Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here's an idea... why not invest that twenty million in bringing those jobs BACK to the UNITED STATES so that we can safety oversee the standards? Duh uh. It's really hard to be a watchdog of products coming from China... evidently.
So many business have moved overseas, taking jobs from the homeland. I was appalled to learn that most credit card companies have outsourced their billing functions to countries such as India and Pakistan. Have you noticed the increasing number of people with accents when you place or receive phone calls dealing with your bills? I only discovered the switch had occurred when my eighty-two year old mom was billed for tickets on Air Malaysia along with car rentals and meals. She doesn't go anywhere but Walmart, so that was an easy mistake to prove. But it appears Citicard and some of the other bigger companies should be doing a better background check of their employees.
Okay, I'm putting my soapbox away. I hear skittering feet outside the door.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I think I muttered the cliche associated with hell when someone asked if I planned to live with my son and his family for long. Well, it's been a year and I'm still here, doing daycare for my grandson, cleaning, washing, shopping, cooking, and trying to find time to be an author, blog, myspace, bebo, you name it.
It's not easy living with another family, and I'm sure there are days when my daughter-in-law wants to kill me as much as I'd like to leave her body in a dark alley somewhere. But we've managed to survive. I've learned to have tunnel vision when I pass through their portion of the house, smartly ignoring the unmade bed, the stacks on her desk, and the spots all over her bathroom mirror. Okay, so my tunnel vision hasn't been perfected yet but I'm working on it.
She held a job as a Correction's Officer when I first came here and was on second shift. That sucked because she was like 'mother in abstencia', but now she has a new job and she's home evenings. I know because I hear her upstairs watching the soap operas she recorded during the day. *lol* I thought life would become more normal and the dust less thick, but I was wrong.
Now I have to contend with a whole new problem. DIL works for a company that services and fills money machines and those lovely games that your children yank you over to when you go into restaurants, Walmart and other places. Her company-provided van resembles like a 'carney' on the way to set up a booth at the local fair, but she works hard and long. She tells me everyday. *lol*
The new headache around here for me is the 'stuffed animal' hospital thats gathering in the corner of the dining area. Toys that are damaged in any way can't go into the machines, so as she finds them, she brings them home and tosses them in a pile. It's growing in frightening leaps and bounds. (emphasis on frightening) Right beneath the three-legged unicorn is a really scary broom-less witch, a three-armed Sponge Bob, and a myriad of other colorful plush that are torn, frayed, or disfigured. I'm hoping it's just special-effects for Halloween, but I'll let you know. I had a nightmare last night that I was attacked by handicapped plush animals and woke up fighting with my pillow. I thought dust and clutter in the rest of the house was bad. I think I'll entitle my next book, Lunacy on Lick Creek Rd.
Laura Elliott's Blog
and check out the great job she did on my postcards. These seem to have become very popular and I've ordered them for every book I have out and now have one for an upcoming new release. Laura also designed one that's just about me--Ginger Simpson, the author.
Make sure to leave a comment and tell Laura that I sent you to her blog. I mean it!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Yesterday afternoon seemed like a nightmare about to unfold. Luckily it got better, but let me tell the story in third person so it's less painful, but just remember, it's about me. I'll call myself Gigi, just... just because I like that name. :)
Gigi glanced at clock and noticed it was time to leave. Her husband had to get to his eye appointment at the doctor in Sparta--seventy-five miles away. Rather than take the gas-guzzling Denali, they took Gigi's new car. Since her son and his family were going up to visit in-laws in the same town, grandson, Spencer wanted to ride with 'Nee Nee' and Papa. The trip up included a cruise through McDonalds, but everything went smoothly.
After dropping Papa at the eye doctor, Nee Nee decided to take Spencer on up the hill to his other Grandmother's house. When Gigi arrived and opened her car door, the keys in the ignition set off the most annoying buzzer, so she yanked them out and slapped them onto the passenger seat. (You see it coming, don't you.)
She got out, closed her door and tried to open Spencer's, only to find it locked. Her hand moved swiftly back to the driver's door, praying what she feared wasn't happening. It was--she'd locked her autistic grandson in the car, securely fastened in his car seat.
Smiling faces appeared from the garage to welcome Gigi and her grandson, but all she could do was collapse into tears. "I've locked Spencer in the car," she sobbed.
"Cute car, by the way", other Grandmother commented as she put a supporting arm around Gigi's shoulders. It's okay. We'll get him out.
