enjoying it?  I dreamed Rob, Blake, Liz, and I were arguing over something in the Brewhouse.  Liz was yelling at everyone to behave; a VIP was coming to judge Paradise Hops, and she wanted to impress him.  Weird; I don't think PH is even the same series!  So yes, I'm enjoying it!  Also began reading James Bowers' The Dark Path.  James is a good friend of mine, and this is his 1st published novel.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first few chapters, as I'd only read a few pages, but then it began to drag.  I'm about 80% finished with it; I've skimmed some parts and avidly read others.  I don't think he's read any of my work, other than the few short essays we've written for our writer's meeting, and he knows fantasy's probably waaaaaaayyyy down the list of my preferred reading genres.  So no hard feelings James:)

Spent yesterday in Morgan County.  We drove up to retrieve our garden tractor, and spent a few hours talking with old friends.  College Kid went to our old house and secured permission to show off the 6.5 acres to his BFF and little brother, who was 2 when we left.  The new owners have cut down the tree where we had our hummingbird feeder, as well as the trees which anchored my clothesline.  You can still tell where we once had a garden; our apple and peach trees are gone.  My pussy willow and the pear tree, however, are thriving.

Afterward, we drove into Martinsville and ate dinner at Chili's.  I called my friend J and told her to throw her SO in the car and meet us there, which they did, and we had a lovely time talking and laughing.

Arrived home late, and checked my email.  Discovered book #6, Searching For Love, releases tomorrow!  I checked the proof copy for errors, and only spotted two 'questionable' things.  Wrote the dedication, took note of the trademarked items, and sent it back.  Hopefully everything will be answered today and I can get ready for the Release Party tomorrow.

Want a sneak peek?   Here you go:)


Stephanie Ridgeman is sick and tired of watching her best friends go through heartache and question their goals, all in the name of love.  When she meets a young woman who introduces her to another lifestyle, Steph’s curiosity overwhelms her.  She discovers there are different ways of expressing love, although society shuns her new views.  When she learns her parents disapprove, will it affect her choice?

Jodie Armstrong lost a partner to AIDS the previous year, and is intrigued by the young woman whose friends’ antics rival those of a soap opera. She patiently answers Steph’s hesitant questions concerning her lifestyle choices and encourages Stephanie to follow her heart.  Will Steph ever figure out which world she belongs in, and will her friends accept her decisions?


“Are Daphne and Laura...gay?”

“Oh, my, yes.” Jodie laughed. “That was the big deal? They liked you.”

“But Jodie, I’m straight. I like guys. I’m not...like that.”

“I know.” Jodie stopped walking. “Look, all I wanted to do was invite you over for a movie and dinner, like you said was your type of celebration. No big deal.”

“And Brandon and Curtis?” Despite the chill in the air, Steph felt her cheeks grow hot.

“Stephanie, so am I.” Jodie’s voice sounded quiet. “I’m not trying to recruit you or anything. I have other straight friends. Maybe I should have invited some of them over as well.”

“It’s okay.” Stephanie reached out to put her hand on Jodie’s shoulder, then stopped. “It was just a shock. I’ve never met anyone who’s, ah, who’s...”

“Gay? A lesbian?” Jodie supplied. “It’s okay to say the words, Steph. They aren’t going to offend me or hurt you.”

Stephanie felt her face flame red. “I’m sorry...it’s just...”

“I understand. This is a big thing to spring on you. It’s okay to feel awkward.” Jodie turned away. “I’ll see you Friday, in class, okay?”


Friday, April 19, 2013

Flashback Friday

Currently Reading:  Still on Best Laid Plans and I've found the interesting part in Beautiful Disaster!  Should have both of these read over the weekend.

April 1993
A spring carnival came to the Hoosier Dome, so on the Saturday, the spouse stayed home with 15 m/o K while friend K and I went for an afternoon of fun.  We rode the rides, and played a few carnival games.  The one where you throw darts at balloons for prizes, I actually won.  I handed over my dollar, and received 3 darts.  I missed the 1st one, then threw my 2nd one into an inflated red, white, and blue hammer.  The carney was not amused.

"In about thirty seconds, that one will be flat."

"I'm sorry.  My finger slipped."  We were laughing at the mishap!  "Scotch tape should do the trick."

