Sunday, December 29, 2013


I'm back home for a few days now.

I miss my brother. He's just too far away.

I didn't get much reading done while I was gone. Too much time enjoying beaches and sunshine and my brother's company.

Since I've been home I have finished Full Throttle by Erin McCarthy. I've talked about her Fast Track series here. This is the last book in the series and it doesn't disappoint.

Now I'm on to Gone Tropical by Robena Grant. I love her work (review here) so I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Then I'll go back to J. D. Robb's In Death series where I am just about caught up, believe it or not.

What will you start the new year reading?

In the next few days I'm going to put together a blogpost about someone wonderful my brother introduced me to while we were visiting.

You're going to like her, dear readers! Something to look forward to.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Encinitas, CA

My brother has a beautiful, loaded lemon tree in his yard:
Today we went to the SRF garden in Encinitas, CA.  It is one of my favorite places on Earth. Lots of beautiful flowers like this Anthurium:
These are Birds of Paradise with the Pacific ocean in the background

This is my mom with the same scene in the background:

This is my mom with a cactus in front of the Pacific ocean:
We saw a pod of dolphins feeding and playing in the surf and a whale out beyond the Kelp forest.
End the day with a Thai food meal and what could be better?
Where is your favorite place on Earth?

Friday, December 20, 2013

More vacation...

Yesterday we went xmas shopping. I didn't take a lot of pics while we were shopping so I thought I'd share a couple of pics from my brother's house. (His xmas tree pic didn't turn out so I'll have to try it another day.)
Here are some of his plants:

And here is his display of a ceramic nativity set my mother painted for him on top of his piano:

Today we went to Spanish village. I love it there.  I took this pic of a lighted palm because my gdaughter loves pics of lighted palm trees:

This is a xmas tree I really loved. It is fabric strips tied onto chicken wire that has been stretched onto a wooden frame:

Friday night - blues concert!

Here is a blues-y type song just for you:

Do you like the blues? What is your favorite blues song?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

San Diego so far...

The first day we went to Ocean Beach. This is the xmas tree they put up on the beach every year.

The second day we went to Coronado Beach.

This is a sand castle on Coronado Beach.

This is the sunset at Coronado Beach.

The third day we went to seal beach in La Jolla, CA.

The sunset there was picturesque though not as colorful as some sunsets.

We watched some pelicans for a while, too.

Today we need to do some xmas shopping. I don't know if we'll make a beach. But for sure I'll spend time in the pool and the Jacuzzi.

Tomorrow maybe the desert.

Y'all I am excited because on Friday night I'm going to the first blues concert I've been to in years.

San Diego is good so far.

Is everybody else doing well?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

3 days to beach, 2 announcements...

Missing In Mudbug, the latest in Jana Deleon's hilarious ghost-in-law series, is out! I just bought it and I can't wait. I've blogged about the series here.

Our own Robena Grant has a new book coming out on Dec 27. It will only be a kindle offering for the first few months but I'm getting my copy of Gone Tropical as soon as it hits the electronic stands waves circuits. I have blogged about her work here.  I interviewed her for her second book here. And I blogged about the third book in her Desert Heat series here.

There's your announcements. Here's your envy-inducing beach pic:


Monday, December 9, 2013

K.A.'s Fantasyland series on sale...

From her facebook page:

"BROKEN DOVE is complete! Shoo! Now, we're frantically editing so we can get you your dose of Apollo. The book will be released internationally in ebook on December 27, 2013! Yee ha!

To celebrate this and give you the chance to give my Fantasyland Series a try if you haven't already, all the books in the series are on sale for $.99. The price change has gone through on Amazon and Smashwords. Give it some time for it to be pushed through B&N, Sony, ...Kobo and Apple, but hopefully it'll only be a couple of days. Then, if you read in those formats, you can get your bargain."

From me - I've read them all. They are good reading. I anxiously await Broken Dove.

You're welcome, dear readers. (hehehe)

Sunday, December 8, 2013


A couple of funnies and a good deal for you while I wait for my days in the sun...

(photo by Jason Adair)

Do I know any jokes about sodium?


(I'm still laughing thanks to the Other 98 % on facebook)

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.

(Susan Elizabeth Phillips put that one on facebook.)

Lilliana Hart's book Kill Shot is 1.99 on amazon for kindle until 12/22. I haven't read it but I bought it to read later. I blogged about how much I am enjoying her Whiskey series here. Also you can preorder Lilliana's 'A Christmas Wish: Dane' for 99 cents for kindle on amazon. It will be here 12/10.

