Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Silliness

I promised my editor a little something to keep her warm and fuzzy as she's feeling cold today... She's really into frogs... So H--this one's for you! He's kinda cute. And I reckon he's warm, too. And he recommends the biscotti!

My daughter called last night, extremely frustrated because her computer/printer refused to talk to each other just when she had a very important document to print out. This is the way of life, I'm pretty sure. It's probably one of Murphy's Laws or something. Nothing breaks down until it's the most critical time. Also, if anyone ended up with a stray RAM, it would definitely be her. Definitely. So this one's for her.

I have a dear, dear friend with a sleep disorder. When I saw this one, it had her name on it. Soooo perfect. The only thing that would make it more perfect would be if it was a poodle. A chubby poodle that snored. But in that case, the stack would have to be much shorter so hey! We deal with what we have. And besides, she likes cats, too. So, hey, you know who you are. This one's for you!

There is a certain individual in my family who does incredibly dumb stuff. Incredibly dumb. After a while you just shake your head and move on because there's no other option. Such is life. But when I found this one... well, I wanted to make it into a poster and mail it to this person. Nah, that would be cruel and unusual punishment because he's mostly unarmed. Perhaps you know someone like that? Geez, my list is endless. A neighbor. Dumb crooks. The jerk that almost ran me down in a parking lot because he was talking on the phone. Hey! We could make this into a flyer and hand it out as needed, right?

Ah, well. This is my bit for Friday silliness. We all need some silliness at the end of the week. Don't forget to stop over at Amarinda's Place for the wacky world of Amarinda. Try And then pop over to Kelly's blog for her continuing Friday serial. Make that If you're still ambitious or a glutton for punishment or need extra inspiration, there are a whole host of blog links to the right. Try that one about mustaches. You'll be astonished.
Blessings on your day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

You can't write that!

I've been writing for years. Years and years and years. Until September 2006 I never submitted my work. I'm not just talking about publication--I'm talking about anything. No one other than the odd friend or relative ever read anything that I wrote. And then the house hunk challenged me to, uh, pee or get off the pot. So, mostly on a dare, I flamboyantly e-mailed off my submission, knowing deep down in my most secret heat that it would never see the light of day.


Well, somebody read it. For all I know, maybe even several somebodies. And they offered me a contract. Since then, I've almost adjusted to the process of editing. Almost. I don't grind my teeth anymore when my patient editor points out that things do NOT happen "all of a sudden"--they happen suddenly. Fifty years of countryisms is hard to shake off. But I try.

One of the things that I started doing after that was to take part in critique groups. I love to participate in critique groups. Currently, I belong to two "formal" groups and then I have a couple of friends that give an on-the-spot assessment when I hit a rough spot.

The secret to a critique is the commitment of the individuals. You might think that I would not want to hear that my work sucks hairy eyeballs. Not true. If it does, then I really want to know about it. That's the only way I can fix it. Thanks to my critique groups I've avoided some terrible clumps of writing.

My favorite critique of all time was one about a love scene. The critiquer said, "You want me to believe they love each other? I don't believe you. There is nothing to show me that they love each other and telling me is just paying lip service to romance." I went back and took a hard look at that scene and tore it apart. Rewrote. Rewrote.

And then when I was satisfied with that one, I went back and looked at all the other "love" scenes in that book. That particular scene is one that's received several very positive comments. Readers talk about how romantic and loving it was.

But that wasn't the only benefit of that critique. I took her words to heart and look at every love scene with new eyes. I ask myself if I've sufficiently demonstrated that the participants are not only having sex, but that they are "making love". There is a difference.

One of my current works in progress is titled Bishop Restart. Yep, that's exactly what I did. I set aside the first attempt and restarted it after all three of my critique partners admitted they had NO idea what the story was about, who the main characters were, or even where the story was taking place. Oops.

I started over, paying attention to all the pointers they listed. Something still didn't quite jell so I asked my friend, a professional proofreader to have a look. She read through the three chapters I had and then pointed out my fatal error. Other writers may have trouble with long-windedness. I have the opposite problem. I've spent so many years trying to say the most with the least amount of words, that I sometimes cut more corners than necessary or desirable. My friend said that I wasn't giving enough information. I was skipping part of the "who, what, where, when, why". Oops.

My English classes were so long ago that I no longer remember what I learned about the formal art of writing. POV--point of view is a huge mystery to me. Thank goodness most of my writing is instinctive because for the life of me, I can't see the "head-hopping" that I occasionally break into. My critique partners take me by the hand and point out the error of my ways. Sigh. I like to know what everybody is thinking! Oops.

I read a blog where a bunch of different people critiqued a blurb. One critiquer mentioned that there were too many gerunds. Picture me mystified. I had to find a book that explained all about gerunds. Then I went back to look at my work and found it positively peppered with gerunds. Oh no! I was appalled that I was breaking the gerund rule! Oops.

Don't you just love the way some people use a word over and over. Just as you think it might be a little quirk, they just toss it in the next sentence. In fact, they use it so much that you could just scream. Well, don't just stand there. Speak up or they might just keep doing it! Oops!

I want to thank every single one of the brave men and women who willingly critique my work and tell me the low-down, nitty-gritty truth about my writing. You're the best.


I believe in promoting humor, education, and thought-provoking commentary. So check out Kelly's blog at and Amarinda's Place at ! Blessings on your day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Burnt Oatmeal

Yesterday morning I burned the oatmeal. This is not a new occurrence. Rather it is the norm. My friend Jane and the house hunk don't even find it a subject worth discussing as I always burn the oatmeal. You might ask why make oatmeal if you always burn it? Because I need to eat oatmeal. There's always enough unburned oatmeal to satisfy my needs.

Why does it burn? Mostly because I have too many things going on at one time. I set the timer and then immerse my concentration on some other project to the extent that I don't hear the timer. It burns. I scrape off the top layer and put the pot in the sink to soak. And move on.

Life is pretty full of burnt oatmeal. All those wrong turns and bad choices we make in life have consequences. How we handle the inevitable consequences determines what our life is like. We can wail and gnash our teeth and cry over our burnt oatmeal. We can beat ourselves up or blame some one else for calling us on the phone while our oatmeal was cooking. But the truth is that none of those things really address the fact that we still have burnt oatmeal.

Or we can salvage what we can, put the pan to soak, and move on. There will likely be a lot of pans of burnt oatmeal in our lives. If I waste time obsessing about the burnt oatmeal, that's time I've lost forever. Time I could have put to more constructive use. Oh yeah, and while I'm moaning and groaning the salvaged oatmeal is getting cold. Who wants to eat cold oatmeal?

There are things I can do to "pretty up" my oatmeal. I can add nuts, raisens, peanut butter, brown sugar, nutella, or cream. All of those make the oatmeal more palatable. And unless I tell someone, they'll never know that I burned the oatmeal. See? Life is what you make it--even burnt oatmeal.


Only three more days for the February Scavenger Hunt at Check out the Contest Box on page two for the rules and clues. The prize is a free e-copy of any of my current releases.