Uncle Danny checked the doors and announced the obvious. "Yep, they're locked." He didn't have tools to get inside so he tells his mother, "Call 911."
After Jean called and informed them of the situation the trio of adults waited outside the car, peering in at Spencer and hoping he would understand the sudden instructions to push on the red button. He didn't, just continued to look confused at the faces mashed against the window.
A pickup truck stopped and a family piled out. Gigi clasped her throat hoping the Sherrif's Office has sent an off-duty person. The driver saunters over. "We heard it on the radio and thought we'd come see if'n we could help. I ain't got no tools."
More faces mashed against the window, more instructions and more confused looks from Spencer. Still no police.
Gigi's heart jumped with joy (bad analogy, I know) when she spied her son's truck coming down the road. He'd barely stopped the vehicle when she accosted him in tears. "I've locked Spencer in the car."
"You're fired." He laughed, and methodically pulled a slim jim from his tool bin and set to work freeing his son.
Within five minutes, Spencer was free and acting as though nothing whatsoever happened. Still no police.
Gigi took a deep breath, gathered her wits and bid them all goodbye. She had to get back down the hill to pick up Papa. As she continued deep breathing exercises and wound her way back to Sparta (still no police coming up) she started to relax and vowed to make a spare key and hide it somewhere beneath the car. Pictures of what might have happened had she locked him in where there wasn't a phone flashed through her mind. Her purse and cell phone had remained inside with her precious cargo.
Turning onto the street of the eye doctor's office, Gigi spied two parking places almost in front. She passed by, flipped a u-turn and got into position to back into the space in front of the one car there. With a quick check over her left shoulder, she looked over her right one to watch the curb, tree and bumper of the other vehicle. Thud! She hit something.
Her breath caught in her throat. "What the hell?" She muttered and looked left again. An elderly woman stood outside her vehicle, only the nose of her car into the parking space directly behind Gigi.
Gigi got out. "What are you doing?"
"I wanted to park here." The woman continued to check among a years worth of dirt and bug guts for damage.
"Didn't you see me backing up?" Gigi felt her frustration rise.
"Yes, but you just kept coming and coming." Still looking for damage.
Shouldn't that have been a clue to the other drive?
"Since I was already halfway into this spot with my backup lights on, I think you should have seen I wanted this space."
"But I wanted to park here." The woman calmly decided there was no damage (her ass end of her car is still in the street) and opened the back door, took out a bag of clothing and deposited it on the front door of the building nearby. Without another word she got in her car and drove away.
Gigi went inside the doctor's office and had a meltdown, vowing not to drive home despite whether or not the eye doctor had dilated Papa's eyes.
Sensing her tension, Papa decided Nee Nee needed a nice dinner, so he took her Logans and they lived happily ever after... at least until they went home and decided that since they had the house all to themselves this might be a nice time to get romantic. That's another story in itself and one Gigi will keep to herself. *lol*
Friday, October 26, 2007
CHRISTEE GABOUR ATWOOD - Author of Journal of a Midlife Crisis will be my guest for the day. You won't want to miss out on her insight into midlife. In the coming days, I'll be sharing the titles of some of her chapters, but in the meantimes, here's a teaser for you:
A Celebration of Midlife … and Elastic Waistbands Christee Gabour Atwood remembers the exact moment when her “midlife crisis” began. She was visiting the campus where she had attended college when she says, “A handsome young man opened a door for me. And then he called me ‘ma’am’.” With that one word, she knew midlife was upon her.
Many people recognize this scene or have ones similar to it that marked the beginning of their midlife crises. And that is what Atwood is celebrating in her book, Three Feet Under: Journal of a Midlife Crisis.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
How kind of them. But shouldn't I have been asked if I preferred other hues? I'm not at all satisfied with the combination of light turquoise and orange that they've selected. The writing is harder to see and those aren't 'my' colors. I should know, I had my color chart done some time ago... you know, where they drape you in a rainbow of scarves to see which best fits your complexion. Orange washes me out and light turquoise makes me look sick. I'm not feeling very well and it's all Direct TV's fault.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression,
'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.'
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October)! Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'
Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile.' In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . therefore, the expression 'losing face.'
Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced'. . wore a tightly tied lace.
Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades.' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.
Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'
Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip some ale' and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'
At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the term 'minding your 'P's and Q's.'
One more: bet you didn't know this!
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called
a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.' Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.' (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Welcome Cecile. It’s nice to have you with us. I know our guests have some questions about your role in this exciting western historical, so let's dig right in.
INT: How in the world did you ever convince your rigid father to allow you to marry a virtual stranger?