Are you in a holding pattern until xmas?

Friday, December 6, 2013


While I'm counting down my days to the beach - here is a pic of my daughter and gkids innovative, cute xmas tree:

Will you be putting up a tree this year?

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I'll be at the beach - I'll be at the beach - I'll be at the beach

10 days and counting...

Feel free to express your envy in the comments.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The countdown has begun...

Getting so, so excited.

In 13 days I will be on a plane on my way to the beach and to visit with my brother!

I will be here:

Blacks beach.

I will be here:

Pacific beach.

I will be here:

Mission beach.

I will be here:

Sunset Cliffs.

I will be here:

Encinitas beach.

And I will be watching the Xmas tree sway here:

Ocean beach.

I will not be here:

Can. Not. Wait.

What's ahead for you  that puts the wiggle in your happy dance?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all

Check Carrie Hawks, the artist, out here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Doesn't sound positive but...

Just watched the movie

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

It sounds horrible but it was actually uplifting.

Do you enjoy weight loss, return to good health stories?

If your answer was yes - check out the movie.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Blackest of Fridays

My nephew, Brandon Jennings died on 11/23/12, aka Black Friday, at the tender age of 26.
A year later and it still does not make sense.
There is no good answer as to why he died.
The person who killed him has not been held accountable.
The only thing that has been a constant is grief.
I miss him.
My brother, his father, misses him.
My sister-in-law, his mother misses him.
His brothers miss him.
Our whole family misses him.
His death served no purpose and caused great sorrow.
I am closing the comments because there is nothing that can be said to make things right and I certainly don’t want to hear any inane comments about people learning lessons at the expense of my nephews death.
I just wanted to witness the passing of this day.
Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What would you do?

We’re having a cold snap here in rural Kentucky.

It’s so cold I was doing my bundle-up thing. I had on my warmest, softest type shirt that I sleep in, a long wrap around skirt and my Tinkerbell slipper socks inside out (because the seam at the toe isn’t comfortable).  This isn’t a pretty look. The shirt is pastel pink. The skirt is a very light Paris green floral print. The socks are blue. You get the jarring picture.

My Kindle needed charging and I was right in the middle of Jagged by Kristen Ashley which was just released on 11/5. I had an extension cord to the recliner, my Kindle, the charger cord and my glasses in reach.

I adjusted the pillows on the recliner just right. I got in and went back to just the perfect angle.

I registered that my body was the ultimate in comfortable. Not a single muscle fiber signaling discomfort.

I reached for the charging cord to hook up so I could charge and finish reading Jagged in complete warm cozy bliss.

Damned if I didn’t have the iphone charging cord instead of the Kindle.


What would you do at this point?

I’ll tell you what I did. I refused to move a muscle. I knew 2 things: I could probably take a short nap and I would probably wake up having to pee. It was inevitable that whatever else I did in 2 hours or less I would have to break my comfortable position for a trip to the facilities.

So I stayed put. I napped. I woke up. I took my trip. I wandered around the house a bit stretching out the limbs. I located the Kindle charging cord.

I set myself up in the recliner again. Comfortable but not quite as comfortable as the first set up.

I finished reading Jagged.

Jagged was good. Very good. Not as good on the first read as the rest of the Colorado Mountain series but still very enjoyable reading. And one thing I’ve noticed about Kristen Ashley books is – sometimes they’re better with the second reading. Like homemade soup or chili on the second day.

Don’t you hate it when you’re as comfortable as you can possibly get and you realize you need to move for some reason?

Monday, November 4, 2013

BSO, love, Mary Oliver, Death, J.D. Robb, plants, plants and more plants...

Over on Re-Inventing Fabulous Barbara Samuel O'Neal wrote a blogpost on consistency.

While not the subject of the blogpost - she used a quote that I had read a long time ago and forgotten:

“You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Mary Oliver

I love Mary Oliver.

So what does the soft animal of my body love?

It loves reading, of course. Right now it is cruising through J. D. Robb's In Death series with great enjoyment.

It loves having written. Notice I didn't at this time say it loves writing. Lately I haven't been giving it much of this enjoyment.

It loves time spent with my grandkids. And it's that time of year again. Quilt block time. So now added to our weekly trips to the fitness center together, we are also enjoying sewing time.