I threw my third one.  POP! Went the appropriate balloon, and I chose the hammer.  He tried to give me the one I'd deflated, but I declined.

The next day happened to be Easter, and we drove to my parents' house to celebrate.  I'd taken the hammer (it stood about three or four feet tall) along, and surprise surprise....my mother had purchased one for baby K's Easter basket.  There is video of my dad and I having a 'hammer fight':)  Also, Mom had gotten K a push toy 'popcorn popper', as we called it.  But K wanted to see how it worked, and kept trying to pull it, rather than push it.

Earlier in the year, I'd won an Olan Mills picture package, discounts on certain photo packages.  For one of the sittings, I took babies K and T, to have their pictures taken together.  I have a wonderful 'story' in four pictures:
-K and T sitting against a forest background, facing each other.  "So....what do you want to do?"  "I don't know.  What do YOU wanna do?"

-Same background, same pose, only this time a small ball is between them, and T is reaching for it.  "They gave us this ball; we could play catch."

-Same background, only this time, K has the ball in his hand and is looking at the camera with a devilish look in his eyes.  "Look what I've got, Mommy!"

-Last shot, K is sitting on a bench with his hands on his head, ala 'We're in trouble!' and T has his hand on K's leg, ala 'He did it!  I'm innocent!"   You guessed it....K had thrown the ball across the studio!

T's mommy received word of layoffs where she worked.  She would only have her job until the end of May.

Sadly, I was also reminded the Oklahoma City bombing in the Federal Building.  Timothy McVeigh was later caught, convicted, and put to death.

Present Day:
Today's my day to blog over at RB4U.  I'm talking about brand names in books.  Does it enhance your visual picture as you're reading, or does it pull you out of the story?

Tonight, we're celebrating  friend Angela's birthday and tomorrow, we're doing celebratory karaoke since friend Melissa has a new job:)

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, April 18, 2013


Currently Reading:  Finished Nebula's Music and LOVED it!  Nebula is a cyborg who is suddenly 'remembering' things whenever she plays her Steinway piano.  Her space ship rescues a bunch of rebels, who, it turns out, don't WANT to be rescued.  In the ensuing chaos, Nebula discovers herself leading a search and rescue mission, and discovers the truth behind her'memories'.  Wonderful story, and brought to mind an episode or two of my favorite Star Trek TNG and DS9 episodes.  Recommended Read!  Also finished Sexual Energy by Afton Locke last night.  Human crash-lands on Earth-like planet, and the men have the same 'delicate' issue, while the women are extremely horny.  The romance angle is a good example of how a couple eases into a M/F/M or even M/M/F relationship.  And solving the planet's energy issues was a nice plot:)  Recommended Read:)  Now reading The Best Laid Plans by Elaine Rocco Chase.  Also read Ch 6 of Beautiful Disaster and am looking forward to the part where it finally gets interesting.  So far, I'm still bored out of my skull with it.

Flash back to this time last year:
BC Brown and I returned from RT Chicago, exhilarated beyond belief that we'd met our online friends, and hobnobbed with some of our author 'Rock Stars'.  And made plans for RT Kansas City.  I expressed these preliminary plans with the spouse, who looked at the calendar and agreed. Things looked up.

January 2013:
BC announces it's doubtful she'll be able to go, after all.  She and the SO are planning to move to Arizona in late August//early September.  "That's okay; my SU and I can have an anniversary getaway weekend."

March 2013:
My spouse expresses concern about 'can we afford it?'  I still say yes, and vow to prove it to him.

April 2nd:
Daughter calls with distressing news:  Someone has made an incorrect claim against them, and their apartment complex is evicting them.  She appeals it.

April 17th:
I crunch the numbers and decide to present my budget to the spouse.  But before we can have the discussion, daughter calls to say their appeal was denied, and they have to be out of the apartment by May 5th.  Which would be the day we're coming home.

So now I cannot go.  Instead of enjoying a weekend in KC with my spouse, we will be packing up my daughter's apartment, deciding what to put into storage and what to give away.

My younger son will have to move into the bedroom with his older brother.

Daughter can have the twin bed, and the granddaughter will have to resume sleeping in the pack-n-play, as there is no room for a crib in this house.

But on the bright side, I might be able to take the $$ I was going to spend on books at RT and go to  Lori's instead.  It's half the driving distance, so maybe the SU won't mind it so much?

