Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Look what arrived in yesterday's mail!  *Does Happy Dance*
Currently Reading:  Still on Moosed Up:)  Finished Fracas and enjoyed most of the short stories.  If you're in the mood for something a little different, pick this one up when the 2nd edition arrives!  I'm promised it will be better:)  Also started Rick Kelsheimer's The Lost Slab and I had to force myself to put this down after Ch. 5.  Otherwise, I'd have never gone to bed.  And began reading Quixotic:)

Karaoke Update:
I'm making progress on my 'D' titles!
On the 17th, at BC Brown's Sayonara Karaoke Party, I sang four songs:
-Black Velvet (Alannah Myles) Nailed it!
-Dress You Up (Madonna) Eh, so-so
-Drops of Jupiter (Train) I thought it was good:)
-Jolene (Dolly Parton) Changed the words to 'Phoenix'  and did well!  I sooo need to add this to my warm up list!

Last week, I sang the following:
-The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia (Reba) Very good!
-Dream A Little Dream of Me (Mama Cass) Bleh....too low and someone had turned off the mike at the bottom; took me half the 1st verse to figure it out.  Might try this again at some point though...
-Dream On (Aerosmith) Sang this with Karaoke Jim, and thought it went well.  In two weeks, I'll sing it solo and see how I sound.

Tomorrow, I'll be singing
-Dark Lady (Cher)
-Dream Lover (Bobby Darin)
-Dream Weaver (Gary Wright)
-Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
-Don't Pay The Ferry Man (Chris DeBurg)

One more week and I'll be into the 'E' titles!!!

Have a wonderful 3-day weekend and I'll be back next week!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Currently Reading:  Finished Kalaidescope Summer; it was long and the story was good.  I had trouble keeping the POV straight, since a) I only got to read it when the daughter let me use the kindle and 2) the POV was in 1st person and switched every chapter.  I probably would have given this a higher rating, had I read it in a few days, not an entire month.  On the other hand, I LOVED Saltwater Kisses by Krista Lakes!  Wonderful sweet Cinderella-like story and a Definite Recommended Read!  Now I'm enjoying Moosed Up by Tiffanie Helmer.  I'm going to go ahead and call this one a Recommended Read also; I laughed all the way through the first two chapters!  Can hardly wait to read the rest of it:)

Also finally finiished Kathleen Woodiwiss's The Reluctant Suiter.  The only good thing about this was at the end, I noticed two more books of hers I'd not known existed, the sequels to The Flame and the Flower.  One is Jeff's story (Brandon's brother) and the other is Beau's (Brandon and Heather's son).  Looking forward to getting both of these and catching up with the Birminghams!

I'm in the process of finding my motivation and getting back to work on any of three projects.  Plus, I'll be at a local Wine and Art Festival tomorrow night, so am making sure all my promo is in order.  Really don't have much to say, other than if Amanda doesn't watch it on Big Brother, she'll find herself out the door.  Her plan to save Andy from the chopping block kinda backfired on her.  But kudos to winning the Power of Veto!  Hoping Aaryn goes home tonight.

I like 'McCranda', no matter what everyone else thinks.  I'm hoping McCrae wins this thing.  Get Elissa and Gina Marie out of there, pronto! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

HDH #20

Welcome back to the Hump Day madness we all know and love:)  Click the link for the other participating authors.

Today I'm taking you back to the 1st day of college; the day you meet your roommate(s) and wonder if you'll get along.  Enjoy!

The door to 135 stood ajar and Elicia could hear music playing. Elicia gathered her courage and pushed open the door to slight chaos. On one side of the room, Van Halen rocked from a large boom box as a short, brown-haired girl stood on a chair, taping posters on the wall. On the other side, a tall, slim, blonde-haired girl hung clothes in her closet. A cooler of soft drinks stood open on an empty desk. Elicia checked both sides of the room wondering which side would be the better choice. The blonde girl caught her eye.

“Hi, I’m Gretchen McLaren.” She shoved her shoulder length hair out of her eyes. “Are you Stephanie or Alicia?”

Elicia. It’s spelled with an E.” Why couldn’t my parents have named me something easy to pronounce?

“I see. Whew, I guess this is semi-awkward. Keri! Elicia’s arrived.” Gretchen darted past her to the other side and soon Van Halen silenced.

“Hi, I’m Keri Patterson. Come on in and make yourself at home.” The girl climbed down from the chair. “The burning question…do you want the bed by the window or the hallway?”
       Elicia wavered only an instant. She had spoken to Gretchen; she’d start on her side of the room. “I’ll take the window.” 