It loves playing with the house plants. I have just done a major 3 room overhaul so they have room in the spaces with the most light.

I repotted Gladys the aloe. She's getting older and she wasn't flourishing in her old soil. I mixed her up one part soil, one part sand and one part fine gravel. Hope she's happier.

Brenda, the umbrella plant was very root bound and is now in a pot 3 x bigger than her old home.

Mitchell the palm has changed his name. He has now become Sommerset. If you read In Death you know where he comes from. He is in my room near the entrance so I can argue with him when I walk in the door. He had to have fresh soil also but he wasn't grateful so much as cranky.

Everyone else is in their winter homes, settled and happy.

Alfonso is especially happy despite the fact that he will be getting new soil and pruning in the spring. (Looking for the perfect soil mix for him I discovered that Thanksgiving/Christmas cactuses are actually rainforest plants which grow on trees. He needs a mix of bark and soil but we will wait until after he blooms for that.)

Those of you who don't know or remember, Alfonso is a cross-dresser who dons beautiful pink blooms that have a penis-like stamen in the center. I don't have a pic available of him right now but here is a thumbnail of a pic of a Thanksgiving cactus bloom from bing images:

Why is he especially happy right now? He, like many other cross-dressers, is straight. He is ecstatic because he is spending the winter on the shelf with the newest edition to our plantdom - the ladies of the Cat Steven's fan club.
See, La Diabla, the cactus, died. She left behind a beautiful teacup pot. I have been on a low-key search for new tenants for a while now. Recently I was in the nursery looking around and there, off by themselves was a pot full of spider plants looking for a new home. There are lots of them and they don't go by specific names but they all like to listen to Cat Stevens. (Which made them perfect for the teacup pot as their favorite album is Tea For the Tillerman.)
Anyway, I predict that Alfonso will be sending love babies into their home very soon as he has little buds at the ends of his stems and he soon will be ablaze with pink flowers with little stamen-penises.
It's a love fest around here, y'all.

What does the soft animal of your body love?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Candy AND cheap books...

In the spirit of Happy Halloween – Kristen Ashley has put all of her ghost romances on sale.

From now until November 4th, 99 cents a piece for the following books in e-format:

Sommersgate House

Lacybourne Manor

Penmort Castle

Fairytale Come Alive

Lucky Stars

I’ve read them all and they are all good.

And for those who celebrate it - Have a blessed

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween witches

Still not feeling like sitting in front of the computer to write a long blogpost so:

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Anybody have big plans for the holiday?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

'In Death'

For years I have resisted J. D. Robb because Nora Roberts was never my cup of tea.

Then in one of the adverts that amazon sends me, there was a promo for Robb's 'In Death' series.

I thought, I'll try one.

I read the first one, Naked In Death and really loved it.

I love the heroine, Eve Dallas, New York cop.

I love her love interest, Roarke, millionaire shady businessman.

I love how they interact with each other.

The secondary characters are also flawed and lovable.

Of course, the plots are great. Nora / J.D has had lots of experience putting plots together.

I went to see how many more books in the series. 34 so far. 34 In Death books people.

I've read # 2, Glory In Death and # 3 Immortal In Death.

Both excellent.

I don't know if I will make it through 34 but I'm going for more. We'll see how far I get.

What is the longest series of books you have ever read?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Imagine Uncle Arthur from Bewitched...

saying Busy...Busy...Busy...

Working overtime.

Decorating my desk for Halloween.


Reading some more.

Reading again.

Freezing jars of salsa and tomatoes.

Is everyone else busy?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Historical romance novels - not my thing - but...

If they are yours - the entire 11 book Royal series by M. C. Beaton is on sale for $1.99 a book for kindle on amazon.

I don't know how long the sale will last.

I don't know anything about the books or the author because I only rarely like historicals.

I do love my blog readers, though and I know some of you enjoy historicals.

Do you know of any good book deals to share?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I feel the need to spread the laughter...

I recently purchased this...

The first reaction of some people who know me was - that I would end up tangled in the cables.

They know me.

I also know me. So when I realized I was going to start with the chair fit dvd - I figured I'd probably end up tied to the chair with the cables.

They laughed at me. I laughed even harder at myself.

Go ahead. You can laugh.

I used it the first time last night and just so you know, me, cables and chair all came away unharmed.


Or maybe I'm sitting here in the chair, tangled up in the cable, writing this, too embarrassed to ask for help.

