Tuesday, July 31, 2012

'Home Sweet Home....sort of...'

It's been thrilling to be back in Indianapolis the past three days:)  Sunday, as I was driving MDQ and ME home, it was nice to first pass by the old homestead in Morgan County, and then to see familiar sights along the west side of Indy.  So much has changed in the six years since we've been there!

The Airport Expressway has been renamed, now that it no longer leads to the airport.

There's a huge 'sound barrier' wall all along 465, but I WAS able to point out the apartment complex where I lived first as a single woman, then later married.  The kids were impressed.

Crawfordsville Rd interchange has changed; there is now a HUGE ramp leading from I-74 onto 465 N.  They are still working in that area; I'll see the finished product next year when I go up for the 500.

Thing got comical the closer I got to the kids' home.  I wanted to go 'wander' the route I used to take to St. Vincent's Hospital, and ME kept telling me where to turn, to go straight, etc.  I kept saying, "I know honey; I used to live here.'  Guess he was being overly helpful, in his eagerness to be home?

MDQ was in a sulk, because she didn't want to leave; wanted to stay with us longer.  And when that child isn't happy, she tries to make everyone around her miserable.  I only hope she changes her ways once she gets to middle school!

Mom's surgery went well; the doctor is highly optimistic.  We were finally able to see her around 6pm last night, and she was happy to see me.  Dad, having been up since 6am, dozed in the chair while she and I watched the Olympics.  Around 11, Dad and I went back to his hotel, and I finished watching the Men's Gymnastics (more on this in a moment).  I slept on the pull out couch, then had breakfast this morning and returned to the hospital.

What Happened?
The USA men fell apart!  Leading in the team competition, mistakes were made, and China took over.  And just when Great Britain thought they had the silver locked in, Japan lodged a protest about their final pommel horse competitor.  It looked as if he didn't complete the final handstand element, but after reviewing, the judges upped his score, giving Japan the silver.  GB had to settle for the bronze; US finished 5th behind the Ukraine, who were NOT happy at being knocked out of medal contention by Japan.

Tonight is the Women's Gymnastics final, so hope the women can keep it together to win a medal.

While Mom was in surgery, I began editing book #6, Searching For Love.  Made it well into Chapter 2; not sure if I'll edit or not, since Mom's got the Olympics on.

Currently Reading:
Began reading Jean Joachim's The Marriage List, and enjoying it!  Recommended Read so far:)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Fire investigator:  Do you know how the fire might have started?

Homeowner:  Yes.  I smelled gas in the basement.  So I went down there and lit a candle so I could see where it was coming from...

actual conversation after a fire in Medina, Ohio

I'm off to do laundry and watch some Olympic coverage.  Then tonight, Nunsense with friends BC Brown as a blind nun, and her niece Ashlae as another nun!  Break a leg, girls!

Currently Reading:  I've been a busy reader this week.  Finished Kellie Kamryn's Perfect Score, and OMG! GO pick this up!  I loved how she included Jacques' daughter into the plot line, with her teenage angst, and how she tied it in with Shelley's own turmoil over relationships!  Definite Recommended Read:)

Also read Jamie Carie's The Forgiven Duke, book #2 in the Forgotten Castles series.  Loved the descriptions of Iceland!  If you're a fan of Christian Inspirationals, and Regency, go get this one also!  Recommended Read:)

Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell:  Interesting; I'd watched the first episode of the series, but forgot to watch the rest (probably due to a scheduling conflict with two other shows).  If you enjoyed Sex and the City, read it.  Otherwise, you're not missing anything.

I downloaded Kellie's Lost In Her Mind yesterday.  Don't know if I'll start with that, or go find Amber's Skyze's Pretend With Me.  I really want to finish it!  (I was reading it when my Sony died several months ago.)

Also up:
Print copies of:
-Dragon in the System by Cindy Spencer Pape

-Brotherly Bonds by Brynn Paulin

-An anthology with Lori Foster.

I should have lots of reading time ahead of me; as I mentioned yesterday, my mom's having surgery on Monday, so heading up there tomorrow when I return the grandkids.  I'm taking my laptop to the hospital and going to try to work on self-edits while in the waiting room.  Or I might try to read.  Just not sure at this point.  It all depends on how long they need me after she's released.

Posting will be sporadic; I'll have to go somewhere else to get on the internet, other than to check my email.  Mom's internet is slow, and there's no wifi.  But I'll get to chat with friends while sitting at McD's or a coffee shop!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: Westward Bound!

First of all, I've been interviewed over at Jennifer Labelle's blog.  Drop by and say hi?

Secondly, on with the flashback!