CECILE: *Squaring in her chair* You have to remember that back in the olden days, women married young, and sometimes even without the benefit of knowing their groom. Mail order brides were common so I think my father considered that, by some standards, I was well past marrying age and could make my own decisions. Walt simply swept me off my feet and I would have gone anywhere with him.
INT: I read, with great interest, how you perceived your new ‘home’. That must have been a terrible revelation.
CECILE: *Swipes her hand across her brow* Oh, you have no idea. Walt had described the perfect setting; he just failed to tell me that he hadn’t yet built a suitable home. My skin was gray from dirt for days… trying to sweep with half a broom that someone left behind, and to be perfectly honest… I didn’t know a thing about keeping house. I guess some might say I was spoiled by my parents. *smile*
INT: I’ll bet you were scared to death when Walt left you alone. How did you handle the fear?
CECILE: It wasn’t easy. *Runs a hand through her long hair*. I never realized how many noises there are once the sun goes down. I just prayed that the lock on that weathered old door worked good enough to keep me safe. God knows, I knew nothing about using a weapon. I think if I hadn’t been so exhausted from all the chores everyday, I would have had trouble sleeping. I got used to it after a few nights, but I still didn’t like it.
INT: The book couldn’t possibly have captured the terror you experienced when Lone Eagle collapsed in front of you. Tell us how that felt.
CECILE: My heart leapt into clear up here *clasping throat*. You understand, I’d never seen an Indian before and I expected to look up into the face of my beloved husband. I thought for sure I was going to die, but Lone Eagle fell in a heap at my feet. Lordy, my heart was racing... all those stories I'd heard about scalpings and such.
INT: So, of course, being a good person, you did the right thing and nursed him back to health…
CECILE: Yes, I did. I don’t think I could have lived with myself if I’d just let him die. In the end it turned out well for me. I don’t want to divulge too much to those who haven’t read Prairie Peace, but I can say that he saved my life, too.
INT: You’re right; I don’t want to ask questions that give away too much, so I’ll just ask what life was like in 1867.
CECILE: Oh goodness. *shuddering*. There was a wagon load of difference between my life in Silver City and moving to the prairie with Walt. In town, we bought everything we needed from the mercantile. Mother baked once in a while and cooked delicious meals, but we never had to put up our own vegetables. I was flabbergasted when Walt talked about the garden and the tomatoes, corn and other things we’d grow. I sure never expected that I’d be outside hammering nails in a dilapidated old barn, let alone milking a cow. I think the most frightening experience at first was that darned rooster. Who would have thought that something so small could terrify a body like he did?
INT: Well, I see we’re out of time, but I truly want to thank you for being our guest. I'm sure fearing your husband dead, having an Indian drop at your feet and having to make the difficult decision with which you were faced was not an easy time for you. It certainly was a page turner for me. Can we look forward to a sequel?
CECILE: Well, as you know, Prairie Peace is a re-release of Ginger’s 2003 debut novel with another publisher. She’s really improved how the story flows, and I can only hint that you might visit her website to see if anything looks like a continuation of the story. You can find her at Ginger's Website and I can give you a hint. Remember Lone Eagle is Lakota Sioux. *giggles*
INT: Thanks again. This has been fun. Hopefully your fans will visit Eternal Press and purchase the new version of Prairie Peace.
CECILE: One can only hope. I know that Ginger needs another root canal, liposuction on her hips and a neck lift, and that's just the emergency necessities. Every purchase helps with the cost.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Next to TV commericals on my list of annoying things are the stupid emails that I receive every day. How about checking the gender of the person you're targeting before you try to sell something to a woman that will help her penis grow to staggering lengths. Perhaps they think I might buy it and sprinkle it on my husband, but I'm trying to avoid the 4 incher he has already. *lol*
Quite simply, I'm not interested. Sex has become mundane and highly over-rated. I prefer to get my doses from reading a good romance. I can write great sex scenes, but as far as participating...forget it. I get excruciating leg cramps, no longer have normal lubrication which causes the same friction as sandpaper, and I tend to think of things I need at Walmart while I should be moaning in ecstasy. My ship has sailed.
For those in my age group that still enjoy a good romp. More power to you. I prefer hallway sex myself. Every time I pass my husband in the hall, I say, "Screw you."