Isn't that a pretty book cover? I'm so pleased to announce that Dancer's Delight is now available in print from the Cerridwen Press. If you're just dying to get your hands on a copy, you can order it from for $5.99! Now that's a bargain for sure!

The cover gods at Ellora's Cave sent me the cover for Kama Sutra Lovers today. I can't show it off, but once it's approved by the powers that be, then I'll post it on the right side with the rest of my covers. I've been very, very lucky with some lovely covers.

It doesn't seem possible that it's only four more days until March. The year is flying by with unusual speed, isn't it? In April, I'll be at the Romantic Times Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The exciting part is that I'll be taking part in the e-book signing on Wednesday, April 16th and also the print book signing on Saturday, April 19th. I hope to see some of you there! For more information, see my webpage or the RT Convention site.

Finally, I want to urge you to stop by Amarinda's Place at and Kelly's Blog at They start my day every morning with their wit, humor, and insightful observations. Don't miss out! Blessings on your day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pryderi the Precious Part Six

Birds twittered sleepily in the pre-dawn darkness as Pryderi stirred and sighed. The hard warm body of Taranis was curled around her protectively in their soft feather bed nest. For the first time in her life she was sheltered in the strong arms of a lover. Oh, he was not her first lover. In the back country of Zerana, young women did not reach Pryderi's age without suffering the predations of at least one man. If the woman was fortunate, there were no more than two or three.

Though the High King proclaimed that all women must be valued and protected, the High King's men were not out in the byways where women were taken against their will--sometimes even stolen from their families. Pryderi was not an innocent, unaware of what occurred between a man and a woman. Once she took the vows of a Precious, her value increased fourfold as her power both attracted and terrified the men she encountered. Indeed, if they could not shackle her powers for their own needs, then her death was the preferred outcome.

And yet, in her heart she was certain that she was safe in Taranis' arms. Safe in his bed and at his table. She turned to face him and nibbled his chest.

"Awake already, little love?" He tilted his head so that his lips brushed hers in a gentle kiss.

"It's time," she said solemnly.

"Yes, it's time," he agreed. With the birdsong providing a melodious backdrop, they came together for the first time as mates in a slow joyous loving. There would be other times for the sound and fury of passion. This time... this time was for sealing the vows that bound them together... this time was for gentle, abiding love.

In a little while as the dawn lit the slate roofs of dragonry, Pennim quietly rose and went out into the enormous yard, stretching his stiff muscles in the cool shadows. He lazily flapped his wings to warm them up. Soon his mates would be looking for breakfast. His snout stretched in a dragon grin. Perhaps he would just go hunting for an unwary rabbit or two. After all, a hungry female mate was a cranky female mate.

With a last dragon chuckle, his wings beat powerfully as he rose above the yard, trumpeting his happiness for all to hear. Yes, it was a good day to hunt!

To be continued...


Stop by Kelly's blog at and Amarinda's Place at for more good stuff! Blessings on your day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Daffodil by Anny Cook

I thought you might like a sneak peek at Daffodil, the third book in the Flowers of Camelot series.
The events in Daffodil are set in motion when she loses a tooth at age six. Her mother trades Daffodil's tooth to the sorceress Morgana in exchange for a love potion.
Pansy the tooth faery is sent to retrieve the tooth before Morgana can use the tooth to induce Daffodil to commit a heinous crime. Here we have Pansy's first encounter with Daffodil.
Bright moonlight poured through the high narrow window, illuminating the small room where a little golden haired child slept soundly. A dull thunk heralded the less than graceful arrival of Pansy, the tooth faery as she landed on the window sill by the skin of her toes. Teetering wildly, she grabbed for the rotting window frame which promptly disintegrated, leaving her with a handful of moldy wood splinters.
Plunging two stories down, she landed in a large lilac bush. Muttered curses filled the air as she extricated herself from the prickly bush and stomped across the weedy yard. When she was far enough from the building to have a clear vantage point, she turned and sourly surveyed the high window above the lilac bush. She brushed straggles of pale pink hair back from her dark purple eyes and frowned in deep thought. No doubt about it. She was going to have to land just right. Or…
She could just blink in. Blinking was forbidden. She knew that but some rules were made to be broken! And this seemed to be the perfect time to break the commandment against blinking into strange rooms. Surely there couldn’t be that many obstacles in the small space she’d glimpsed before falling from the ledge. With a faint shrug, she closed her eyes and blinked into the small bedroom.
And promptly fell over a doll cradle, landing with a resounding thud.
Holding her breath, she froze while she waited to see who would rush through the door in response to the noise. After long endless moments, when no one appeared, she slowly climbed to her feet and straightened her tattered pink dress before planting her hands on her hips and staring around the tiny room. What a dump! It was barely bigger than a closet. The child’s belongings were arranged with painful neatness with everything in its place but that still left minimal free space in the room.
She slowly shook her head. For such a big house, it was a shame that the little girl should be stuck in this broom closet of a room. Moving with cautious care on silent dusty bare feet, Pansy approached the bed. If the kid put her tooth where she was supposed to, Pansy could swap it for a coin and be out of here in seconds.
She slipped her hand beneath the lumpy pillow and felt around. Nothing. Pansy withdrew her hand and straightened up, pondering for a moment before tiptoeing around the narrow bed. She knelt down and slithered her hand beneath the pillow from this side. Nothing. She slid her hand back out and tapped her chin with impatient fingers. Where the heck did the kid put her tooth?
“Who are you?” a little piping voice inquired softly.
Pansy realized that the kid was watching her with a curiously calm gaze. The faery thought if she had awakened with some stranger feeling around under her pillow she would have been screaming blue gummy murder. What kind of kid just asked you who you were? “I’m the tooth faery,” she explained quietly. “Where’s your tooth, kid?”
“I’m not a baby goat,” the little one pointed out precisely. “My name is Daffodil and I’m a girl.”
“Good enough. Daffodil. So where’s your tooth, Daffodil?”
“Mama gave it to the witch woman.” Daffodil’s expression was too old and wise for her age, thought Pansy. Far too old.
“What witch woman?” Pansy asked calmly though her stomach was suddenly leaping about with trepidation. “Do you know her name?”
“Of course.” Daffodil sat up in the bed and scowled at Pansy. “Her name’s Morgana. She’s the most famous witch in Avalon.”
The faery, intrigued against her will, perched on the side of the rumpled bed and pursed her lips in thought. “Did your mama say why she gave your tooth to Morgana?”
Daffodil’s springy curls bounced wildly when she shook her head. “No. But my sister, Chrysanthemum, said that it was a very bad thing that Mama did. And Honeysuckle, my other sister, said that she will get it back from Morgana.”
“Oh yeah? How’s she gonna do that?” Pansy asked curiously while she absently pleated the soft filmy fabric of her skirt.
“Honeysuckle said she’s going to sneak into Morgana’s house and steal it back. She said that Mama would have to buy her love charm some other way. Anyway, a love charm won’t bring Papa back.” Daffodil’s grave explanation told Pansy more than she really wanted to know about the little girl’s mother. In effect, Daffodil’s mama had sold her to the witch for a love charm. As long as Morgana had the child’s tooth, she could control her actions.
Pansy pondered for a few moments. “Well, your sister is correct. We need to retrieve your tooth from Morgana but I don’t think Honeysuckle’s quite old enough to battle a witch.”
“But she’s a very good spy,” Daffodil offered soberly. “She never gets caught and she knows everything that’s going on in the manor. She even saw Michael the blacksmith’s thing.”
“His thing?” The faery stared at her in confusion. “What thing?”
“You know. His thing. He sticks it inside Mildred the cook.”
Pansy’s eyes widened abruptly and she sat straight up. “All righty, then. Moving right along now… I’ll go to Morgana’s place and see if I can find your tooth. You go back to sleep.”
“What about Honeysuckle?”
“Don’t you worry about your sister. I have a notion that she can take care of herself. I’ll try to find a way to let her know that I’m on the job.” Pansy climbed down from the bed and straightened the covers up over Daffodil’s shoulder. “Go to sleep.”
“May I ask you something?”
“Sure. Whatcha wanna know?”
“Where’s your wings? Don’t faeries have wings?” Daffodil demanded with a yawn.
“Some do, some don’t. I don’t. Now go to sleep, Daffy.”
“Don’t call me Daffy. My name is Daffodil.” Even on the verge of sleep, her high little voice was firm.
Pansy gently patted her shoulder. “All right. Daffodil. Go to sleep now. I’ll take care of your tooth. Don’t you worry.”
“Okay.” Obediently, Daffodil closed her eyes. “Don’t fall out the window this time.”
I would remind you this is the last week of my February Scavenger Hunt. For rules and clues please stop by my webpage at and find the Contest Box on page two.
Drop by Amarinda's Place to read her instructions on catching cane toads at and then pop over to Kelly's blog for her instructions on how to knit a dragon scarf at Blessings on your day