July 2002
Our family traveled to Estes Park, Colorado for a week of fun and relaxation.  My mom and grandmother flew out earlier in the week, so we drove out with my dad.  Spent the first night at Little Amana, Iowa, and the kids enjoyed swimming in the pool.  I had decided to use the time to work on book #6 of my Arbor U series, so instead of having my nose buried in a book the entire time, I scribbled away in a notebook.  Dad was amused to see me working at the poolside; I was amused by the way my handwriting got progressively worse while drinking three white Russians!  And two days later, we pulled into Nicky’s Resort, just outside Estes Park and Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park. 

Mom, Grandma, and my sister and BIL were happy to see us, and the next five days were spent shopping in Estes Park; touring RMNP; braving the switchbacks of Trail Ridge Road; and celebrating my mom and dad’s birthdays.

The night we ate at the resort, our friends in Ft. Collins drove over to spend the evening with us.  After dinner, we returned to our suite for some fun and reminiscing.  My sister handed out the presents she and I had bought, and I stood up and read the two poems I’d written at my sister’s suggestion.

We reminisced about past gatherings and telling stories about kids’ achievements.  And finally, around midnight, Mr. & Mrs. H left so we could get some sleep.

Several years earlier, there had been a flood in RMNP; the now-dried area renamed the Illuvial Fan.  We spent half a day in that area of the park.  My spouse and two kids climbed to the top of the rock pile while I parked myself on a rock and wrote nearly four pages.  The scenery was breathtaking; the weather calm; and the only sounds were children playing and the gurgle of the creek.  And all too soon it was time for lunch.

Mom had arranged for a photographer; we had a family picture taken. Mom and Dad are seated in the center with my kids on their laps; My sis and BIL are behind my dad; my spouse and I behind Mom; and Grandma in the center.

On the way back, we stopped at Cabella’s in Sidney, Nebraska.  Got several items, including blankets, socks, shirts, and hats.  We also ate lunch:  Caribou sandwich, buffalo burgers, and pizza.

We stayed at the Ramada Inn in Iowa, and enjoyed the water park.  Got several pictures of my kids and spouse going down the tube slide!  I prefer the open slide, and at first, my then-eight y/o balked at going down the slide.  But when Mommy went down first and agreed to catch her at the bottom, she discovered it was a lot of fun after all!  And went down several more times without needing any ‘catching’.

And my husband cracked me up:  He griped all the way to the Indiana/Illinois border about missing work and how vacations were a waste of money.  But once we crossed into Illinois, then Iowa, he relaxed and enjoyed himself.  But on the way home, he was fine until we crossed back into Indiana.  And all of a sudden, he was mad at me for ‘dragging him away from a perfectly good job.’

But I didn’t care; we’d never had a family vacation like that before, and the kids enjoyed having him around.

Present Day:

Tonight is the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London:)  Starting next week, expect Olympic updates at the top of my blog posts.

Tomorrow, I'm going to go see a friend in a production of  Nunsense,  She plays a blind nun, so this should be comical!

Sunday, I'll take MDQ and ME back to Indy, then spend the night on my SIL's couch.  My mom's having hernia surgery next Monday, and then I'll go home with the parents to help out, if necessary.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Satan Called; He Wants His Heat Back!"

So says a FB picture floating around.

Seriously, the temps the last several weeks have been in the mid 90's to 108.  Our two a/c units are working overtime, along with four fans.  But with the addition of two kids, the spouse bought three more fans to help with the heat.

My concentration is poor; I'm not sleeping well (due in part to needing a new bed, coming next month); and I'm trying to hang onto my temper.

We DID take the kids to the pool on Tues, and then to the fair, so everyone had a good time.

Yesterday was one of those days where nothing went as planned.  Daughter thought she was having an appendicitis attack; turned out to be just a cyst on her ovary.  Then her boyfriend made threats, which caused her more stress, and thankfully I was able to get her to think straight again.

It's supposed to rain tonight, and the temps are supposed to fall back into the high 80's/low 90's.

I've made some calls for my 'tour' in the coming months; check out the calendar to the right.  Not sure if I will be able to attend all, but I'm going to try:)

In the meantime, check out this awesome picture of Miss Alex:)

Youngling, "Bombs Away!"

Mr. Energy:  "Whoo hoo!"

Miss Drama Queen won't go off the diving board, so here she is swimming away:)

Saturday is Dollar Day again, so we may make one more trip back to the pool to cool off.

Come back tomorrow for memories of July 2002; we took a vacation to Estes Park, Colorado:)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life With The Grandkids

We kidnapped Miss Drama Queen and her brother Mr. Energy last week.  Took them to the pool on Tuesday and to see Ice Age, Continental Drift on Thursday.  Church on Sunday.

The phone rang on Sat.

"Since I had to take two weeks off for my surgery, finances are tight.  Can they stay for another week so I don't have to pay for a babysitter?  If not, I can see if my sitter will do it for less until I can catch up..."

So yes, they'll be here another week.