It works for me!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Let me set the scene. Usually I have only my four-year-old grandson to contend with (oops..he's five today), but my DIL's two other sons have been here for the summer (age 6 & 13). They just left today, so I can take a deep breath. :)
Anyhow, I was downstairs, trying to work on Sarah's Journey when I heard Zach (6 y.o.) yelling at Spencer. I went up to see what the problem was only to find that Spencer had spilled Zach's koolaid all over the counter and floor. Just a note, this has been a koolaid-filled summer. Sticky floor, counter, etc, so to say that I took a deep breath and sighed is an understatement. But I immediately went to work cleaning up the mess and trying to soothe feathers and stop the small one from crying. Enter the teenager, who kindly commented that I seemed to be mopping up spills with a great degree of frequency and indeed, pointed out that I had just mopped the floor the previous night.
He looks at me, says, "No offense, Grammy," then turns to his 6 y.o. brothers and continues, "Zach, a woman this old (points to me), should not be on her hands and knees mopping up after you."
So, there it is. I'm officially old and I don't know whether to laugh or cry. :) I think I'll just thank God, I'm here.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm frustrated over technology's inability to design a brassiere that has staying power. I want a 'lock and load' version. One that doesn't self-adjust during the day, dropping my bosom out of the area in my clothing designed for it. You'd think if clothiers add a fitted bodice, they'd come up with a bra to keep your boobs put. For heaven's sakes, we have safety clasps to keep our earrings on, extra chains to protect our necklaces from becoming lost, and spacers to make our rings fit. Why can't we have a bra that is comfortable yet dependable? Is that too much to ask?
I'm past caring if tampax can absorb a balloon full of water, or if my pads have wings.My body doesn't need those things anymore. I don't want underwear that has a modesty panel in the front and a string up the butt, and I could care less if my feet stink or my nose runs, but I do want something to support my chest and keep it off my keyboard. For the next American Inventor out there...please deliver. The big (or in my case...long) chested women of the world are counting on you.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
This is a poem I posted on Father's day. It seems to fit how I'm feeling today as much as then.
Still in my heart though gone for so long.
I still see your face, hear your words in a song.
Always my hero, my friend and my light.
Your spirit still guides me and shows me what's right.
So on this, a day that we honor our Dad
Know that I'm happy and ever so glad.
To have been blessed with a father as special as you
Is better than anything else I hold true.
I love you Dad, as much today as the day I lost you. Thank you for being in my life.
It's been a very difficult decision to make, but I've decided to give up my monthly newsletter. It's become the one chore that I find difficult to fit into my schedule and you know how I abhor being tardy.
I have so many faithful readers who have supported my efforts over the past three years, and I don't want to lose touch with them. But, it's been a long dry spell between releases, and I fear that I've become somewhat boring. *God forbid*. For that reason, I'm switching to blogging with the hope those of you who still want to have me in regular doses will subscribe and remain a part of life, dull though it may be from time-to-time. You can find me at:
I hope we can continue to interact. You've all brought me such joy with your continued support and friendship. So, let's stay in touch.
Here's the first one:
A very good friend sent me the following. I'm not sure of the origin, but it certainly struck a cord with me...and believe it or not, it throughly describes my friend's outlook on life. I love him!
In Reality You'll not get me into an argument about religion or politics. No one ever wins. If I am to reach someone I want to influence them by my gentle nudging and by the life I live. I have discovered that arguing only creates distance. Frankly, the differences of opinion in both those areas excites me. I celebrate our differences.
What I try to focus on is where we are connected. For me the most difficult thing to define is "reality." I just had a long conversation with a friend about his perception of his life. His reality seemed dim, dark and doomed for destruction. As hard as I tried, I could not see his life that way. He fought with me and was angry because I could not validate his demise. Everyday I receive messages from people who have locked themselves in a cell limited only by their perceptions.
When I had my radio show a few years ago, a young man called to say, "You make me sick!" He went on to criticize my Pollyanna views of the world and life itself. I never got upset with him and continued to praise him for taking a stand like this. "No matter what you say, or how you view me, I still will see the hope I have for you and a happy life if you want it bad enough." After a few minutes speaking he suddenly said, "I've got to go." "Please don't leave, yet!" I replied. "No, I have to. I'm beginning to like you."
So I have asked myself this question, "What is my reality?" Here is what I've decided. Reality is how I choose to see my world, not an image dictated by others. There once was a time when I saw my life as never meeting expectations. I wasn't young enough, slim enough, tall enough or smart enough. I didn't have the right car, clothes, house, income, attitude or career. I wasn't raised in the right community, I didn't hang around with the right people, have the right ethnic heritage, nor go to the right school. I was foolish enough to believe this was reality.