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Life is one continual series of crises or so it seems some days. I had never heard of babesiosis. Then someone dear to me (we'll call her Blondie) received a letter from a lab where she had some blood work done. She tested positive for this possibly degenerative disease and they were recommending that she talk to her physician or the hospital ER as soon as possible.

Where do you go when you want to know about a disease? The internet, of course. Seems that this is a malarial-like parasite contracted from the same tick that carries Lyme disease. Charming. According to one internet sight, there is a very high incidence of this in Massachusetts, Connecticutt, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Wonder if anyone else is like me and never heard of it?

Treatment requires not one, but two antibiotics... very specific antibiotics. And the thing that absolutely gets me is that Blondie looked that up on the internet, knew which antibiotics she needed, and when she called her doctor, she's the one who had to tell the DOCTOR what she needed. Hello? The doctor was going to prescribe something else entirely.

I truly wonder where medical care in this country is headed. When Blondie told the doctor about the information on the web site, the doctor admitted that she had NEVER treated a patient for this and had no idea what she should do. She would have to "read up" on it. Then she told Blondie to go to the ER for assistance. On a Saturday night. At an inner city hospital. I still haven't heard from her.

In the meantime, if you live in Lyme disease country, I recommend that you make yourself familiar with the symptoms. It strongly mimics the flu. If untreated, it can lead to all sorts of nasty complications--even death. Yet another thing to worry about.

Every time we turn around it seems like there's a new threat to our health. I tell you, I have no idea what to eat, drink, how much to rest and sleep, where to walk, when to exercise... I've come to the conclusion that something will eventually kill me. So perhaps I should just pick the way I want to go, eh?

It kinda reminds me of that cartoon about sliding into the casket sideways, used up, and happy. Live life. Perhaps that's the secret--just live life, have a bucket list and go out there like tomorrow's the last day. I bet a lot of people would turn off the TVs if tomorrow was the last day.

Well, I've been as philosophical as I get at midnight. Stop by Kelly's blog for her Sunday quote at and then pop over to Amarinda's place for her take on life at Blessings on your day!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'm the best! Or am I?

Of all the difficulties that writers struggle with, I believe problems with self-confidence are the worst. On one hand we must find the confidence to submit our work, the confidence to edit it, the confidence to promote it and yes, even the confidence to let reviewers read it.

But underneath, there is this nagging doubt that maybe we aren't nearly as good as we think we are. Maybe we just have good friends that tell us what we want to hear. Maybe we're just mediocre hacks. That doubt can destroy us.

I know of no author who couldn't be better. Not even the best, top-of-the-heap author is perfect. There is always a phrase that could be better, a place where a different word would be closer to the right word, a story strand that was clumsily woven into the story fabric. Always there is something that could be improved.

Every single book I write is the best I could write at that time. Every book is a learning experience. We write. We learn. We improve. That is true of all life experience. If we choose not to learn, then we don't improve. But as long as we write the best story we are capable of writing then we have no cause for doubt. At that particular time in our lives, we were the best.

That is the thing we must always hold close to us when doubts beset us. Did we do our best? Yes? Then that is all that we can do. The next book will be better as long as we always strive to do our best. It is only when we begin to grow careless with our work, when we don't strive to do the best that we can, that our doubts will have a real basis in fact.

Every one of us has a particular gift. A fellow writer told me that she had read one of my books and she could never write like I do. I'm glad she understands that. It would be a terrible shame if she quit writing in her own style which is a unique voice that gives me much pleasure. Selfishly I hope she never reaches a point when she decides to stop writing.

With enough training, anyone can write a technically correct sentence. But those with the gift can make that sentence sing. For one it will be an opera, for another a lullaby, and for yet another a country and western ballad. It matters not what the song is as long as it speaks to another's heart. That is the essence of writing. We speak to the hearts of our readers. As long as we do that, we are the best.

My dear friend--you speak to my heart every time I read one of your books.


kelly kirch
amarinda jones

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday This and That

So I have some new names from my spammers... Glidewell Allman, Dorkas Lochtkemper, Hannele Kirbach, Armina Brandstaedter, Malenka Barth, Marcelino London, Irmine Berlinsky, Emilio Funk... So what do you think? Are any of them the next hunky hero or spunky heroine? Toss your vote out there if one of the names strikes your fancy. If not, I'm sure I'll have a new crop in a few days.

We're in for an ice storm today. That would be after the snowstorm. And then when it's all finished there will be a rainstorm. Something for everyone that way. At least we'll be receiving precipitation and that's definitely needed in our neck of the woods. Except for travel difficulties, it's all good.

I've been writing pretty steadily for the last few days, aching back and stinging finger not withstanding. Mostly, I'm working on Bishop's book so all of the nagging, nagging can cease.

The dragon, tiger, alien story... well, I just don't know. Don't want anyone to think I have a fetish for dragons or menages or any of that other kinky stuff. Maybe it should have been a vampire, faery, unicorn story. Nope. Then someone would detect a faery fetish. Ummm. I haven't done an elf. Maybe an elf. Have to think about that. In the meantime when I finish Bishop's story, I'll head off in the the angel/shifter territory with the second book about the Jericho family. Cage's story.

Tonight between 7PM and 10PM we'll be having a chat on the Ellora's Cave Chat loop. Drop by and visit with us while we kid around and post some excerpts.