And, this motivates me further into moving out of this hellhole.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

HDH #11

Welcome to another week of Hump Day Happiness:)  To find a complete list of bloggers taking part, click here.  Last time I checked, we were up to 24 participants.  So have fun!

Thought I'd post another snippet from book #6, due out later this month or early next.  I know; you wanted more of the zombie story, didn't you?  I've not worked on it for a while and didn't want to give everything away, lol!  Maybe next week.  (wink, wink)

In this snippet, Stephanie decides to confide in her on-again/off-again lover.  

“You have to promise me that what I’m about to tell you will go no farther than this dorm room. Promise?"

“Yeah, sure."

“Swear it? It’s a big one, Steve."

“Steph, I’ve never broken my word to you, and you know it.”

“Okay.” Stephanie took a deep breath. “I think I’m gay, Steve.”

“Gay? What do you mean?” He looked puzzled.

Feeling her face turn red with embarrassment, she told him about her conflicting feelings about Jodie. “And you promised me you wouldn’t tell anyone else.”

Steve sat up, his head propped against the wall. “So...can I watch?”

Don't forget to stop by Kenzie's blog!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Reading Spree

Currently Reading:  Finished The Governess Affair and was relieved to see a fresh spin on the 'marriage of convenience':)  Also read Soraya Lane's War Bride Club.  This was a little slow in some parts, but still an enjoyable story about 4 women who come to America after WW1 to be reunited with their GI husbands, and how they adjust not only to married life, but to America itself.  Then I read Lindsay Townsend's Silk and Steel, and not sure if it was the fact I'm a Sparticus fan, but could relate a little more to the gladiator aspect of the story.  Brynn Paulin's Punished followed, and it is a lively short story.  Opened up Aubrie Dionne's Nebula's Music, but had to go to bed at that point.  My eyes were burning with a need for sleep.  The four books I read?  Recommended Reads, esp The Governess Affair.

I still have five Kindle books to finish, plus Beautiful Disaster.  Friend Melissa assures me it gets better, but right now, I have to force myself to even pick it up.  There are so much more interesting books on the Kindle, some I've waited three or more years to read.

Still waiting for Round #2 edits (Searching For Love) to arrive.  But in the meantime, I'm enjoying the downtime.  I can feel the creative juices beginning to swirl around in my brain; hopefully that means I''ll open up a WIP and the ideas will flow again.

Come back tomorrow for the Hump Day Hook:)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Musings

Currently Reading:  Finished Liz Crowe's Tulip Princess and Flower Passage, and OMG....TP is wonderful, and FP is a tear jerker!  So much emotion in both of these stories...and I'm sooooo glad we got to see the family's reaction to Lale's new love! If I didn't mention it before, pick up this series!  Recommended Read:)  I also finished Tamara Monteau's Twilight Destiny,  and found it to be an enjoyable love story! I had some reservations before reading this book, since I was dreading another predictable vampire-meets-human storyline. But this one surprised me! I did see some influences from another famous vamp-meets-human series, but without the drawn-out angst: I didn't have to read 4-5 books to find out 'what happens next' and there are no other paranormal creatures.   Recommended Read:)  Next up:  The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan.

I received word yesterday that my great-uncle Mac's health has been bumped up from 'critical' to 'terminal'.  For the last 10-15 years, this man has battled an aneurism in his stomach, plus I think also is dealing with that side of the family's heart issues.

I didn't get a lot of exposure to Uncle Mac and Aunt Sandy while growing up.  I know I attended my cousin Lynn's wedding, since I vaguely remember the wedding reception and following my cousin Michele around.  There's a picture of us stirring the punch, and a shot of my sister perched on a wedding present, eating a hamburger bun.  I know visited their house a few times, since I also have memories of playing with my cousin Pam, and Shelly and I in the paddleboat at the lake.

Aunt Sandy passed away in 1986, the same time as my great-grandmother.  Uncle Mac moved to Florida soon after, and I don't know if he met Carol down there or if they moved to Bradenton together.

I last saw my uncle and Carol in 1995, right after my daughter S was born.  We had flown to Florida to spend one last Christmas with my grandmother, and while we were there, Dad drove us down for a visit.