Oh if only I hadn't chosen today to increase my water intake...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's a bird, it;'s a plane, it's the start of a romantic suspense series...

"I growled low in my throat and narrowed my eyes."

From Facebook - SEP'S post specifically -

It’s International Book Week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence as your Facebook status. Don’t mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your status.

Of course, I'm a rebel, so I'm going to tell you the title.

(Imagine drumroll)


Let me just say - really good book. Also, start of a series. 2 more are out and I haven't read them yet. Soon, very soon.

Whiskey Sour
Whiskey For Breakfast

Loving the witty-funny, slap-stick-funny, worst-luck-in-the-world, main character, Addison. And her sexy, infuriating love interest, cop, Nick. And her high school best friend, totally opposite to Addison, Kate.

Great voice. Compelling story.

You will laugh. I dare you to read this book without laughing.

What do you say - are you in the mood for someone new to read?

I was.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Robena's book trailer and sale...

The third book in Robena Grant's Desert Heat series, Desert Exposure, is on sale from amazon for $2.99 from now until Oct 4.

Here is her book trailer:

Do book trailers help you buy books?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Core story

UPDATE; Deceiving the Witch Next Door by Misa Bourbon Ramirez is on sale at amazon for kindle today. I haven't reviewed it, but I have reviewed some of her other books. I read this one and really liked it. Fun read and now only 99 cents.

I started to try and follow JAK's advice and pin down my core story. Having worked on it a while I have come to the conclusion that I'm not ready for that yet. It's murky and covered in fog. I need to write it a few more times before the fog lifts and the murkiness clears.

Here is the rest of what she had to say about it, if you are interested:

"FIND YOUR CORE STORY. Yep, every author has one, regardless of the genre the writer chooses and regardless of what that author believes. Your Core Story has nothing to do with the fictional landscape -- historical, contemporary, paranormal --... or the genre you prefer. It has everything to do with the emotional conflicts that intrigue you. Those are the conflicts from which you will pull your power as a writer for the rest of your career so it pays to identify them early on. Trust me. In case you're stuck thinking you can only write historicals or vampires or contemporary settings or mysteries or suspense or paranormal or, fantasy or, yes, literary fiction, I urge you to step away from the computer and take another look. Your core story doesn't care what backdrop or genre you prefer -- your core story is all about the emotions and internal conflicts and the kinds of characters you like to put on stage -- these are the things that compel you to tell your story." Jayne Ann Krentz on facebook September 10, 2013.

This reminds me of another book - Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. In the story the antagonist is trying to plug the source for all stories and Haroun has to stop him. Haroun's father, Rashid, is a story teller.

""Haroun often thought of his father as a Juggler, because his stories were really lots of different tales juggled together, and Rashid kept them going in a sort of dizzy whirl, and never made a mistake.
"Where did all these stories come from? It seemed that all Rashid had to do was to part his lips in a plump red smile and out would pop some brand-new saga, complete with sorcery, love-interest, princesses, wicked uncles, fat aunts, mustachioed gangsters in yellow check pants, heroes, fights, and half a dozen catchy, hummable tunes. 'Everything comes from somewhere,' Haroun reasoned, 'so these stories can't simply come out of thin air...?'"
Salman Rushdie

It's an absolutely enchanting story and if you have an opportunity to listen to the version where Rushdie himself reads it, it's mesmerizing.

Now as to the obligatory question at the end - I'm going a completely different direction:

Do you follow your favorite writers on facebook or twitter?

I do. I like feeling connected to them.

Friday, September 13, 2013

2 great writers give 6 great writing tips

If you're friends with JAK* & SEP** on facebook you may be following their 3 writing secrets.

JAK's # 1:  "FIND YOUR CORE STORY" She has more to say and it really struck a cord in me. I will be exploring my core story and expanding on this topic.



SEP's # 2:"Give yourself permission to put imperfection on the screen!"

JAK's # 3: "FIND YOUR OWN VOICE" and don't let anything diminish it.

SEP's # 3: "Everybody won't like everything you write. Some people won't like anything you write. Get over it!"

It all sounds like excellent advice and, of course, it comes from 2 prolific, successful writers whose books I love.

Going to explore these further. Especially JAK's # 1 which really spoke to me.

If you are a writer - does one of the above tips speak to you strongly? Which one? Why?

*I have sung the praises of Jayne Ann Krentz's books here, here, here, and here.