Reality was, I was a failure, an odd ball, an outcast. Then one day I felt this gentle nudging. I can't quite pinpoint the event or moment. Was it created in loss or was it realized in a moment of joy? But I began to see through the barriers of the world and there, just beyond them, I discovered "Hope."
Here is what is real in my world today:
The warmth of my wife lying next to me at night giving me a sense of security and reminding me of love.
The sound of my children's voices confirming that all is well with them and knowing that they are my greatest contribution to the world.
My dogs wagging their tails when I come home...they are happy to see me. Some times the only ones.
The velvet touch of a rose petal between my fingers and the sweet smell it leaves behind reminds me that the finest things presented to all my human senses, are not manufactured but created by God.
The brightness of the sun rise cries out "Celebrate! You are born again into a new day."
The gentle touch of a stranger's hand when first we say hello and connect palm to palm. Considered a ritual, a formality by some, I find it a moment of connection on a spiritual level.
The sounds of life carried by the wind; the cries of a hawk, the waves crashing on the shore, the chatter of an anxious squirrel, and the bells on a distant ice cream truck carrying with it the sweet cream treats of childhood memories.
The tears I shed for someone's pain.
The smell of fresh cut grass.
The wisdom of someone older than I.
The wisdom of an innocent child.
The taste of mashed potatoes and melted butter.
The smell of a turkey roasting in my oven producing instant flashbacks of family gathered around in celebration of life.
The sound, "You have mail!" on my computer.
The words, "Thank you!" "My friend" "Love" and "Hope."
Watching commercials about fast cars, designer clothes, being thin, being young, being wealthy and knowing they aren't as important as being happy with who I am...in reality!
Update: 10-13-07. The friend who sent me this has since been diagnosed and is battling throat cancer. He still remains as positive as this post and worries about me worrying about him. What a guy!
Friday, October 12, 2007
All winners are posted on my website within a few days after the end of the contest.
Next drawing: October 17, 2007. Be sure to sign up for Keely's list now!
You could win the second Highland Press Holiday Anthology, Holiday in the Heart!
12 Stories from 12 Authors, ranging from very old-fashioned holidays cheer to more modern tales of love, romance and wishes. The power to believe can work miracles - wishes can come true...love heals hearts. A two book set - with story sequels from authors Leanne Burroughs and Deborah Macgillivray to the first book in the set Christmas Wishes. The two books in tradesize paperback make a winning Christmas gift.
Anna Kathryn Lanier
Diane D. White
Michele Ann Young
To see all the weeks' prizes of the Great Holiday Contest Fest, go to my website and click on Contest.
Faery Special Romances
Royalties donated to Children's Tumor Foundation,
ending Neurofibromatosis through research
Myspace *** Bebo *** Shelfari *** Ning
I'm going to leave permissions in place for the next few days so you can come back and check comments and post if you'd like.
I'll do this again, so be prepared for another invite. Hopefully, I can round up more readers to come and view the offerings, but with over 500 hits (and although I realize that the posting authors account for some) I'm still impressed.
Thanks again. It was a fun two days.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I posted earlier about my newest upcoming book A Tournament Knight that is coming out sometime this November at New Concepts Publishing. Just a little while ago I found my cover for A Tournament Knight posted on NCP's upcoming ebooks page. I love my cover. I think it's gorgeous. So I can't resist posting it here for you all to see.
The Blue Lotus - Avaliable now at Liquid Silver Books
A Tournament Knight - Coming Nov. 07 at New Concepts Publishing
He found the rental without any trouble. The small, rectangular shaped house had two front doors on one of the short sides. It looked to Mike as if Ms. West had recently painted. He wouldn’t have thought of painting the house a bright, cheery yellow, but he liked it very much.
He didn’t see a doorbell so he knocked on the right hand door. Ms. West opened it almost immediately, giving Mike the shock of his life. In spite of her all American accent and name, Jenna West was Middle Eastern! He had seen women just like her every day of his life when he served in the army. The only difference was that in the Middle East people like her spent a lot of time throwing rocks and yelling obscenities.
“Are you Jenna West?” he asked.
“You mean Harry?”
“He just got back from a trip to Scotland. His mother lives there.”
“Would I be poaching on his territory if I asked you to go to a movie with me?”
“His territory?” Julianna gasped. “Harry doesn’t own me, and I’m not a piece of real estate to be bought and sold. Only a total Neanderthal would phrase an invitation that way.”
“I’m sorry. I just meant that …”
“I know what you meant,” Julianna cuttingly replied, her eyes beginning to snap.