I'm not sure when Uncle Mac's health began failing; all I know is we've been on 'high alert' whenever news is brought to our attention.  Dad's been talking about going down to get him and bring him for a visit; two weeks ago the doctors said he was well enough to travel.  But sometime last week, his condition worsened.  My dad went down to spend some time with him (Uncle Mac has always been my dad's favorite uncle), and Mom said he was very emotional when he'd 'check in' with her every evening.  And as Mom and I were talking last night, Dad arrived home.  So now I guess we're on 'extra high alert', and I don't know if the funeral will be in Florida or Indianapolis.  It's just a 'wait and see' time.  I wasn't that close to the man, but I do have fond memories of the stories he's told about growing up, and feeding the manatees in the waterway behind his cottage.  And I've also been told Carol has Alzheimer's, and my cousin Pam has wanted to bring both of them up to live with her.  Don't know if Carol will move up or what she'll do.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Flashback Friday: My 1st Grade Class

April 1983:
I spent two hours a day, three times a week, at an elementary school across the street from my HS, as part of my Child Development Class.  By now, the kids had warmed up to me, especially during recess.

When the weather grew warmer, I took to playing half-court basketball with the boys during their afternoon recess.  I was soon in hot demand as a player, because of the height advantage.  The girls also appreciated the fact I was willing to push them on the swings, but as soon as we arrived back in the classroom, 'Friend Molly' returned to 'Teacher's Aid Molly', who wasn't nearly as fun.  I made them behave; confiscated notes; and shushed them during tests.  And discovered something:  The 'cool kids' wanted me on their side, but I was soon championing the 'not-so-cool' ones.  I tried not to play favorites, and praised everyone equally, but  soon the ones at the lower end of the social pecking order came to me with their shy accomplishments, their fears, their confidences.  And I pray, to this day, that I made some sort of difference in their lives.

Currently Reading:  Loved, loved, LOVED Mona Risk's Valentine Babies!!!  Definite Recommended Read!!!  Also enjoyed Christina Cole's Happily Ever After, another Recommended Read.  And so is Divorce By Chocolate AKA Goddess Goodies (Both titles are same book; on Amazon, it's DBC; on GR, it's GG.  So take your pick!) by Meg Bellamy, who's rapidly becoming an 'auto-buy' for me.  Definite Recommended Read!  

Began reading Liz Crowe's Turkish Delights series, which she so graciously bundled for either free or a super low price (can't remember, lol!).  LOVED The Diplomat's Daughter and the cultural differences between the US and Turkey.  I'd already read and loved Turkish Delights;  enjoyed Blue Cruise, though I skipped the sex scenes; I just wasn't in the mood for M/M love at the moment.  And am now on Tulip Princess.  The entire series is a Recommended Read.

Print-wise:  Jan Karon's A Light In The Window reminded me of Philip Gulley's Harmony series.  But I had no problems putting this one aside; the characters weren't as quirky.  Maybe I need to read the 1st book in this series?  I think I also want to read the next one.

Where have I been this entire week?  Kenzie's getting all the love.  Go catch up with her here.  See you next week!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Flashback Friday: Boy Crazy Already??

Currently Reading:  Finished Raspberry Crush and I'll admit it, I skipped over all of the sex scenes.  Why?  The story was so tedious in places, I was trying to hurry it along.  I'm glad it was a free read; I didn't waste any money on it.  Next up:  Valentine's Babies by the always awesome Mona Risk:)  Already on Ch 5 and can hardly wait to see what happens next:)

April 1973:
My memory is completely blank as to why this incident took place.  The only thing I remember is chasing two boys around the room, declaring at one point, "I'm going to kiss you!".  I didn't succeed, however.  The only we managed to do was knock over something on Mrs. Beers' desk and break something.  I don't even remember if there was anyone else in the room with us, or if the three of us were even punished for the breakage.  I just remember being extremely ashamed of the accident.

The weather was warming up, and I begged my dad to get my bicycle out.  I still had training wheels on, but after taking some flack from my 'bff', I convinced I was ready to try to ride without them.  It took me several weeks, but I finally rode around the back yard without falling off, and pedaled out to the street.  And took great pride in using the hand signals whenever a car would be behind me:)

Present Day:
The spouse indulged my craving for Parmesan-Garlic boneless wings yesterday, and I even tried one of the Teriyaki ones.  Not bad, and definitely not spicy!  But I think I'll stick with my P-G ones.  I just like the flavor better, even if I do have to chase it with ranch dressing, and take my time eating 3-4 of them!