**I have sung the praises of Susan Elizabeth Phillip's books here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book deal

For all of you who haven't had a chance to check out Kristen Ashley's books - all 4 books of her Burg series are on sale at amazon for kindle today for $1.99 a piece.

For You
At Peace
Golden Trail
Games of the Heart

I just finished a reread of At Peace because I love it. I loved all these books and have read all of them more than once but At Peace was my favorite.

Read them in order or stand alone. Either way works.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

18 minutes with KA

I prefer text to videos on the computer but this felt like a gift to me.

Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday meditation and some salaciously fun news

I'm not much of a meditator but my sort-of, haven't-actually-seen-her-in-forever, friend, Kelli Love, who is a yoga instructor-enthusiast extraordinaire, put this on facebook and I loved it:

Monday meditation:

Press thumb into each finger~
I've got grit~
I've got wit~
I've got clout~...
I shake doubts~
Shake hands three times~
Repeat 11 times. Close eyes and listen.

Course, I didn't like what I heard but ya know...

Kelli Love tells me this meditation comes from the awesomely informative website; Grounded: Yoga/Laughter/Elevation
This is their tagline - Dedicated To Teaching our Kids and Teens How to Find the Wisdom Within
Don't you love that? I do.

Now for the fun, salacious news:

Remember the book Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James? They're making a movie and guess who is playing Christian Grey?

That's right - Charlie Hunnam. Yum. And big sigh.

I haven't read the book. I considered it again after finding out about the Christian / Charlie thing. However, that kindle sample just doesn't do it for me.

The plot summary sounds good, though. Definitely gonna watch the movie. How can I go wrong? Even if the movie is no good - for a couple of hours I get to stare longingly at Charlie.

Friday, August 30, 2013

workout motivation challenges

In December I'm going on vacation to San Diego. Got my tickets. Got my time off. Can't wait.

I decided I need to be in better shape because sometimes you have to make unexpected long, fast walks in airports. And I'll want to walk on the beaches. And in San Diego you park somewhere and then you walk a long way to your destination.

I set myself a routine. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday  I walk outside in the sunshine and heat. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I do a workout I designed to create the marvel of after burn in my body. Saturday (my long day at work) off.

For several weeks now I have managed to do at least 5 out of 6 of my scheduled workouts. Usually 6. On the weeks where I missed one it was the Friday one. Maybe because for some Thursday nights my insomnia is at it's worst for some reason.

Now this week I have REALLY STRUGGLED. Monday I never did make myself workout. Tuesday I did but it was really hard. Then Thursday I skipped, too.

This makes me so sad because I have had this really strong motivation and I feel it fading even though the desire to be more in shape for my trip is still there.

Today I did my workout soon after getting up.

I was in the mood for Neil Young so I put him on and let him get me through. And he did.

Thanks Neil.

Here is Harvest Moon one of my favorite Neil Young songs:

Do you workout? If so, what keeps you motivated? What do you do when you feel your motivation flagging?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New cinquain

Your perk
depends upon
white-washing all harsh truths
Why would you want to live a life
with no
From the journal 'Unconditional Positive Regard; I Think Not.' by fictional character Nora Taylor (formerly Hortense).

I have updated the Black Windows pinterest board and have been doing some work on the novel lately. Board is here.

What creative endeavor are you working on lately?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Elmore and JAK

August 20th, 2013 Elmore Leonard died at the age of 87. He wrote popular crime, suspense and western novels.

He wrote a book titled: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing. It is a much loved book amongst writers. Personally, some of it I agree with, but, and I say this with great respect for him, some of it I don't.

According to Wikipedia - "Twenty-six of Leonard's novels and short stories have been adapted for the screen (19 as motion pictures and another seven as television programs)."

That is both wonderful for him and at the same time sad for the hundreds of successful women writing out there who have yet to see one of their books adapted for film or television.

One such woman who, IMHO,  deserves some screen time, is Jayne Ann Krentz, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Meanwhile, RIP Elmore Leonard. You will be missed and the shelves of bookstores and libraries will be a sadder place without new editions from you.

In other news - there is a wonderful interview with Jayne Ann Krentz circulating. It's titled Romance's Mystery Woman byline Bobbi Dumas over at Kirkus. It's really good.

If you are not familiar with JAK, I've reviewed her books, written as Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle; here, here, here, here, and here.