In some ways, I don't mind their presence.  They're older now (10 and 9) and can entertain themselves.  Plus, since they were here all last summer, they have friends in the neighborhood to play with.

It's the little things which bug me.

-Not picking up their towels/wet items after showers or at the pool
-Constantly wanting to hold the remote control to the TV (we finally got them to keep it one spot!)
-If one child gets something, they all have to have it.  IE:  Popcicles, pudding, chips.(I know; this is typical.  But multiply it by 4 or 5 kids and it gets annoying after a while!)
-Not putting their dirty laundry in the proper place.  I know for a fact I've only washed one pair of undies and one set of clothing last week.

At least they no longer wake up in the morning and ask where we're going!  That drove me CRAZY last summer!

"Summer time is for taking it easy; go outside and play; chill out!  And don't wear black when it's supposed to reach 100 degrees....we are NOT going to the park in this heat....and yes, Aunt Molly has a few errands which doesn't require your presence:)"

And I've been enjoying a nightly glass of chocolate wine to unwind after they go to bed.

I'll post pics of them sometime this week.  They've enjoyed holding Alexandria and helping with feeding her:)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday's Stupid Saying

This was too good not to post!

World History teacher:  What did Martin  Luther nail to the door of the Catholic Church that protested against the selling of indulgences?

9th grade student:  Was it Jesus?

Actual classsroom dialogue

Friday, July 20, 2012

Flashback Friday: Chick Magnet:)

July 1992:
For the 4th of July festivities, we went to my aunt's house.  Since I'd forgotten K's swimming suit, we first put him in a diaper, then later just let him skinny dip:)  My aunt had several floatation devices for young children, and he enjoyed his time in the water with various relatives.

A week later, Nephew D came to stay with us for several weeks.  Day #2, I left K at the pool with the 14 y/o while I ran back to the apartment for a bottle.  I arrive back at the pool maybe ten minutes later; D is surrounded by teenage girls, collecting phone numbers!

"Aunt Molly, I like this kid; he's a chick magnet!"  D called and took the bottle from me.

I went back in the water; D carried him to the shallow end and sat on the steps with his 'entourage'!

D would eventually strike up a small romance with one of the young ladies, but it wouldn't last.  More on this next month.

I also took K, who at 7 months had developed two bottom teeth and the ability to sit up, to get his picture taken.  I dressed him in his christening outfit, and he smiled his sunny smile and was very cooperative.  One of my favorite shots was him stripped to a diaper, inside a metal wash bucket, with a rubber duck and baby powder can on the outside.  I really wish I could scan this photo into my computer; it's priceless!

We were also looking to move into a larger apartment, and when I finally threatened to leave, the apartment complex promptly coughed up TWO for me to look at!  I'd been told to 'keep checking back at the end of the month to see if we have anyone moving out...' to no avail.  So I picked the one I wanted and we made arrangements to move:)

Next Month:  Adjusting to the new home and a mini-vacation!

Present Day:
Attended my SIL's wedding last weekend and ended up 'kidnapping' Miss Drama Queen and her brother, Mr. Energy.  Since it's unclear when they will be returning as of yet (they 'have' to be home the week of their birthday, Aug 6th), I'm taking more vacation time.  Took the kids to the pool on Tuesday and to see Ice Age #4:  Continental Drift last night.  FUNNY!

And I've got a slight problem:  Apparently, back in 2007 when I converted most of my 3.5 floppy discs to CD's, I neglected to put #13 and #14 onto the CD's.  I've checked my office supply store and Radio Shack; neither of them sell the external hard drives or have the means to download the files to my flash drive.  I still have yet to try the library, another computer store in town, or travel an hour south to Best Buy (I'll call them before we travel that far).

I know why I probably neglected to do so; at the time I was planning to put out each Arbor U book one book per year ( keep in mind it took five years between the first two, lol!), but it didn't happen that way.  I'm trying to now put them out two per year, which means I need to get cracking on #8-12.

Confused?  I don't blame you!

MFRW Summer Camp:
I spent three days copying and pasting all the pertinent details of the two day workshop, including the Q&A sessions.  The document is 50 pages long; however, I may go back in and edit it a little, breaking it up into smaller documents.

Currently Reading:
Finished The Time Traveler's Wife and now I really want to see the movie, to see how the screenplay handled all the bouncing around. Now I'm on Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell.  I had watched the first episode of the TV show, but it conflicted with other programming, so forgot to videotape/DVR it.  So far, the book is interesting:)

E-book:  Loved, loved, LOVED Kellie Kamryn's Rebound!  I'm now reading The Perfect Score.  Both of these are Definite Recommended Reads!  Pick them up here:)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Introducing Author Terri Talley Venters:)

Terri Talley Venters,
Author of Carbon Copy

Terri received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of Florida. She is a licensed CPA and a Second Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida, with her husband, Garrison, and their two sons.
Carbon Copy is the 1st thrilling novel in the Elements of Mystery Series. The title of each novel will contain an element from the Periodic Table of Elements. Terri recently finished writing Tin Roof, the sequel to Carbon Copy, coming soon from Wild Child Publishing. And Terri’s romantic/suspense novel, Body of Gold, is coming soon from Freya’s Bower. For more about Terri’s upcoming releases, please visit her website http://www.elementsofmystery.com/

Lilly Allen has brains, beauty, and a trust fund. She's living in New York City and her career as a reporter is taking off. She's hoping the love of her life, Grier, will propose soon. She has it all, or so she thinks.