If you're interested in winning a free book, check out the second page at my website--Bio Page--scroll down until you find the Contest Box. There are rules and clues and everything you need to know to submit an entry.

Until tomorrow!


Drop by Kelly's place for another episode in her travels at and then hop over to Amarinda's Place where she's discuss blue tongued lizards at Blessings on your day!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Psst! Read any good books lately?

When you write for a living, a couple of things are true. One is that you sit for fairly long stretches of time. Another is that your fingers are particularly important. So if you mess up something in your back so that sitting is painful... or if you happen to slice one of those very important fingers... then you have to find something else to do.

Now let me see... oh yeah, I could work on that endless pile of books in the To Be Read pile. Or in my case, all those books on my Sony e-reader.

Mystic Circle by Bronwyn Green

When Becca stood up Jack for what promised to be the hottest one-night stand of her life, she never expected to see him again. Over the years he's haunted her dreams and occasionally her psychic visions. After another vision reveals a kidnapping, she must go to the police. Instead of saving a life, she becomes the prime suspect.

Detective Jack Duritz, is investigating a series of ritualistic murders. He never expected his investigation to lead him to the woman who's starred in too many of his fantasies. Becca claims to be psychic, but he doesn't believe a word of it. Soon, however, it becomes clear that Becca is the next victim and Jack is the only person who can protect her. He must keep her close, but he finds himself keeping her far closer than any investigation would require.

My score--Excellent! Enjoyed Jack's conversion to the "dark side!"

Measure of Healing by Jacqueline Roth

Alejandro Ramirez's Were-Cougar mother drove him out after his first transformation, leaving him to seek out his human father and find the family his human side craved but that his animal side can never embrace. Now a man, he finds himself responsible for a traumatized Were-Cougar child. When he turns to the Weres for help, they send him to a human.

Dr. Gabriela St. Jerome hates the Cougars with every fiber of her being. But now she must swallow that hatred to work with Alejandro to help this Were child who has been thrown into transformation far too early by the horrific death of his mother. As they are forced together in the remote woods of the North Georgia Mountains, both find their mutual attraction overwhelming. But if Brie gives in to this man and her own passions, it will cost her life.

My score--Wonderful unusual take on the were genre with a twist at the end that I just didn't see coming!

Time for Love by Kelly Kirch

Sarah Hanson opens her eyes to a darkly sexy man leaning over her and the strains of a waltz playing in the background. She had been dozing in the taxi escorting her from the job where she was just fired — but is now inhaling the strong scent of beeswax and is dressed in Regency-era clothing.

Lord Drake Hayworth, rake extraordinaire, is unable to reconcile his sudden attraction to the widow who is meant to chaperone the daughter of a dear friend. Finding a pliable bride so he can claim the last of his inheritance has become decidedly more difficult with Sarah turning his ordered life on its head.

As Sarah develops lasting relationships, she discovers the unconditional love of family and a passion for a man she is not meant to have, in a time where she may not be able to stay.

My score--Very imaginative take on time travel with a page turner ending!

Stone and Earth by Cindy Spencer Pape

Gargoyle Damien St. Pierre has to find an ancient artifact needed by his people. When he meets earth witch Katie Calhoun, he can't keep his hands off her. Because of the problems his people are having, Damien is afraid to attempt the conversion necessary to make her his mate. But Katie is determined to help him in his quest and to become the gargoyle of his dreams. Can her faith overcome his fear? Will the magic of love succeed in the mating of stone and earth?

My score--Gargoyles... well yummmm. First in a series with many more to anticipate! Go buy!

Shades of Gray by Amarinda Jones

What was supposed to be a power walk through a cemetery turns out to be the best sex of Temperance's life. Maybe having sex in a cemetery with a stranger is a naughty thing to do but then it's a night for being naughty, for being accosted by sexy vampires and for finding out the guy who was all tight and hot inside you is a cop. Holy crap!

A horrible twist of fate condemned Asher to live as a vampire. When Temperance walks into his lonely life he begins to hope that all his efforts to change his fate have not been in vain. Temperance is the sanctuary he craves. He now must make her believe it.

But an old enemy threatens any peace or happiness they hope to find. It is going to take the combined power of vampires, a witch and one mortal woman with attitude to kick Madigan Ap Lyr's ass back to hell where he belongs.

My score--Ahhhh, vampires in the cemetery! Hot sex in the cemetery! Needed the AC in February! Need I say more??? Oh yeah, there's a sequel coming!

What? You want more? Well, come back in a couple of days... I'll no doubt have more to add to the list. For today, that's it! Excellent reads, all of them!
If you want to win a couple of outstanding books (if I do say so myself) drop by my webpage at and check out the Contest Box for my February Scavenger Hunt. Deadline for this week is Friday night at midnight EST!
Pop over to Amarinda's Place at to see what she's up to and then hop over to Kelly's Blog at for her tales on the road. Blessings on your day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pryderi the Precious, Part Five

Early the next morning, Pryderi stirred restlessly in the soft cozy nest that Pennim had provided for her and Taranis the night before. Their quarters were spacious enough for Pennim's cool bed of jewels in one corner and the deep round nest of fluffy feather mattresses in the other corner for Taranis and Pryderi. Eating and bathing facilities took up the rest of the space.

Pryderi had wallowed in the deep bath filled with water that Pennim heated with one hot breath. The luxury of a hot bath was something so new to her, Taranis was hard pressed to get her to leave the tub. Finally, wrinkled from soaking in the perfumed water, Pryderi consented to climb out of the tub. Taranis wrapped her in a soft bath sheet and deposited her in their nest while he took his own bath.

To no one's surprise, Pryderi was fast asleep when he returned. Taranis took the opportunity to have a man-to-man talk with Pennim. "What did you think you were doing, Pen? You've bound yourself to humans!"

"Indeed? Is it sure you are of that?" Pennim rumbled.

Taranis stared at the dragon in puzzlement. "What are you saying?"

"The Precious is a morpher, my friend. She is a dragon morpher." Pennim sat back on his haunches, curling his long tail around his legs. "The only way to protect her was by claiming her before she changes. Once you consummate your vows, she will be subject to the change. And the law among the dragons is the first male to capture her is her mate."

"Unless she already has one." Taranis curled up against Pennim's belly and sighed. "She doesn't know?"

"No. I read her when she touched us the first time when we rescued her. She's an orphan and knows nothing of her parentage. Taranis, I would take nothing from you. Surely you know this?" Pennim willed his friend to understand.

Yawning, Taranis nodded, rubbing his head against Pennim's golden scales. "I know, Pen. Thank you for honoring us with your vow. We should ask if she will willingly bind herself to you. It would be best, wouldn't it?"

"In the morning we will talk to her. For now, I believe that your mate would take comfort in your presence."

Taranis went over to the nest and wearily crawled in with Pryderi. She roused briefly and then curled together, they slept while Pennim kept watch through the wee hours, grateful that his need for rest was not as great as theirs.

Dawn with the reckoning would come soon enough.

To be continued...


Today is my father's birthday. He's 78 years old. May he have quite a few more!