What's On Tap For The Weekend?
Not sure at the moment.  The weather is supposed to be amazingly warm, so we might finally organize the 'minions' and get more of the basement emptied.

I will be watching to see if Louisville and Syracuse can advance to the final round, or it will be Wichita St vs Michigan next Monday.

Reality TV Update:
All-Star Celebrity Apprentice:  Ding dong, the bitch was FIRED!  "Nana na na...nana na na....hey hey hey....goodbye..." to Omarosa!

Amazing Race:  I was sooo happy to see the best friends Pam and Winnie to be eliminated!

Survivor:  Ugh.  Was hoping everyone would be on board to vote out Sherri, then Philip next week!  But Andrea opened up her big mouth and told Philip, and Corrine was blind-sided.  I wish they'd have voted Philip out this week!!  And hooray for Cochran, winning the 'Gross Food' Immunity Challenge!!

Have a great weekend and I'll see you again on Monday:)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Taste Bud Tease

Currently Reading:  Finished Catch Me by Lisa Gardner and LOVED it!  Definite Recommended Read!!  This was a wonderful story which shows how the children of mentally ill parents can turn out.  I like the mystery element; every time I thought I had it figured out, I'd be proven wrong.  Not going to give away the plot twist; just hop over to Amazon or go to wherever you buy books and pick this one up.  Next up:  A Light in the Window by Jan Karon.  And that's the last of my print copies.  Still reading Raspberry Crush on my Kindle:)

If you've been involved in any chat with me where the subject of food, especially Mexican, has been discussed, then you know I have a very wimpy palate.  Mustard is about the spiciest thing I can put on my hamburgers, and even spicy taco seasoning makes me drown my soft taco in sour cream.  And when the new Mexican place opened up, I discovered I like their fajita chicken nachos....but not the veggies.  Just give me chicken, cheese, and chips.  No pico, no guacamole, no lettuce, tomato, or onion.

Go ahead and laugh.  As Regina Carlysle once told me, 'That's NOT Mexican food.'

I'm eating it in a Mexican restaurant, so yes, it is.  (sticking out my tongue in playful manner)

Anyway, I'm a fan of Buffalo Wild Wings.  And before you ask, I get a bacon-cheeseburger and fries.  And play Buzztime Trivia.  But a few months back, my son ordered the Parmesan-Garlic wings, and the sight made my mouth water.

Since that time, we've never gone back when the wings were on special; I only wanted to try ONE.  But the smallest order was 8 wings.

So last month, I took the plunge, figuring if I couldn't eat them, we'd take 'em home.  So I ordered my usual sandwich, watched the first found b-ball game, and sampled my first Parmesan-Garlic Boneless Wing (I don't like to fight my food by tearing it from the bone).  And the first bite wasn't bad.  Nor was the second.  But by the third bite (and finishing off the wing), my mouth was on fire.  I chased it with a french fry dipped in ranch; drank my iced tea; took another bite of my burger.  And resolved to simply take the wings home to my son.

But a few minutes later, those wings were calling to me again.  So this time, I dipped it into the ranch dressing and did better.  When we left, I'd eaten three out of the eight wings, and my son polished off the others later that day.

Now it's been three weeks since I tried those wings, and-you guessed it-I'm craving them again.  And I think today is the Special, so I can try one Teriyaki kind, in addition to my Parm-garlic.  But I'll still get that cheeseburger!

And everyone I've talked to says the P/G 'aren't spicy'.

Tell that to my wimpy taste buds.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Reading Schedule

Currently Reading:  I'm up to chapter 5 on Raspberry Crush by Jill Winters, and the same with Lisa Gardner's Catch Me.  Enjoying both so far:)

Here's the list of books by my bed and on the kindle, waiting for me:
A Light in the Window (Jan Karon) Reminded me of Phil Gulley's Harmony series, only w/o the quirkiness of the characters.
Beautiful Disaster Finished it, but didn't really care for it.
The Mystery of Mercy Close-Marian Keyes  LOVED it!!  DRR!