She currently writes 3 books a year; a paranormal contemporary romance as Krentz, a paranormal historical romance as Amanda Quick and a futuristic romance as Castle.

This year she wrote 4 books and therefore next year we will have a bonus book to read; a contemporary romance that has no paranormal elements, titled River Road. It comes out in January of 2014.

Her last of this year will be Deception Cove, a Jayne Castle futuristic romance due out August 27th, 2013.

Although her books have interwoven characters and settings with JAK new readers can pick up any book anywhere and dig in, because they all stand alone very well.

Do you have a favorite Elmore Leonard book?

A favorite of Krentz in any of her names?

Who is the woman writer whose work you would most like to see adapted to the screen?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rock Chicks - are you ready for Revolution?

Cause it is OUT! And it is ggggoooooooodddd!!!!

There's some cheese. But it just shows us that Kristen Ashley does cheesy as well as she does everything else. Which is freaking fantastic; that's how well.

We knew Ally Nightingale was badass. Now we know Ally Nightingale is a BADASS.

We knew she was a Rock Chick. Now we know, she's her own, different from any of the others, version of ROCK CHICK.

We knew Ren was a sexy alpha male. Now we know Ren is his own, different from any of the others, version of SEXY ALPHA MALE.

We knew we wanted to know more about Darius. Now we do. And we LOVE him.

There's laugh out loud funny. There's actual crying sad. There's INSERT YOUR FAVORITE DESSERT HERE sweet.

There's the usual gratuitous sex; liberal dropping of curse words including the f-bomb and coffee.

It's Rock Chick fast-moving, blink and you missed something pace.

And the epilogue - oh my the epilogue.


I said




Get over it. Or better yet - get into it.

Because it left my soul settled about all my favorite characters.

And I'm not sad that Revolution is the last Rock Chick book.

I know I've got more Kristen Ashley coming.

More Chaos. More Colorado Mountain Man. More Fantasyland. More Unfinished Heroes. More the Burg.

More whatever Kristen Ashley gets up to.

And, it's all good, my sisters. All good.

What's all good for you these days?

PS the books in the Rock Chick series stand alone but I wouldn't start with Revolution. There are too many wonderful tie-ins to the other Rock Chick books and you'll miss good stuff if you start with Revolution. Start anywhere else but preferably start with the book that started it all; Rock Chick.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

In the Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel O'Neal

It's no secret that I love Barbara Samuel O'Neal.

So it will come as no surprise that a while back when one of her older books went on sale as an ebook I snatched it up. I had not read it before.

Now I have. And I loved it.

In the Midnight Rain is the love story of Ellie Connor and Blue Reynard. It's so fabulous.

It's one of those books that is hard for me to move on from because I am so in love with the characters.

It's a novel that revolves around music - mostly the blues.

Here's a blues song that gets a mention or two:

Mannish Boy - this version by Muddy Waters

And here's a rock song with a very blues feel that gets a mention:

Red House by Jimi Hendrix.

Do you get captured by characters and find it hard to move on sometimes?

When I checked amazon the book was still 99 cents. Don't know how much longer it will be that price but now that I've read it - it's worth any price.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

More than one way to write a book

My mom used to yell at me for not washing the dishes right. For her, there was only one way to wash the dishes. I never got that. For me, there are probably as many ways to wash the dishes as there are people washing them. The only really essential thing about washing dishes is that they get clean.

Same thing about writing a book. I always thought that there were probably as many ways of writing books as there were of people writing them.

So what of all these people with 'rules' about writing books. Some of the people are successful authors. Others are people educated in the field of creative writing.

I know it bursts their bubbles because it takes things out of their control -- but I'm sure everyone reading this blogpost can think of a book they love that breaks all the so-called rules.

My current favorite obsession author just blew away another 'rule' that has been holding me back.

You know that 'rule' about finishing one book before you start another or else you're just being distracted, chasing something shiny - KRISTEN ASHLEY DOES NOT WRITE THAT WAY.