Check Amarinda's blog at to see how things are going in Aussieland. And then pop over to Kelly's blog for any words of wisdom she might want to share at

On Friday night from 7pm to 10pm at the Ellora's Cave chat loop, we will laugh, share excerpts, and have fun at the Anny, Amarinda, Kelly and Frog Friends Chat. Please join us at Possibly there will even be a prize or two.

Blessings on your day!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Odds and strange ends

My spam is getting stranger and stranger. The names people are using to sneak past the filters are getting more creative. Resureccion McGlumphey. Tiberius Reuter. Interrante Snaders. I believe that I will start saving them for use in books. It's almost as good as a baby name book. So bring 'em on guys. Give it your best shot. You may end up in a novel.

Yesterday was a looooong day. A few days ago I pinched a nerve in my back and moving about is difficult. Early in the morning, I rolled out of bed, staggered off to the shower, hoping that a hot shower would help. (No it didn't do much). Got dressed and went with the househunk to do taxes. This is my first year with actual income from writing so everything is different. There's a LOT more paperwork, but we muddled through with the tax guy and came out pretty good.

Waddled out of there like an old woman and went to lunch. Went home and settled in for the afternoon. Then I had the bright idea of slicing up the left over roast for dinner. Oops! Sliced my finger instead--little cut that wants to keep bleeding. Roast on the floor until the househunk came to pick it up. Argh! It's a good thing the cat isn't much of a scrounger.

We had dinner and settled in. Then I received a phone call from my granddaughter. "Mommy is really sick." Well, she's been sick, but apparently she's worse. They live six hours away in another state and she's a single mom. There was a flurry of phone calls to arrange child care and at dawn we may be on our way to pitch in.

Things are tough for the single parents now. If they fall ill, they must depend on extended family and friends. What if the family is far away? I thank every virtual stranger who has ever stepped in to lend a hand in my life. There have been many. And I pay it forward every chance I get.

So whatever path the day takes we will persevere. That's the meaning of life.


4PM update: Daughter apparently had a drug interacation problem. She's better today, back to having her flu/sinus infection combo. And I'm home sitting on the heating pad. Life is good.

I'm blogging today at about taxes and writing. Drop by.

Stop by Kelly's blog at for an interview with Sabrina Jeffries. And then pop over to Amarinda's Place at where she's explaining the meaning of life in her own words. Blessings on your day!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The modern day Jobs

In the Bible, there is a famous story about a man named Job. Job was wealthy--one of the wealthiest men in the country--with ten children and thousands of herd animals. And a great wind came and took everything he had except his wife. He developed terrible boils all over his body. Misery was Job's name. His friends urged him to curse God and die.

In the modern era, we all know people--who like Job--just can't seem to catch a break. These are hardworking, responsible people who end up with the short end of the stick through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are women with children. Or the elderly. In this day and age it takes frighteningly little to put them on the streets. A job layoff, an extended illness, a vehicle that suddenly doesn't run... all are disasters with terrible consequences.

In my extended family, there are at least four young women who hover on the brink of daily disaster, living from moment to moment, praying that nothing will tip them over that crumbling edge taking their innocent children with them. Parents (and sometimes even grandparents) scramble to hold them back from the point of no return. Why?

Because there is no safety net out there. There are too many Jobs and not enough social programs, churches, government plans to catch all of them. Food banks are out of food. Federal dollars are stretched so far that they squeal in protest.

What can we do? I don't know. I do know that there are people who "have" who look the other way, uncomfortable and embarrassed when their local Job is brought to their notice. Maybe they think that bad fortune will rub off on them--that it's contagious. It doesn't take much sharing to make a difference.

Five percent. That's what it takes. If everyone contributed five percent of their time or money, that's all it would take. Everyone can volunteer time. How long does it take to change the oil in a car? Or paint a room? Or take someone to the grocery store? How long? How long does it take to shovel your neighbor's walk while you're doing your own? Or mow their grass? Or cook an extra serving of tonight's dinner?

When we think of solutions, we think of huge grand plans, but what we need are person to person answers for the daily problems that the Jobs around us face. They don't want a hand-out. They want a job. They want a life. They want to be as independent and self-sufficient as the rest of us. They just need a helping hand to get back on their feet. Temporary assistance.

Do you know a Job? Think about what you can do to lend them that helping hand. Maybe that young woman needs a baby sitter so that she can go to job interviews. Perhaps she needs bus money for the first couple weeks until she gets paid. So often the needs are small and the results are life changing.

And please, please, please don't say the fatal words to you local Job..."If you need anything, just let me know!" It won't ever happen. There is nothing more humiliating that having to ask for help. Nothing. Use your powers of observation. And offer that help before things reach the do or die stage. Am I my brother (or sister's) keeper? Yes.


Stop by Amarinda's place for the latest installment in Aussie life. Maybe she's taken up sky-diving. And then hop over to Kelly's blog to see what she's up to today. Blessings on your day. We have winners in the Eternally Yours contest. Tomorrow I'll post them on the blog!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pryderi the Precious, Part Four

Pennim the Great waited patiently for Taranis and Pryderi to remount. When they were securely seated behind his huge head, he unfurled his great wings. They buffeted the air as the dragon rose high above the castle before turning to the west, flying through the starlit sky towards Sanctuary, the safe haven of all the King's Warriors.

Pryderi wrapped her arms around Taranis' waist and dozed, so very weary yet no longer anxious for her future. Taranis would guard her life with his own. She woke as Pennim was descending into the center of a huge compound. Sleepy dragon cries echoed all around them, sounding the alarm until Herald, the dragon keeper blew on his horn. Immediately silence fell over the dusty yard. Then Taranis dismounted and lifteded Pryderi to the ground.

"My lords and ladies!" he shouted into the waiting hush. "Allow me to present my mate and partner, Pryderi the Precious! We have sworn a vow before the King!"

"Is it so, Pennim?" a huge silver dragon demanded with disbelief. "A Precious is to be a Warrior?"

"It is so. This Precious brought Taranis to his knees and claimed a vow of service, as was her right. But Taranis freely swore the vow of the heart. And this Precious returned it. The King accepted their vows." Pennim turned his head, searching out the eyes of each and every dragon. "Now before you I will swear the vow of the heart. You will serve as a witness that I have bound myself to my humans."

"You are certain, Pennim?" the silver dragon questioned in puzzlement.

"I am certain, Rogoss. This is my destiny."

"Very well. I will serve as witness as will our companions."

Pennim faced Taranis and Pryderi, bowing his head until it touched the ground. "My Beloved Partners I will spend eternity holding you to my heart, protecting you beneath my wings, loving you with all my soul."

Taranis fell to his knees in shock. "Pennim, my friend, what have you done?"

Pryderi smiled though tears trickled down her cheek. "He has bound himself to us for as long as we live." She took Taranis' hand and held it out palm up to Pennim. "We accept your vow."

Pennin squeezed two tears from his golden eyes. They dropped onto Taranis' and Pryderi's palms, sizzling in the silence. Then a single glittering green stone appeared embedded on each palm. "Thus are we bound." He rose, arching his wings above them. "Now, we will rest."

To be continued...