Valentine Babies-Mona Risk  Definite RR!!  Loved this story and its glimpse into Islamic culture:)
Happily Ever After-Christina Cole Very enjoyable!  RR
Divorce By Chocolate-Meg Bellamy  LOVED this!  DRR!
Turkish Delights, et al-Liz Crowe Enjoying all of them!  RR
Twilight Destiny-Tamara Monteau Surprised and enjoyable!  RR
The Governess Affair- Courtney Milan  Wonderful story!  DRR
The War Bride Club- Soraya Lane A little boring in places, but enjoyable.
Silk and Steel-Lindsay Townsend  Loved it!
Punished-Brynn Paulin  Sassy short read!
Nebula's Music- Aubrie Dionne  Loved it!  RR
Sexual Energy- Afton Locke  Enjoyed it:)
The Best Laid Plans- Elaine Rocco Chase  LOVED it!  RR!
Blind Her With Bliss-Nina Pierce  Wonderful story!  RR
Mother's Day Babies- Mona Risk  AWESOME!  DRR
Table for Three-Missy Martine  Okay
Research Required-Amber Skyze  Very good!
Immortal Curse-Bronwyn Green  LOVED it!

Publishing Efforts:
I'm currently finishing up edits for Kenzie's Off The Clock, and hoping to have cover art soon!  I'm thinking this book may come out sometime this month or next.  Stay tuned!  I also received edits for book #6 of Arbor U, Searching For Love.  Began working on them last night; I'll keep you posted.  So far, I'm not finding anything too problematic, considering the extreme criticism I received from a friend who is extremely pro-gay rights.  Apparently she objected to the fact I alluded to the 'choice' in the blurb.  

How's The Health?
Doing well, as long as I remember to clean out my ear once a week (ugh!) and use my NasoNex every night.  And take my Mobic when I think I'm going to be on my feet for long periods of time.  Sigh...it's hell getting older....

Still on 'hold' at the moment, until BC gets Saturday nights off.  The three bars we used to sing at no longer offer it, so now we're down to the Saturday Night crowd at Bottom's Up.  Darn it....I'd just worked up the nerve to get up and sing 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy' by Rod Stewart, 'Do You Wanna Touch Me' by Joan Jett, and 'Doncha' by The Pussycat Dolls.  I joked today we ought to take my 3 'Merry-Oke' toys to the Cincinnati Saloon and sing along with the radio.

Mel:  They might throw us out.

Me:  At least then they'd know we were serious about wanting the karaoke back!

8 weeks till my daughter graduates from high school!

Monday, April 1, 2013

End Of The Month Wrap Up

Currently Reading:  Finished Accidental Romance by Jessica E. Subject and LOVED it!  Recommended Read:)  Also read Burning Love by Sable Hunter.  This one was a bit drawn out; while I understand this was erotic romance, and the numerous sex scenes were to show the heroine's trust in the hero, but I think a few toward the end could have been cut.  And I did enjoy the wildlife 'lessons' in this book:)  Finally finished Robin Cook's Acceptable Risk.  This wasn't one if his better ones, imho.  But I did enjoy the information on the Salem Witch Trials and what might have been the cause:) Now reading Lisa Gardner's Catch Me (print) and Raspberry Crush by Jill Winters (e-book)

Now For The Wrap Up:
For a list of books I'd planned to read in March, click here

Books Read:  E-book:  9, with one DNF.
                        Paperback:  6, and am on a seventh.  
                        HB:  One

Days Spent Editing:  Three frantic days of repairing a mistake in the proof copy of Endless Love:) I also spent one day editing Kenzie's Off The Clock:)  Edits arrived Saturday for Searching For Love, but I decided to tackle them today.

Days Spent Promo-ing:  9 out of the 18 posts, plus I don't know how many loop posts I made, or FB posts.

New Cover:  Searching For Love has an AWESOME new cover!  Have you seen it?  Look to your right:)

New Contract:  Book #7 was accepted, with a projected release date of August. 

Days Spent With Right Ear Clogged:  21.5  Went to the doctor on the 22nd and had my ear flushed out:)  And thankfully, have been 50% phlegm-free the past month:)

Karaoke:  0.  Our favorite places quit having it, so now we have to wait until BC gets Saturday nights off.  Bummer.

Days Spent Watching Basketball:  8:)

Correct Teams Picked:  3/21-22:  19/33
                                        3/23-24:  9/16
                                        3/28-29:  3/8
                                        3/30-31:  4/4
Final Four:  Louisville vs Wichita St
                     Syracuse vs Michigan