Love On The Rocks is available at Sweet Cravings, Amazon, and B&N

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Back in 2008, I walked into a Barnes and Noble for a book signing never knowing my life was about to change.

I'd agreed to share the spotlight with a fantasy author, and from the moment we met, something just 'clicked'. And not just because we discovered we were from the same town.  No, our personalities were similar, though BB Walter (as she was known then) was much more outgoing than I.  And thanks to her gift of gab, we spent out two hour block of time talking to numerous readers and twisting their arms I mean, coercing encouraging them to buy our books and take a chance on two unknown authors.

Her family showed up; none of my friends did.  But still, I managed to sell six copies of my book, while she sold out of her entire inventory.  Three months later, I invited her to join me at a local festival where two things happened:  1)  We sent so many people to a particular wine vendor, he traded each of us a bottle of wine in return for a copy of each of our books and 2) she introduced me to one of her dearest friends, who in turn told me about the local writer's group he had formed.  I joined, and am still a member to this day.

Two years later, due to a life changing event, BC Brown was back in town, having changed her pen name, and was writing a paranormal mystery series.  She and her friend, author J. Travis Grundon, opened a bookstore in town and other unknown local authors appeared out of the woodwork, lol!  We captured the attention of the Christmas Parade committee, and were asked to be the Grand Marshals in 2010.  I was thrilled:)

BC begged me to go to karaoke with her one night and begged coerced convinced me to join her in singing 'Does He Love You' by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis.  Three months later, we went back on a slow night and a karaoke fiend was born, simply because someone liked my rendition of Pat Benetar's 'Invincible'.  I was hooked.

And whenever we had a new release, finished edits, or just wanted to blow off steam, we'd hit the local karaoke place.

Last year, BC and her partner began making noises about moving to Phoenix, AZ.  At the time, this didn't phaze me too much, as I was planning to move myself.  But it didn't happen.

BC is involved in this latest antho, along with having another one of her short stories being accepted for yet another to be released next year.  This same publisher is also very interested in reviving her fantasy book, Sister Light, and its two sequels.  She gets her rights back from PA next summer and is counting down the months!  I'm also looking forward to the reboot of SL, since I've heard her talk about the trilogy and bemoan ever getting mixed up with PA.

BC and I went to RT Chicago last year, along with her partner B.  He tired of following us around after a while and found a bar to hang out in until we were finished.

BC was also very involved with the local drama department where her niece and nephew went to school.  Here she is playing the White Rabbit in a Disney Medley production....

And looking like Velma from Scooby-Doo as she practiced her part in Funny Girl.

BC and B left for Phoenix yesterday.  We held a good-bye party at karaoke, where we sang 'fun songs'...I did Drops of Jupiter by Train, changing the lyrics to 'the best chai latte you ever had and me' and 'did Phoenix blow your mind'.  I also got up and sang Jolene by Dolly Parton, only singing 'Phoenix, please don't take our gal'.  She loved it!

Our writer's guild treated her to dinner at Denny's last Tuesday, and yesterday, had one more farewell breakfast before saying a tearful farewell.

I just hope Lola behaves herself and gets them to their destination safely!  They're planing to travel Route 66 and see some sights along the way.

And thanks to cell phones, internet, and FB, we can still keep in touch.  The only difference is, our #1 Karaoke Queen and partner in shenannigans will be at least a three day drive away.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

SCP Blog Hop

Welcome to the SCP Blog Hop!  For a complete list of participating authors, go to the SCP Blog.  Happy Hopping!

I've had quite a year:)  Book #7 in my Arbor U series was released earlier this month, and so far the reaction has been wonderful!

Here's another never-before-seen excerpt.

During Spring Break, Susan received a shock. Her mother scheduled her for a regular dental appointment, and her dentist reported seeing signs of acid eroding her back teeth.

“Have you been vomiting a lot? You have two teeth I’m very concerned about.” He pulled off his gloves and pushed the tray away.

“I’ve had the stomach flu a lot,” Susan lied. “It’s been going around campus, and I’ve caught it at least three times.”

“Well, let’s hope this week away from everyone will finally cure you.” He patted her shoulder. “Otherwise, your mouth looks great. I’ll see you again next year.”

“Okay.” I had no idea he could tell I’ve been vomiting! I hope he doesn’t tell Mom. Maybe I need to stop for a while and just not eat?

Her family commented on her weight loss, especially when she and her mother shopped for new spring and summer clothing.

“How much weight have you lost? You’re wearing sizes you’ve not worn since junior high.” Her mother seemed amazed.

“At least another twenty.” Susan hugged herself. Mom’s happy with me, and I’m pretty proud of myself for losing so much.