Stop by Amarinda's Place to see if it's raining in Oz at and then pop over to Kelly's Blog for her Sunday Quote at Blessings on your day!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Work In Progress--Kinky Dragon

Another writer asked me how many self-edits I do on a work in progress. It depends on how the writing is going. If it's rolling along, then I maybe do two or three. If it's stalled, I might edit what I have until there's nothing left. I'm primarily an "ad lib" kind of writer. The more I plan a scene, the more I lose my internal voice. So for me, editing generally consists of grammar/punctuation type things until I finish the story. Then I set it aside for a week or two before I read through it with a fresh eye.

Below is the first two pages of a current Work in Progress I'm calling the Kinky Dragon. I've changed nothing except the second paragraph since I started typing. That's for later. For now, the idea is to get the dialogue and action down while the characters are still chatting with me. So have a look-see.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Margo demanded as she tried to prevent the strange young woman from entering her apartment.

Rainbow Miller shamelessly took advantage of the fact that Margo was desperately wrestling with an armful of terrified dog. Every since the night a tall dark stranger bit her on the arm she seemed to have that effect on animals. Now whenever she encountered one, they howled and ran.

“Thank you for opening the door. It probably would have gotten messy otherwise,” Rainbow said she calmly moved to the sofa and plopped down.

With daze disbelief, Margo starred at the strange woman sitting on her sofa. “Who are you and why are you in my apartment?”

Rainbow sighed. It was always the same. When the stranger bit her, her physical appearance changed. No one recognized her. No one believed her when she tried to tell them about her last two weeks. Frustration was her new name.

“It’s me—Rainbow,” she said hopefully.

“And I’m the King of China.” When Margo placed Killer, the dog on the floor, he scuttled off into the bedroom and dived under the bed. “What did you do to my dog? I bet he pees under the bed!”

“I did nothing to your dog. I can’t help it if he’s a scaredy cat.” Rainbow set a tiny box on the coffee table. “Here. I brought you something from Mexico for your box collection.”

“Mexico! Never mind,” Margo said, waving her hand. “Tell me who you really are and why you pushed your way into my apartment.” She surreptitiously moved closer to the corner where she kept her pink baseball bat.

“The bat won’t do you any good you know.”


“That bat. I could take it away from you without working up a sweat. Put it down and come sit with me.”

Goosebumps covered Margo’s arms and her hair stood on end. The longer the woman was in her apartment, the weirder she seemed. “I think you should leave now.”

“If you make me leave now, I’ll be forced to tell your sister Agnes that you gave Harvey a blowjob when y’all were in high school.” Rainbow studied her nails for a moment before polishing them on her pants leg. “Agnes is a jealous bitch and she’ll make your life miserable.”

“Who told you about that?” Margo demanded in outrage.

“You did. One night we had too many pina coladas and you spilled the gory details.”

“Rainbow?” Margo peered at the beautiful young woman seated on the sofa through squinty eyes. She looked nothing at all like her friend Rainbow who was nearly as wide as she was tall and showed every one of her fifty years. “What the hell happened?”

“I told you. Some guy bit me. A vampire kind of guy.” Rainbow shrugged. “It wasn’t a very nice thing to do.”

Margo stomped over to her china cabinet, found her bottle of whiskey and poured a generous helping in a water glass. After tossing down a healthy swallow she asked, “Okaaaay. Then what happened?”

“Oh, I killed him.”

“Riiiight. Just like that. According to the vampire romances I’ve read, you can’t just kill one. It’s not that easy.”

“It is if you’re a dragon.” Rainbow’s matter of fact statement hung in the air.

Margo took another gulp of her whiskey, barely noticing the fiery drink. “Okay. So now you think you’re a dragon?”

“No, I know I’m a dragon,” Rainbow said patiently. “When the vampire guy bit me I turned into a dragon. Believe me, it was not fun.”

Margo jerked a dining room chair out and sat down with a thump. She massaged her head. “Let me get this straight. A man bit you.”

“A vampire.”

“A vampire.” Margo nodded as she repeated Rainbow’s amendment. “Then you turned into a dragon. And killed the vampire. Right?”


“Uh, according to all the literature, that’s not the way it works, Rainbow. Vampires make other vampires. They don’t make dragons.”

“I was already a dragon.”

“Riiiight. Since when?”

Rainbow hopped up and went into the kitchen. She reappeared with a bottle of water. “I’ve always been a dragon. I just didn’t know it until the vampire bit me.”

“And then, suddenly just like magic, you were a dragon.”

“Yep. My body changed into a dragon and before I even thought about it, I incinerated that vampire guy.” She shuddered. “It was gross. Vampires smell when you burn them.”

“So do people,” Margo pointed out dryly. “Then what?”

“Then the tiger showed up with the alien.”

“A tiger. And an alien?” Margo grabbed the whiskey bottle and poured more into her glass. “Okay, this ought to be good. What happened when the tiger and the alien showed up?”

“They both bit me.”

“While you were still a dragon?”

“Yep. Then the tiger turned into a man.” Rainbow twisted the cap from the bottle of water and took a swallow. “He’s hunkalicious as a man—and he’s not bad as a tiger, either. The alien, on the other hand…”

“Yes? What about the alien? What does he look like?” Margo asked with eager fascination.

“Well, he’s different.”

Ummm... and then more stuff happened.

Don't forget that today at midnight is the deadline for the Eternally Yours contest! Collect the phrases from all ten authors and e-mail them to me at

Drop by Kelly's blog and check out what she's up to at and then hop on over to Amarinda's blog and see what new disaster has befallen her at Blessings on your day!


Friday, February 15, 2008

A little Dancer's Delight

So! Have you sent in your answers to the Eternally Yours Contest?

What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –1st prize--5 books

2nd prize--3 books

3rd prize--2 books

Hurry and get your entry in. Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

Sandra Cox Silverhills
Mona Risk To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Anny Cook Honeysuckle

A little over a year ago, my first book was accepted at Cerridwen Press. I thought perhaps you might enjoy a little excerpt from Dancer's Delight.

Quiet fell over the concert hall as the orchestra moved into the first notes of the closing composition. Perched on a stool in the center of the stage, the musician known simply as Devereaux calmly waited for his cue before launching into his signature piece, Devereaux’s Dance. The guitar notes seemed to leap into the air, glittering and dancing as his fingers flew across the strings. When the last note shimmered across the hall, a deep moment of silence preceded a storm of applause. Devereaux bowed low, accepting the audience’s acclaim, then strode from the stage, his mind already occupied with the next step in his plan.

In his dressing room, he quickly stripped off his formal clothing and stepped into the small shower stall. His friend and agent, Jake was waiting when he stepped back into the dressing room naked except for a small towel wrapped around his hips. Jake waggled one eyebrow in query. “No encore?”

When he shrugged in reply, the blue and green dragon tattoo that stretched across his left shoulder and biceps rippled. Jerking on the clothing laid out—gray silk boxers, soft faded jeans, plain navy blue t-shirt and polished black cowboy boots—Devereaux nodded once. “I’ll give them one. Two minutes, Jake. After the encore, I’m out of here. No interviews. No autographs.”