Consider this from her blogpost 10 Things You May Not Know About the Rock Chicks :

"3) While I was writing the Rock Chick Series, I would send my chapters to my friends Cat and Dena and my uncle Will. I was at the part in Reckoning when Mace and Stella are shot at on the stage. I’d just finished writing that chapter when both of them went down, sent it off to Cat, Dena and Will and I stopped to take a bath. In the bath, Sadie from Regret came to me, full-fledged, history and all that had happened to her.
I burst out crying, big, wet, slobbery tears and pulled myself from the bath. I toweled off, threw on some clothes and sat down at my computer as soon as I could, writing Sadie and Hector, and I was a woman obsessed.
See, when Eddie talks to Jet about his fears that her pathological shyness has to do with her maybe being raped, I knew that his brother would face that atrocity with his woman. So Sadie had been playing at the back of my head for three and a half books. In the bath, it was her time to come out but what happened to her, the life she lived was so awful, I was desperate to get her to her happily ever after.
I was in seventh heaven writing Sadie and Hector. But Cat, Dena and Will were not. They were back with Stella and Mace on the stage and had to wait ages for me to get back to them to let them know all was well. And it took longer than them waiting for just one book, for, I fear, I may have written some other books in the meantime too. I’m flighty that way."

WOW. So that would mean I could sit down to write whichever character was in my head at the time instead of having to decide on a wip and stick with it until it was done.

Sounds very doable to me.

Writers - do you write one book start to finish or work on more than one at a time?

Friday, August 9, 2013

2 good book deals happening right NOW

I have a blogpost I'm going to write but I want to get this up before it's too late for all my cyber reader friends to get the good deals.

Amazon's daily romance deal is Head Over Heals by Jill Shalvis.

I've never read one of her books but I've heard they are excellent and at 99cents for the Kindle version - this one seems like a good place to start.

On the other hand - I've read a lot, lot, lot, lot of Barbara Samuel O'Neals books and never been disappointed. Imagine my glee when finding that her book, In the Midnight Rain is on sale for 99cents 8/8-8/11 in e-reader form @ Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Audible.

I got them both.

I'm always thrilled to know that I have good books just waiting for me on my Kindle!

What's giving you  a thrill these days?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Worth Series

Mara Jacobs wrote a series of 3 books whose titles are all 'Worth the' (something).

In the first book, Worth the Weight, Lizzie has lost half her body weight. She heads back to her hometown with a plan to boost her confidence before starting a physical relationship with a coworker in her big city business.

Of course, it isn't that easy.

In the second book, Worth the Drive, Katie, Lizzie's friend, is in shock from the dismantling of her life when one of her college professor husband's students turns up pregnant with the baby Katie can't give him, or herself. She thinks a one-night stand with golf pro Dario Luna can make her forget for a night.

Or two.

In the third book, Worth the Fall, Alison, the third friend in the Lizzie, Katie, Alison trio, hooks up with the girls long-time, high school friend, Pete Ryan. Pete is a hockey pro who has just had a career ending accident. They share a dark secret which will remain a secret if they have their way.

Or not.

I enjoyed these books. They are meant to be light romances and they succeed very well at that.

And here's the thing - from now until 8/10/13 the e-reader boxed set of 3 books which is normally $6.99 is on sale for 99cents @ Amazon, B&N or Kobo. That's all 3 books for a total price of 99cents (and maybe tax).

Have you heard of any really good books on sale lately?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Three Wishes

I just read a book that I have been resisting for a while. It's a book with a genie in it. Yes, a genie, like a genie in a bottle who grants wishes.

I never would have considered reading it except it was written by my current author OBSESSION, Kristen Ashley.

This shouldn't surprise me but it did; the book is excellent.

The genie is not the love interest. He is a lovable, important character.

I wouldn't say that I want to read a bunch of books with genies but this one sure was good.

Three Wishes by Kristen Ashley.

What book have you read that turned out to be surprisingly good?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Black Windows reboot

I have restarted Black Windows (modern gothic romance novel).

I discarded what I have already written, sat with the story for some time and have written new passages.

I have also changed the cast some:

The placekeeper for Mimi Cruse Hortense Taylor is now Sandrine Kiberlain.

Unfortunately just now when I went to retrieve a picture of Donovan Sawyer Goodeve I saw that Ben Barnes is not a good placekeeper for him. He needs to be a little more mischievous looking.

The new placekeeper for villain Lee Wilson is Jeff Kober.

Doesn't he look so very villain-y?
Everything else is pretty much the same except I decided to go with a fairy drawn by my gdaughter Kat. She gave me 2 choices:

Decisions - decisions...