Grier Garrison, Create Life executive, is running the company while his father, Dr. Michael Garrison, is in the ICU awaiting a heart transplant. Grier knows the truth about Create Life and its shady side business. He fears Lilly and her twin brother, Luke, are in danger.

While working on two unrelated stories, stolen newborns and cloning, Lilly discovers a shocking connection. Horrific things are happening, but who is behind it all?

On the first of each month, Terri also posts free short stories on her blog. Follow her at http://www.territalleyventers.blogspot.com/as she weaves her way through the Periodic Table of Elements.

For a taste of her writing style, here's one of her short stories:


By: Terri Talley Venters

Minerva awoke to the soothing sounds of the sea, just as she did each morning. As an early riser, she thrived on the solitude of her early morning swim. She meandered through the palace as her family slumbered. Arriving at the terrace, she jettisoned herself into peaceful serenity of the open water.
She began her routine at mach speed, waking her body and mind up as her lithe form cut through the water like a spear. Feeling invigorated from the aqua sprint, she dove towards the depths of the sea.
She swam at the ocean bottom, admiring the tiny seahorses with their tails wrapped around the plant branches. The sand, undisturbed, sparkled as the rays of the morning sun breached the water's surface, illuminating the ocean floor.
Minerva froze, spotting a great white shark a hundred yards away. She prayed the carnivorous creature wouldn’t sense her presence. He appeared occupied with a bloody carcass at the surface. Her eyes scanned the surface above her as more sharks joined the great white and his feeding frenzy.
A dark shadow loomed over her, blocking sun’s rays.  Scared, Minerva looked up, knowing the shadow’s source before she verified the terrifying object above her--a boat.
She swam away and headed home, wishing she’d never left the safety of Atlantis. But a wall of rope came towards her; it extended from the surface to the floor with its sides angled towards her.
She knew the dangers of the net; she’d witnessed it capture her fellow Atlantians. She retreated backwards, away from the dangers of mankind’s fishing net. She sensed a presence behind her. Fearful, she turned to face yet another enemy, the great white shark.
The enormous creature swam towards Minerva, trapping her between the net and his carnivorous intentions.  He lunged towards her, but missed her in his closed-eye frenzy. She darted around the great beast, never taking her eyes off of the predator. She realized her mistake as the ropes of the net caught her fin.
The shark floated away in retreat, thus avoiding the net. But Minerva saw the net close around her struggling form. She stopped wiggling as the hopelessness sank in. Tears flowed as the net lifted her up towards the surface.
Crunched together with a mixture of fish, she saw the morning sun as the net rose Minerva out of the water and onto the wooden deck of the fishing boat. 
“Captain, we’ve caught a mermaid!”

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flashback Friday: Confusing 4th and World's Fair!

July 1982:
I met one of my best male friends on the 'beach', a tiny strip of sand beside the Wabash River, and talked while we listened to the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra played its annual concert.  I was bemoaning the fact all efforts to win K back weren't working; he was moaning about a recent breakup with his girlfriend.  We stood by the cannons and plugged our ears during the appropriate times during the 1812 Overture, then I walked with him to his parents' car to grab a lawn chair for the fireworks.

D pulled me onto his lap while we waited for the fireworks.  I thought nothing of it; he and I had often sat on each other's laps in the past four years.  Somehow, a game of 'Sorry' was started...the kind where you clasp hands and bend each other's fingers back?  Yeah, that childish game of 'endurance'.  Well, gradually, we stopped torturing our fingers, then we swung our hands back and forth.  By the time the show began, I was snuggled against his chest while we held hands.  I did NOT want that fireworks show to end; I was both thrilled and a little scared of the new shift in our friendship, and was a little unsure about the whole thing, since I'd 'dated' his twin brother from age twelve to sixteen.  What was the 'code' for dating twin brothers?  Would S be upset?  And what about my efforts to win K back?

Anyway, at the end of the show, D let go of my hand as I stood up.  He collapsed the chair, then reached down and grabbed my hand again.  My inner turmoil increased when S spotted us, then moved away.  Would he and I still be friends?  I was in agony for the five minutes it took to walk back to the car.