Jake soberly studied his friend and client. The hard, honed body usually camouflaged beneath a specially tailored tux was obvious in the soft comfortable jeans and shirt. Devereaux’s golden hip length hair, normally tucked out of site beneath his jacket, slithered across his taut butt, confined in an elaborate French braid. “You’re really coming out of the closet, Dev and going out there like that? Your fans don’t know what a predator you really are.”

“They’ll get over it,” Dev replied shortly while he shoved his wallet into his back pocket and slid a handful of change and his keys in his front pocket. “Next week, there will be a new sensation and they’ll be saying ‘Devereaux who?’ “

Jake snorted in disgust. “Right! How many virtuoso musicians of your caliber play to sell out crowds? Violinists at your level are rare enough, but you play nearly every stringed instrument that exists! I’m not announcing your retirement. Go on this search you’ve planned. Find your damned mystery woman. When you get her out of your system, let me know and I’ll arrange another tour.” Shaking his head, he slammed out the door.

Dev surveyed the small room and pondered how anxious Jake would be to arrange another tour if he knew that it was just a cover for Dev’s day job as an assassin. With the grim black humor he’d developed over the years, he decided that he should have acquired business cards with the legend Troubleshooter for Hire. Maybe print it in blood red ink with a black rifle underscoring the title.

Once Jake was gone, Dev retrieved his personal weapons from their hiding places and swiftly distributed them about his person, before shrugging on his long black leather duster. He strapped on his chrome watch, slipped tiny gold hoops in his ear lobes and slid his passport in his inside coat pocket. As a final touch, before leaving the dressing room, he put on his dark glasses and ducked to survey himself in the mirror. Not many dressing rooms were designed for someone over six four. Grinning, he shook his head, snagged his black cowboy hat and departed.

Stunned silence rippled across the auditorium as he strode confidently to the center of the stage with a sexy loose-hipped motion, took his violin and bow in hand and with no further ado, leaped into his most recent solo composition, never before performed in public. The reviewers the next day raved about the appropriately titled, Dancer’s Delight, while avidly dissecting his changed appearance. What was not reported was the fact that Devereaux vanished when he walked off the stage after his final performance.

Buy here:

If you would like more information or a chance to read other excerpts from all of my books, then check out the bookshelf at my web page. And while you're there stop by the Contest Box and enter one of my February Scavenger Hunts to win free prizes!

There are also maps, family trees, and other information about the Mystic Valley series and the Flowers of Camelot. Feel free to explore all the possibilities.


Kelly has part two of her Friday story, Family Business at and Amarinda will be offering hints for the Eternally Yours contest at Blessings on your day!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mondo the Moose

"My darling I could spend eternity holding you to my heart, protecting you with my sword, loving you with all my soul."
Meet Mondo, the Moose. Isn't there just something about him that makes you want to take him home and cuddle with him? For all our love of the Alpha, take charge male, we still gravitate toward the shy, just a little goofy guy.
Think about the fellows that made a career out of that "aw shucks, ma'am, t'wern't nothin'" attitude. Jimmy Stewart, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder all were men that didn't quite fit in that manly man mold. There are no doubt some very modern examples but I no longer watch television or the movies so I don't really have any names just off the top of my head.
If I were to ask each of you to describe your ideal man, chances are you would name a movie star or singer. The occasional reader might name a historical figure or a political figure. But most wouldn't name the geek next door, even though he might be the more accomplished lover and truer friend. If the hunkalicious fellow gets all the girls, then the geeky guy is going to have to hone his people skills and lovemaking skills in order to attract that stray woman or two that somehow escaped from Mr. Hunk.
So next time you look around you for a Valentine, don't overlook Mondo the Moose.
Today is the last day of the Eternally Yours Contest.

Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.
What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –1st prize--5 books

2nd prize--3 books

3rd prize--2 books
Sandra Cox Silverhills
Mona Risk
To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Anny Cook Honeysuckle
Other announcements: Today is also the last day of Kelly Kirch's contest. Go at once to her blog at and find out all the details. Also check out that beautiful necklace that she's giving away as a prize.
Kelly's book, Time for Love is released today from Cerridwen Press at Go. Buy. It's the one with the gorgeous cover.
The entire month of February I will be running a series of scavenger hunts on my website. Trot on over to and find the Contest Box for all the details if you wanna win free stuff!
Finally, don't miss Amarinda's Place today as she's discussing Valentine "stuff".

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Be My Valentine

Would you like to win free stuff? For the entire month of February I'm running a series of scavenger hunts on my webpage. Very simple. Answer the clues--all the answers are on my website. Each week a new set are displayed. Check out the contest box at

If you're into spectacular jewelry, then Kelly's contest is the one for you. Time for Love is first to release by Cerridwen on Valentine's Day and Marriage Mart by Resplendence is on March 11th. So here's the deal:

The RP book is a Regency where the heroine does not want to be married, but her betrothal is set. She does everything in her power to stop the plans, including her attempt to pass herself off as a young lord (Marriage Mart, RP 3/11/08).

In 300 words or less, send me a true story about the craziest thing you did to get a crush's attention or to rid yourself of someone else's crush.
Send entries to with "Kelly's Contest" in the subject line. Contest ends midnight February 14th. Time is running out!!! Get yours in ASAP. See Kelly's blog for a picture of the beautiful necklace at

What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –1st prize--5 books

2nd prize--3 books

3rd prize--2 books
Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

Sandra Cox Silverhills
Mona Risk To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love

Anny Cook Honeysuckle

Don't forget to check out Amarinda's Place for more info on the Eternally Yours contest at

Now that I've promoted a Valentines Day Contest... what is it with Valentines Day? Why do we celebrate it? Why the flowers and candy and jewelry? Why do women deserve all the goodies and why to they expect the guys to pay for all the loot?

This is to the house hunk.

Personally, I don't like cut flowers. It seems wasteful to buy somebody a bunch of flowers that are going to whither and die in a week. Then I have to come up with someplace to put the vase (because of course I can't just toss it out!) I would much rather receive a plant... maybe a purple gloxinia or something like that. And in any case, I like to pick out my own plants.

Then there's candy. You know the chocolates that come in a little heart shaped box and taste like sweet wax... Who thought up the idea of that anyway? Every shop in America had a display right inside the door especially for the guys--in case they wait until the last minute. No need to go searching for the Valentines Day candy. Just walk in, grab the first box, trot around the flower case (located right next to the candy), grab a bunch of flowers, snag a heart balloon as you pass that display (next to the flowers) and you're on your way. Supposedly I will be so overwhelmed that I'll forgive you for not remembering the gushy card that we both find embarrassing.

Ick. I would rather have a Hershey bar. With almonds. Make that two of them. Then I won't have to share mine because I can give you the other one.

Jewelry. I don't wear it. Save your money so you can retire some day.

So I suppose you want to know what I would want if I "celebrated" Valentines Day. By the way, why do we use that phrase? What are we celebrating? Our ability to con a bunch of expensive stuff from some hapless schmuck? Shame on us.

Back to my imaginary list.

Do the dishes.

Vacuum the living room.