Here's a short passage - Hortense has fallen asleep in her recliner - woke up in the wee hours - went to the bathroom and is now headed to bed"

"She walked out the bathroom door towards her bed. Halfway there, she walked through an ice cold patch of air.
     "What the hell..." she turned and looked where she had felt the cold air. She turned back around and almost collided with someone. She exhaled sharply, clutched her heart and said, "Norah, geez what are you doing here? You scared me to dea..." She stopped breathing, eyes wide, mouth open, staring at the person in front of her. 
     Her pale, transclucent face was surrounded by hair so dark brown it was almost black. Soft pink lips sat below a thin, straight nose. Her big, blue eyes looked bigger, bluer, yet distant, covered in a film as if seen from far away. "Norah is that you?"
     The vision went black for a second and she heard Norah's voice say, "yes, it's me." Then the vision came back.
     "But..." she stuttered, "wait," she shook her head trying to clear it, "you're still dead, right?"
     The vision went black again. "Yep. Still dead." The vision came clear again."
Felt good to write again.
What are you writing; drawing; painting; sewing; knitting; etc, etcing lately?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Followup on Julia Cameron

Back in April I wrote a blogpost about Julia Cameron's book The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size.

To simplify - one of Julia's premises is that creative people become overweight because they overeat when they postpone creating or neglect to create.
The last few days have been different than my normal routine. I had more time off than usual and I had the house to myself.

I filled this time by going on a writing binge. Monday night, Tuesday 24/7 and during the early hours of Wednesday I wrote for a while, stopped to nap, wrote for a while, ate something, wrote for a while, moved around some - you get the idea.

Anywho - Wednesday and Thursday I did not feel compelled to write. I was sated on putting together words to form story - again you get the idea.

Rethinking this in terms of Julia's premise - All 3 days my eating was no better or worse than usual and my willingness to 'move' was no better or worse than usual.

I think the conclusion I come to is - it's just not that simple. It is not a matter of an instance of delayed creativity creates an instance of overeating.

I do believe that long-term avoidance of creativity for the creative person results in lots of negative things, possibly including overeating.

And I also believe that there is value in Julia's book.

Does your creativity or lack thereof effect your eating habits?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

from one of Hortense's journals

Drew -

For a very long time you've walked beside me
Though you might venture off the trail one way and I another
Soon our passageway would intersect again and continue forward
This time it's different
We've chosen to travel different paths
We're trying not to lose sight of each other
Clinging to those moments when our pathways overlap
Forcing a road through thorny bushes just to be together
How long can this go on?

Or am I being melodramatic?
Letting the cherry wine speak for me?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

From the mostly fictional world of Hortense Taylor...

I saw a ghost today.
She used to be my neighbor, Norah.
At first she scared the yellow water out of me.
Then she just gave me a headache;
blinking in and out.
I saw her. Then I heard her.
I saw her. Then I heard her.
I could not hear and see her at the same time.
Now I’m questioning my sanity.
Are people right?
Am I crazy?

Have you noticed people are abandoning their blogs left and right these days?

I'm not abandoning mine. I may go down to one blogpost per week on Tuesdays for a while because I hope to be working on a book and I've decided my main character is going to have a tumblr microblog.

Of course, I may post the microblogs on here, too, so there could be little mini-blogs like the one above written by Hortense Taylor or other book characters.

What do you think - are blogs on the way to becoming extinct?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

from meme to you you

Looking for some inspiration on pinterest - found these:

I know my sense of humor is bizarre.

MMMM Cherry Garcia - wait - where were we - oh yeah...

Nothing better than a really bad pun - in this case a bad graphic pun.

Dr. Bernie Siegel who wrote Love, Medicine and Miracles, says laughter is like jogging for your heart.

What's putting your heart in motion today?

Friday, July 12, 2013

untitled poem

Restless me
I shift focus often
Yesterday’s passion
Once second nature
No longer lures me
Dead fish float
I fight against the current;
I live
by fictional character - Hortense Taylor

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Peter and Vivi

My dear friend, Peter Gallo, married the lovely Vivi-Soyeon Park.
They made a home in Albuquerque, NM called the Kimchi Farm.
Magical things happen at the Kimchi Farm:
vegetables are grown:
chickens are raised:
progress is made in keeping the Earth habitable for humans and making the United States a more just, honorable country (they are activists whom I very much admire for living the change they want to see in the world):
and Vivi paints beautiful, colorful, spirit-lifting paintings. She gave me permission to share some with you.

by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
by Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo
Peter & Vivi-Soyeon Park Gallo;
an HEA* in the making.
*HEA = happily ever after