My memory's a little fuzzy at this point.  I don't know if D kissed me goodbye at that point, or if we simply dropped hands and said, 'See ya.'  I was leaving the next day for Knoxville, TN, and then for Florida with my family for three weeks.  It would be nearly a month before I would see him again.

All I do remember is deciding to enjoy the moment and see what would happen in the next month.  I had to concentrate on my parade routine.

The next day, I received a shock.  My BFF, R, had been in charge of making sure our group of six friends were all signed up on the same bus.  We were....but she'd placed she and I right in front of K and her brother.  I would now be spending a six or eight hour bus trip in front of my ex.  What had she done?

But the minute he saw me, he grinned.  And to R's chagrin, he had me switch seats with R's brother for the entire trip.  We talked, and joked about finding 'honeymoon' spots along the way.

The parade was awesome.  And the next day, since our group had all paired up (except R), we split into two groups and enjoyed the fair.  My group decided to forego going through the exhibits and instead, we wandered around the food tents.  We enjoyed Belgium waffles; Chinese food; Greek baklava; and other items.  And hit the Midway in full force, riding the double carousel three times (rocking horse on top level; up and down horse on bottom) and getting extremely dizzy the third time (there was a spinning thing on the bottom level).  K had opted out the 3rd ride, and rolled his eyes at our clumsiness as we staggered from the exit gate.

And when we returned home, K squeezed my hand and told me he'd see me in three weeks.  I was ecstatic; surely this meant he wanted me back after all?

Next Month:  Why You Should Never Get Your Hopes Up or Why Didn't I See The Writing On The Wall?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Almost Finished!

Currently Reading:  Finished Rebound by Kellie Kamryn this morning while at the dentist office.  LOVED it! Definite Recommended Read!  It's an awesome love story about two people caught up in their own ambitions and not being in the same place at the same time, until Fate throws them together again.  Definitely pick this up as well as the sequel, The Perfect Score.  I was on Ch 4 when my Kindle batteries died.  Can't wait to continue!  Click the SCP button to the right and search for it!

Last night, at the end of the final word war of the night, I looked at my page number.  I'm on page 60, and the ms ends on page 77!  Wow....who'da thought turning off the internet and focusing on my edits would make me so productive?  LOL!

It's all about determination.  And to be honest, when I started this whole editing thing this week, I was already on page 21.  So forty pages in three days isn't really all that bad.  And I did have a humorous chuckle at myself.


Imagine you're reading a book by your favorite author.  The characters are interacting....sparks are flying...he takes her to his apartment....clothes are removed.....and all of a sudden....

'...spread her legs and reached down to help him find her entrance.  Together they moved toward that wondrous peak, reached it with an explosive force, then fell away from each other, panting with total exhilaration."

(needle scratch)


Do you feel cheated?  I feel cheated and I wrote it!

Admittedly, I wrote this ten years ago, before I understood the concept of drawing things out and letting the senses take over while writing.  Not wham, bam, thank you ma'am.  I guess after getting them to the bed, I tiptoed out of the room and let them have their privacy!

But I could be wrong; I mean, I still find myself skipping over the sex scenes in other books I'm reading.  So what about you?  Did the above, 3-line sex scene satisfy you, or do you want more description?  Depending on what editor I get when this is accepted, she's either going to suggest I add more to it, or scold me for leaving her wanting more.

Go ahead; leave me your opinion.  And feel free to laugh about me yada-yada-ing the sex while reading!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back To Work!

I'm loving it!

-No more pain in mouth, except the occasional ache.
-3 days in and already edited 20 pages.
-Had a friend look over a page for me and was told she wanted to keep reading:)

So I must be doing something right!

If this keeps up, I'll be submitting this MS next week.  And hope it arrives either Sept or Oct.

So what's after that?  Begin self-edits on the next MS, and even back to the writing!  Kenzie has been dying to take control of the brain again.

How's your summer coming along?

Friday, July 6, 2012

And The Winner Is.......


Congratulations to all who entered!

No Flashback today; I have no memory of anything 4th of July-related when I was six.  My mom probably does, but since we're both sick at the moment (she's awaiting hernia surgery and I'm still dealing with this tooth surgery pain), neither one of us wants to spend much time on the phone.

I will say this, however:  I think mine is finally getting better.  The pain doesn't seem as intense today, which is good, since I'm down to my last half lortab!  Still taking it easy; that's another reason why I haven't posted this until now.

Have a good weekend!  And it's hard to believe Miss Alex turns one month old tomorrow.  I really need to get my pictures developed.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Love Scene Workshop Pt 5

Day 5:
Facing the Fear

When I first began writing my erotic scenes, I swore never to tell my mother.  But when I received my first contract, I just HAD to let her know!  But then I 'fessed up about what it was.

Mom simply picked up her newspaper and nodded.  "Sex sells."

I had to pick my jaw up from the floor!  