“I wouldn’t lose much more, sweetie. We don’t want you blowing away.”

Love Weighs In is available at SCP and Amazon 

Want to win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate?  Tell me which of my book covers is your favorite and why:)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday: White Rock, Yellowstone, and Pregnancy Woes

Aug 2003:
I wasn't around my dad a whole lot when I was pregnant with my other two kids; I lived an hour from my parents.  So when Dad proposed driving us out to White Rock, BC in order to meet my nephew, I said yes.  Dad agreed to make as many stops as I needed, and we took off.

The first day went well, other than we discussed stopping somewhere for lunch; I saw the Dairy Queen sign and insisted that's what I wanted.   We ordered; I took one bite of that foot long hot dog and started retching.  I spent the rest of our break in the bathroom, and couldn't even eat my chocolate sundae.  For dinner in Sioux City, IA, we ate at a Perkins, and I devoured a Chef Salad.  For the rest of the trip, I ate chicken salad, Chef Salad, and fettucini alfredo.  I also took an afternoon nap, and Dad was kind enough to let me have the restroom first every morning.  We traveled to Mitchell, SD and went to Cabella's; Wall, SD and got our free ice water (I'd learned about Wall in the 5th or 6th grade and always wanted to go there!).  With the unexpected detour to Wall, we missed out on Mt. Rushmore, so ended up waving at the exit.  The kids were a little upset with me for pleading for the stop in Wall, lol!  I also discovered they had tried to wake me up when we approached DeSmet, because Dad was going to take me to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.  But since I couldn't be awakened, Dad kept driving.

We rode the carousel in Missoula, MT, and made a quick stop in Spokane, WA to see an old friend of Dad's, who was out of the office at the moment.  Dad left a message and we were back on the road.

We arrived in White Rock and spent three days touring the town, dipping our toes into the Pacific Ocean, holding my sweet new nephew, and one day I took my kids to a water park.  And was disappointed I couldn't join in the fun, since there was no lazy river.  Then my sister's vacation time was up, so Dad and the kids and I took off for three days in Yellowstone, then an overnight stop in Cody, WY.  The trip to Cody involved going through several 'free range' areas, so it was very common to see livestock on the roads.  We also came upon a traffic accident, just when I needed a bathroom break.  As we waited, the need worsened, and we noticed many cars turning around.  Dad consulted his map, and though he was concerned about being stopped by a police car and ticketed for driving the wrong way, he turned around and drove me back to the closest exit.  We did encounter the police car, and I told Dad to tell him he had a pregnant woman who was in dire need of a pit stop.  We didn't get a ticket, but was told the accident was causing a 2 hour delay.  I was very thankful the exit was only a few moments away!

The rest of the trip was uneventful, and the spouse was happy to have us home again.  But a week later, he ended up in the ER for heat exhaustion and dehydration.  And when the nurses discovered I was pregnant, they brought me a dinner tray so I could eat while they pumped D full of liquids.

School began, and I looked forward to going into my office and working on book #7, due to the fact it would most likely be a few years before I had any sort of writing time again, other than nap time.

Next Month:  K defends my honor and vehicle issues.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Final Day And Trip Home

This was my 'office' for three days; a nice shady spot beside a pond.

Saw this funny headline while doing some last-minute souvenier shopping:)

We ate lunch at Taco John's in Cheyenne, WY

Saturday night, ate at Carlos O'Kelley's in Kearney, NE.  We had an excellent waiter and wonderful food:)

Sunday, we crossed the Platte River, which locals (legend?) says is 'too wet to plow and too muddy to drink'.

We also stopped at Bass Pro Shops in Iowa, so Little Bit could get a matching pink camo hat:)

You can also go bowling at Bass Pro, at Uncle Buck's

Monday, ate lunch at Cracker Barrel in Bloomington, Il.

Home at last!  I think Cheyenne missed her humans!

All in all, it was a fantastic time with family, and everyone traveled well, including Miss Alex:)  And I need to go back to Iowa, because I never got a picture of the What Cheer, Ia sign at the exit.

I'll be flashing back to the events of Aug 2003 tomorrow:)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

HDH #19 and Day 8 Pt.2

Click the link for a list of other Hump Day Hooks.

Today's hook is from Book 8, Love is Colorblind.
Set up:  Lynne's made the college dance troupe and they've just performed at the first home game.  Debbie (mentioned) is jealous of the fact Lynne's boyfriend Nick is a better basketball player.