Change the sheets on the bed. (That's to get me "in the mood.")

Watch Undercover Blues or Crocodile Dundee with me. I like to laugh. Laughter--the real deal--is very sexy.

Brush my hair.

Rub my back.

Massage my feet.

Light one candle and put on that Josh Groban CD.

And I'll give you a night to remember.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Froggie socks and Online Personas

Late yesterday afternoon my friend Jane called and asked if she could come up to see me. She arrived bearing gifts.

She brought me this cute pair of froggie socks. My editor is particularly fond of frogs and her group of authors all belong to the 'frogpond'. We're all called frogs. So these were very appropriate. I love 'em. Check out the neat little bowties and hats. My froggie socks.

I have a ton of socks. Penguins, moose, monkeys, flowers, cows, hallowe'en, christmas, easter, stars, trees, moons, so the frogs will be right at home. Thank you, Jane!

I've been tootling around on the internet, reading blogs and sitting in on chat loops over the weekend. I'm always amazed at the amount of information people blurt out for international consumption. I suspect that information on the internet lives forever. Once sent you can never retrieve it. So this is a list of the things I learned this week.

On woman chose to share the intimate secrets of her sex life. You know the 'other' one--not the one she has at home. I learned enough in the first three sentences to hold me for a long time. TMI!

Another person chose to discuss their shop-lifting escapades. One word. Illegal. Just know that it's hard to get access to a computer when you're in jail.

A man revealed that he loves to be flogged and have other odd stuff inflicted on him. Moving on...

One idiotic woman mentioned that her husband had recently moved on to greener pastures leaving all alone her with three beautiful children. See their pretty pictures? Oh, you want meet them? You say you're a pedophile or a child molester? Well no problem, just click in the little box that says "address and telephone number". Criminal negligence.

Admittedly these are extreme examples, but many people are quite comfortable sharing all sorts of personal information without sparing a thought about who will read it. The internet is a vast faceless ocean of people. I could post a picture of any woman, tell you, my readers that it was my picture and how would you know the difference? I could tell you that I'm a seven foot blue skinned amazon with pointed ears, fangs, and knee length red hair. How will you know that isn't the truth?

Or my name could really be Andrew Black, I could be a short squatty geek with acne scars and greasy hair and a love for Australian Rules Football. And my friend Jane might be a brawny biker dude with a lot of tattoos, named Bubba-Joe. Again, how would you know?

So... Just food for thought. Who's reading your words?


Want to win free stuff? Stop by my website for my Webpage Scavenger Hunt at and check the Contest Box for rules and details!

Wanna win more free stuff?

What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –1st prize--5 books

2nd prize--3 books

3rd prize--2 books
Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

Sandra Cox Silverhills
Mona Risk To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love

Anny Cook Honeysuckle

Don't forget to drop by Kelly's Blog for the details on her contest... prize is a lovely necklace! And then stop by Amarinda's Place to check out her newly rearranged blog at Blessings on your day!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Have you ever started a project only to find that it was a mistake? Something you should have taken more time to consider? More than you could handle? I'm in the middle of a couple of projects like that.

I grew up in the era when the expectation was that you finished whatever you began, whether it was the dishes or a marriage. Walking away wasn't ever an option. You just kept at it until the job was done. So I'm having a hard time admitting that I might have bitten off more than I can chew--or swallow. What to do? I really don't like to leave things unfinished.

On the other hand...

I worked for many years in a job where the expectations were impossible. And when I left that job, I determined that I would never go back to that stressful lifestyle. So it's sheer stupidity if I do it to myself. I suspect that I will have to make a couple of changes and set aside a plan or two or three. I wish that didn't make me feel like I'd failed. After all, these are MY expectations and I can choose to change them, much like I chose to have New Years goals instead of resolutions. Life is basically how we look at it.

Possibly the most difficult part of restructuring is deciding what to keep and what to toss. I'm a keeper of everything. "Someday I might need it..." Well, not today. It's about clearing the decks for those things I truly want/need to do. The rest must go. Time is passing and once gone I can never get it back.

Priorities are a bitch to set, aren't they? Oh, some are simple. Family, spouse, income, outgo, those things are sort of set in stone, right? But after that, things are a tad foggier. Doing the dishes every day? Vacuuming every day? Getting up every day? Decisions, decision. What to do? Tea or coffee? Bikinis or grannies? Get dressed and stay in the jammies?

Exciting and difficult to keep re-inventing myself after forty, fifty,... You would think that I would eventually settle down. Eventually pick something to be. I'm nearly grown up, after all. Shouldn't I know what I want to be when I grow up? Apparently not.

But I'm working on it.


I have a scavenger hunt all month long on my webpage at so check out the contest box for rules and clues.

What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –1st prize--5 books

2nd prize--3 books

3rd prize--2 books
Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

Sandra Cox Silverhills
Mona Risk
To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love

Anny Cook Honeysuckle

Check out Amarinda's blog where she's being contentious all week at and then pop over to Kelly's blog where she's reciting poetry at Blessings on your day!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Will the REAL man stand up?

You're my hero! As long as you're tall, dark and handsome. Geeks, laborers, and beta type guys need not apply. That's pretty much the way it is in Romancelandia. Oh yeah, you need to be rich. Really, really rich. I wonder why that is?

Most really handsome, really rich guys are self-absorbed, bossy, unfaithful jerks. So why do we demand that our romance heroes fit in that mold? Why are they our ideal?

Perhaps it's because the other kind of fellows are the ones we meet in our everyday lives... you know the ones I mean. They're the ones that don't function without a remote in their hands, have to be prompted to buy flowers or candy and haven't the vaguest notion of the correct answer to "Does this dress make me look fat?"

Sometimes we forget that while they might not be tall, dark and handsome, they have other qualities that count for more than good looks. They're in for the long haul. The steady-as-she-goes man gets up every morning and goes off to work, turns into a tiger when his spouse or children are threatened, and is blind to the cellulite, wrinkles, and gray hair that creep up on us with age.

While it's nice to ogle the man-candy most of us choose the tamer variety for life partners. We choose the guy who can fix the computer, an over-flowing toilet, or a broken window over the guy who pumps iron and looks pretty. I suspect that underneath, we want a Mr. Fix-it more than we want a Go-To Guy.

That's not to say that a little fantasy is harmful. The fellas have been looking for years. Since they're more visually oriented than the ladies, that's not unexpected. For hundreds of years little girls were brought up with the idea of Prince Charming. We've just changed his image in the modern era.

Until we're willing to give up the fairytale archtype I suspect that we'll continue to have "prince charming" heroes and "cinderella" heroines. We may think we've come a long way, baby, but not so. We're still living the "some day my prince will come" fantasies in our writing and reading. Perhaps one day a REAL man will be the star of the story.


Do you know who has the clue today? Only four more days left to collect all of the clues!

What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –1st prize--5 books

2nd prize--3 books

3rd prize--2 books
Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

Sandra Cox Silverhills
Mona Risk To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Anny Cook Honeysuckle

Amarinda's blogging about romance writers at and of course it's Sunday's Quote for Kelly at Blessings on your day!