Later, she informed me, "I may not be proud of what you write, but I'll always be proud of your writing ability."  Now that's a mama's love:)

Some women begin to not care about their mother's approval during adolescence; some never seem to make that break.  Mine began when I was 30, and mom announced she didn't like my hair.  For the first time, I said, "It's my hair, and I like it.", rather than starting to doubt my choices.

In other words, I finally realized....


And guess what?  Your mother has had sex...and your dad too.
Probably together. (I know, shocking, right?)  

Two nights before my grandfather passed away, their townhouse was being painted, so they checked into a hotel for the night, to escape the paint fumes.  Grandma had laughed when Grandpa whispered in her ear that night, "I feel as if we're doing something naughty!"

I was 19 at the time, and giggled at the thought of my grandparents having sex.  And two days later, Grandma and Grandpa celebrated Grandma's birthday with an evening out on the town with friends.  Afterward, Grandpa kissed Grandma and went upstairs to bed.  Grandma found him an hour later; he'd had a fatal heart attack.

Fast-forward twenty years:  I've had four erotic books published now, and I've come to realize if potential readers are truly scandalized by
sexy writing, then when you tell them not to read the book, they
won't. If you warn them and they read it anyway, their reaction is
not your problem.

And another thing...

Are you going to let other people affect how you write the story you
want to tell?

Yes, I have ultimate control over the words I choose to write.  And I'm perfectly capable of putting a character on the back burner if s/he yells about my 'censorship' of his/her words.  But ultimately, I'm the one who has to be happy with the final outcome.  If I censor character Steve, for example, will he have the same impact on readers if I reign him in too much?  Will they see him for the lovable character, or will they think he's a wimp?  You walk that fine line between letting a character run rampant but at the same time, do it in an acceptable manner.

This is MY book, and I can't and won't please everyone.  One of my favorite parts of Little Women is the chapter where Jo tries to please everyone when she publishes her first book, then dislikes the final outcome.  If I can't stand to read my own words, how can I expect others to?

-Find your happy place--where you're mostly comfortable writing the
scenes but it pushes your boundaries a bit.

-Study other books with love scenes. Rewrite them to absorb how the
words flow.

-Set the Mood for Writing
Read a book or watch a sexy movie beforehand if you're having
trouble getting into the right state of mind
Quiet, alone time

But regardless of how you decide to fight the fear, the main rule is

Don't Cheat the Reader!

-If you've built up this sexy story, given hints and hot makeout
scenes, then you get to the big event and you fade to black, readers
will not be happy. (You can lose readers this way because you've
broken trust by setting up a promise and then not delivering.)

-Readers can tell when you chickened out vs. when the toned down love
scene was appropriate for the book.

-The tone of your love scenes should match the tone of your book. (You
don't need to have characters swinging from the chandeliers if
you're telling a sweet knitting romance or something. Figure out
what kinds of love scenes best fit your story and characters.)

My homework was to write the most scandalous love scene I'd ever thought of writing.  But you know what?  I already did.  Twice.  The first one is in Wild At Heart, and I edited it out for my mother's version of that book (yes, I took my MS, edited out the naughty words/phrases/questionable scenes and printed it out. Mom won't read an e-book).  The other is in Teacher's Pet.

A third one is the book I began working on in 2002, and have begun working on it again.  I rather like the scene when they're taking a carriage ride!  Come on; who hasn't thought of seeing how far you can take making out when you're in one of those?  LOL:)

Update on My Mouth:
Don't think I posted it here, but I had a tooth extracted Tuesday June 26th and am still in severe mouth pain. I spend the majority of my day laying in bed, reading or sleeping.  I can only be vertical for a maximum of 3 hours at a stretch.  I had to call the dentist on Monday, since my prescription-strength Ibuprofin was gone.  And now I'm down to 1.5 lortabs, which will be gone by tomorrow.  They told me if I'm not any better by Monday, then to come in for a check-up.

On the one hand, it's been nice; I'm getting a lot of reading done, and it's like a holiday.  But on the other hand, the family is getting tired of picking up the slack.  I've had to resort to tears in order to remind the family I am in pain, and that's why the laundry's piled up....I've not done the dishes....I've not even THOUGHT about what's for dinner, because I'm currently living on soft food.  This has been an awesome weight loss diet....

But I'm also tired of the pain.  I'd planned to resume writing today, and I just don't feel up to it.  And I HAVE to be better by July 14th, my SIL's wedding.  And there's the tiny matter of making a trip to see my mother; she's not seen little Alex yet.  I also want to sing karaoke again.  But I want to sing well, not sounding like I have a tobacco wad in my mouth.

I'll announce the blog hop winner tomorrow, so check back!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!!