.  “Ahhh...I’d forgotten what performing in front of a crowd is like.”
            “It is fun, isn’t it?” Lynne held the bottle to her forehead.  “I completely forgot to look for my roommates.”
            “If they are anything like mine, they’re in one of the front rows.”  Vicki laughed, the top of her head reaching Lynne’s shoulder.  Her long brown hair was caught up in a ponytail, with yellow and blue ribbons hanging down.  She leaned forward.  “Did you see Debbie trip?”
            “No.  What happened?”

            “One of her shoelaces came untied, and when she spun around, it got caught on her other shoe, and tripped her up.  She almost fell into me.”  Vicki took another drink.  “I’ll bet she listens to me next time when I tell her to tighten those laces.  You know how she hates to be told anything.”

Vacation Pics, Pt. 2

On Friday, we went to the historic Stanley Hotel, and walked around the 1st floor.  Only guests can go upstairs.

I didn't know parts of the movie The Shining were filmed at the hotel!  In the gift shop, there is a section entirely devoted to the movie and book.

The original Stanley Steamer is just inside the front door of the hotel.  While we were there, the maintenance people cleaned the floor underneath it.  My nephew D was particularly interested in it:)

After we toured the hotel, I talked my dad into driving me around a bit, so I could get more pictures.  This is Estes Ark, the Christian Book Store mentioned in Kenzie's Wild At Heart.  See?  It does exist!

Dad had no idea this sign existed.  That's because it's near the entrance (duh!) and Dad is usually busy digging out his wallet to pay or show his receipt/Lifetime Membership.  It's only $20 for the five day pass, or when you hit age 62, you get a Lifetime Membership to all the national parks.

My BFF stayed here three weeks prior to our arrival, and she told me the lobby was a must-see.

It's beautiful inside!

After I arrived back at the hotel, I found the cousins in the hot tub.

Before we left for dinner at The Wild Hare (I stupidly did not take any pics), my youngling waded in the Fall River.

And we also got a free concert from a musician:)

Tomorrow:  Time to pack up and head home!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Colorado Day #8 and The Wildlife Encounters From The Week

Here are our Wildlife Encounters for the week:  #1, Rachel and an injured mouse on Monday

#2, Rachel and the ducks at Lake Estes

#3, a goose at Lake Estes

#4, a Bald Eagle:)

#5:  Tuesday, a marmot was outside the Alpine House.

#6, a herd of elk on Trail Ridge Rd

#7 Mule deer in RMNP Tuesday evening

#8 Chipmunks on Friday at Chipmunk Mtn aka Prospect Peak.

#9 The Big Horn Sheep my spouse and three kids saw Monday up Trail Ridge Rd while I was at Lake Estes with my sister and her kids.  I've yet to see them with my own eyes.

I can't seem to get the above pics from being conjoined; the top one is a picture of Estes Park from the top of Chipmunk Mtn.  The bottom one is of Alex and I as she's perched on a large boulder.

Grandpa and his grandchildren:)

The tram as it's coming up the mountain; we're on our way down:)

Tomorrow, Pt 2 of Day #8:)

If you're wondering why I've not posted any updates as to what I'm reading, the daughter has taken possession of the Kindle again.  I found an abandoned print book by Patricia Sprinkle titled What Are You Wearing To Die and I've been reading a few chapters every night.  Plus, BC Brown gave me six or eight print books which she couldn't fit in her car for her trip next week.  I'll post the update next week.  In the meantime, I'm taking advantage of this free time to clean my house from top to bottom, as we baby-proof again.  Miss A has learned to climb on the furniture, so it's phase #3 of Keeping Alex Safe, ha ha!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Colorado, Days #6 & 7

We visited the Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory, where last year a bear made multiple trips in and out one night for chocolate peanut butter cups and chocolate drizzled Rice Krispy Treats:)

We ate dinner at The Wild Rose and the spouse enjoyed elk chops while I tried the tortellini.  YUM!

Thursday, we took the kids to the Go-Kart place and they had a blast!

Even Miss Alex got to enjoy a train ride:)

Kids also rode the bumper boats, bumper cars, and engaged in a friendly Water Wars competition, the boys vs their sister:)  And we all played Mini-Golf, and I'm still the family champ with the low score of 49:)

Then it was time for a quick change and meet the rest of the family at Nicky's Resort to celebrate Mom and Dad's 50th Anniversary and Mom's 71st birthday.  And of course, took the obligatory family photo!

Outside shot of Nicky's.  This is the restaurant, and we also stayed in rooms at the resort back in 2002.

Wednesday night was when we had to move to the Appenzell Inn, sister hotel of the Silver Moon.

Our room is on the lower level to the left of the building.  Parking was tight, and I think we were only able to park in this space once.