Just in time to celebrate freedom of speech, and the right to read it, comes the Celebrating Independence Blog Hop!
There will be fireworks, BBQ’s, and if you're lucky, I'll have a special gift for you for participating!
So here’s how the hop goes each of the participating authors (List on the Event Page HERE) is going to run a contest on their blog for the readers to enjoy! So make sure you stop by all the stops on the hop. I know you won’t be disappointed!

Contest starts Sunday, July 1, 2012 and ends Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at midnight.

I heated you up; cooled you off; now it's time for a sneak peek at the 5th book in my Arbor U series, Endless Love.  Remember to leave me a comment on any of the three posts for a free PDF download of Balancing Act.  Plus, please like my Amazon Page!

Endless Love: 
      Caitlyn McCarty also thinks she has her life planned out:  Marrying her high school sweetheart, Bryan Johnson, and teaching elementary school.  But when Bryan's life turns upside down with an unexpected turn of events, will Caty stand by her man?  Or will she abandon him in his time of need?  And when she starts to question her life, will she find the courage to make up her own mind, rather than stay on the 'safe' path?
July 4, 1984
Lake Schaeffer, Monticello, In

             The fireworks exploded against an inky backdrop of the midnight sky.  The gentle sound of the waves lapping upon the shore of the beach barely registered as the two young people relaxed on the wooden dock.  The distant approval noises from the crowd at Indiana Beach echoed across the lake as the sky burst with color, a midnight shower of reds, purples, blues, and greens.  As the finale died away, and all that remained were fading gray streaks, Caitlyn McCarthy shifted her gaze from the sky to the young man beside her.  Bryan Johnson, his medium dark hair ruffled by the slight breeze, reclined on his elbows on the thick cushion of blankets they had spread on the hard wooden planks.  He wore dark blue shorts, white t-shirt, and white athletic shoes and socks.  His steady brown eyes gazed into hers.  He reached out a hand and touched her shoulder.
             "What's wrong, Cait?"  His deep voice was full of concern.
             With a sigh, she settled into the circle of his arms.  "Just hold me.  Maybe the night won't end."
             "You don’t want to go to Canada, do you?"
             "You know me so well.  We only have one more month before college, and my parents plan a three week fishing trip, in Ontario.  What's wrong with fishing in the lakes around here?"  She fell silent, enjoying the closeness.  "Besides, I can't understand why they wouldn't let you go with us."
             "You know why." His arms tightened around her.  "We've been together for four years, and our parents think we need some time apart."
             "But...that's why you're going to the University of Illinois, and I'm being shipped off to Arbor U, wherever in the hell that is.  The town is so small, only the university is on the map."
             Bryan’s body shook with laughter.  "You're not even taking this seriously, are you?"  Caty sat up, tears beginning to pool in her eyes.
             Bryan coughed.  "Sweetheart, I've loved you ever since that day you cut into that frog in biology class, and flipped it across the room into Beth Eiken's hair."  He took her hands in his and looked into her eyes.  "No matter what our parents think, I will always love you, even if we're a couple hundred of miles away from each other.  No, look at me."  He tipped her chin up with one finger.  "Let's make a pledge, right now, that when, in four years, if our feelings haven't changed, we'll still be together."
             "But what if something happens?" Caty's mouth trembled.  "What then?"
             "Then we'll be the best of friends, the closest of friends."  His fingers stole into the thick chestnut curls.  "Promise?"
             Caitlyn nodded, the tears falling down her face.  Bryan's lips claimed hers in a searing, desperate, promising kiss.
             "God, I love you, Cait," he whispered as his lips found her ear.
             "And I love you, Bry..."  

Look for Endless Love to be available Fall 2012:)

Good luck on the Blog Hop; I'll notify the winner via email by Friday.
Happy Birthday America and God Bless the USA!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blog Hop, Pt 2

First of all, I want to wish my darling daughter Happy 18th Birthday!  Hard to believe my baby's a mama herself now, and doing a wonderful job with adorable Miss Alex, who turns one month old this week.  We'll be celebrating with a Dairy Queen cake; fireworks; and a nice dinner or lunch somewhere.

Just in time to celebrate freedom of speech, and the right to read it, comes the Celebrating Independence Blog Hop!
There will be fireworks, BBQ’s, and if you're lucky, I'll have a special gift for you for participating!
So here’s how the hop goes each of the participating authors (List on the Event Page HERE) is going to run a contest on their blog for the readers to enjoy! So make sure you stop by all the stops on the hop. I know you won’t be disappointed!

Contest starts Sunday, July 1, 2012 and ends Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at midnight.

I heated you up yesterday, so now to cool you off a little.  Remember to leave me a comment on either yesterday's, today's, or tomorrow's post for a free PDF download of Balancing Act.  Plus, please like my Amazon Page!

Deleted Scene from Forbidden Love:

"I have a good feeling about this year," Keri told Caitlyn after the holidays were over.  Caty had already unpacked and was waiting for a phone call from her boyfriend.  "Even though I got a late start."
"What took so long?"
"You know the back roads I usually take to avoid the traffic in Indy?  Well, both Dad and Eric warned me to stick to the interstate, due to the ice and snow, but there was a major accident by the airport, so I jumped off at State Road 37, and boy was that a mistake!"   Keri pulled out a peach satin robe.  "Look at this:  Isn't it glamorous?  I can't wait to show it to Kyle.  Anyway, there was a five car pile-up in Martinsville, so after I got through that mess, I slid over to 67, and was fine until Spencer, where I did a doughnut in the Burger King parking lot..."
"You didn't," Caty put her hand over her mouth.
Keri nodded.  "Ever go through a drive-up backwards?"
That scenario made Caitlyn laugh even harder.  "I have learned my lesson:  No matter how bad the back up is after a ten inch snowfall, I'm staying on the interstate.  People in small towns forget how to drive, I swear!"
"The snow freezes the common sense." Caty wiped her eyes.
"No doubt.  Has Kyle called?"  Caty shook her head.  "Damn!  Something's really weird.  I was always missing him over break; he never called back; I'm two hours late, and still no call!  What is with men that they don't like to return phone calls?"
"Speaking of men, Joe gave Gretchen a First Promise ring."
"You're kidding me."  Keri stopped putting away her clothes.  "After six months?"
"I guess he's serious."
"What about the mind games?  Is she happy about it?"
"She said he was behaving himself.  They haven't set any dates or anything.  Personally, I think she'd be better off with Troy Anderson."

Forbidden Love is available at

Monday, July 2, 2012

Independence Day Blog Hop!

Just in time to celebrate freedom of speech, and the right to read it, comes the Celebrating Independence Blog Hop!
There will be fireworks, BBQ’s, and if you're lucky, I'll have a special gift for you for participating!
So here’s how the hop goes each of the participating authors (List on the Event Page HERE) is going to run a contest on their blog for the readers to enjoy! So make sure you stop by all the stops on the hop. I know you won’t be disappointed!

Contest starts Sunday, July 1, 2012 and ends Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at midnight.

Even though the theme of Indiana is 'beat the heat' (temps have soared into the triple digits; something we don't usually see until August), some friends and I went to see Magic Mike Saturday night.  And let me tell you.....take PLENTY of water to drink as you watch it!  Even I, who usually is cold in movie theaters, was fanning myself as the men gyrated across the screen!

So I'm going to give you a special treat for this contest:  Instead of posting once, I'm going to post three times.  I'll heat you up....cool you down....and throw in a never-before-seen-sneak peak at book #5.  All you have to do is comment on at least one post (there's 170 of us participating, so I don't expect you to comment on ALL of mine, but if you do, bonus points, lol!); and like my Amazon page,   I'll be giving away a PDF of book #4, Balancing Act.

So....ready for the heat?  Here'a a steamy excerpt from Balancing Act. 


Gretchen McLaren has her life mapped out. A tour of duty with the Peace Corps, then working as a social worker for the elderly. But her boyfriend Joe Walker doesn't agree with her plan, and tries everything in his power to change her mind. But will he succeed? Or will his efforts drive her into the arms of another man?

Troy Anderson finds himself hearing the words no man wants to hear, "I just want to be friends." But when a skilled manipulator tries to tear down the woman he loves, will he fight for her? Find out what happens when jealousy upsets the balance of love and ambition. Has Gretchen been blind to true love the entire time?


"I want to see all of you." His voice was hoarse. "Can I take your shirt off?"

She smiled and helped him raise her sweatshirt up over her head. Her yellow polo
followed, and his fingers fumbled with the clasp of her bra, while he kissed the
warm curves. Succeeding in unhooking it, he dragged the soft cups down to her
waist and took the tip of one breast in his mouth.

"Oh, honey, you taste so sweet." Troy kissed his way to her other breast.

Gretchen closed her eyes and threw back her head. Who would have thought we'd
end up together? I haven't felt this much passion for another man since….okay.
Be honest; it was Christmas. Her fingers drifted down his body until they
reached the bulge in his shorts and stroked him through the flimsy material. As
his mouth claimed hers again, she slid her hand inside to caress his throbbing
flesh. He kissed her breasts and belly, unbuttoning the waistband of her denim
shorts and pulled down the zipper. Her back arched, and she tried to assist in
taking them off, but no use. Her shorts were too tight.

"Stand up," he whispered. She broke away from his embrace and faced him as she
kicked off her canvas tennis shoes. She feasted her eyes on his hairless chest
while he tugged at the shorts until they, along with her peach-colored
underwear, lay in a heap around her ankles.

"We're not in danger of being walked in on, are we?" Gretchen cast a fearful
glance toward the door.

"My parents are out of town until next week. And you and your friends are the
only ones who know I'm in town."

Buy links:

Sweet Cravings