“You have a bad temper.”
“I most certainly do not! Any woman would feel angry at being considered some man’s territory.”
“A man does feel possessive about his woman. You women may not like it, but it’s just nature.”
“I hate it when a man talks about “his woman.”
“What does that mean to you?” Buck asked.
“When a man talks about his woman he mostly means that he’s the boss. It means some big bull of a man forcing his “woman” to wait on him hand and foot and be at his beck and call for everything.”
“Everything?” teased Buck.
Buck pondered her opinion. “Some women like to pamper a man.”
“Is that what you’d call it? Pampering?”
“It doesn’t matter what you call it; some women like it.”
“Well, some don’t!”
“You would. You’d take good care of your man, and even though you’d spit fire and scratch, you’d melt when he finally rolled you over on your back and had you.”
Good Morning, Everyone. First I'd like to thank Ginger for inviting
me to post on her blog. I'm fairly new to blogging, but am trying my
best to keep up with it. To begin with, I am a retired software
engineer turned full-time author. I write in several genres and live
in Massachusetts with my wonderful husband. I am also the President of
the Merrimack Valley PenWomen, a branch of the National League of
I am posting an excerpt of my science fiction, mystery romance novel,
entitled Contact – Book 1 in The Sarah's Landing Series.
Earth's reach for the stars, catches the interest and attention of a
culture existing on a shrouded planet who have commissioned a highly
technically superior force to search the universe for compatible life
forms. The alien race, who call themselves Theonians, are capable of
fantastic psychic abilities, one of which allows them to travel
anywhere in the universe at will.
The Theonians' advanced society is on the brink of disaster. These
aliens must now enlist, not conquer, a race of beings whose genetics
are similar to theirs to ensure the continuation of their own
existence. Settling on the planet Earth as their primary objective
they surreptitiously send a member of their Inner Council to scout out
this promising aspect. He takes on the name of Henderson, and the role
of a Caretaker, so as to slip among the people of the planet with ease.
Thus, Sarah's Landing, one of the last surviving vestiges of an
earlier era, situated along the rocky coast of New England becomes the
village where Henderson begins his mission. Unknown to most of its
inhabitants, it now maintains an unusual bond with an Alien City, and
its unseen planet millions of light years away, and with it, its
people...the empathics and Telepaths of Theon.
C H A P T E R 1 - Excerpt
Three years is not a long time but when you're trying to erase a
memory it can seem forever. Sometimes, while walking across the base,
the noise of a machine would startle
Joshua. He would stop as if waiting for something. Other times,
someone's laughter would bother him, anger him, and cause him to
remember the violent churning static, the endless silence. What did
happen out there in space? How could the starship disappear so
completely? Joshua remembered sitting in that stark white hospital
room three years ago listening, waiting throughout the night—pounding
the video monitor with his fists, but there were no answers, no human
voices. Now, more than ever, reports upset him, especially reports of
disappearances. Why, he wondered, did it bother him so much
when people, he did not know, mysteriously disappeared just because
they happened to be in the right place at the wrong time?
His memories of Earth Star-I were bad enough, but his reassignment was
worse. He was told his ear problem, a result of a viral infection,
made it impossible for him to remain an
astronaut. He could help, he said, training a new crew or being part
of a design team for the next mission. After all, could SICOM afford
to throw away a trained astro-biologist?
"Use me, damn it," he demanded. "Let me be a part of all of this."
The Space Intelligence Command (SICOM) agreed Joshua Morgan's talents
were important and useful for the success of future efforts. But the
budget cuts had trimmed down their teams, so all he could hope for now
was a slot as a floating alternate. He would be used whenever and
wherever SICOM had need of him. Joshua reluctantly agreed. So until a
permanent slot opened up, Joshua was transferred to the Space
Intelligence Alien Investigative Team. His job, as part of Alien
Intelligence, was to investigate any unfinished cases of strange
incidents that had occurred, and perhaps were still occurring.
He closed the book on the last of his present cases. There was nothing
to it. The man disappeared because he wanted to. Now Joshua was flying
home and back to SICOM after two months of intensive field work in
various parts of the world. He sometimes wished all of his cases were
this easy, but then he would not have a job.
Back in Houston, life was more pleasurable. His office on the fourth
floor of the Administration Building overlooked the entire base.
Furnished during the days of prosperity he had many plush comfortable
chairs, lush tropical plants and a large mahogany desk. Across the
hall from his office, behind heavy glass doors, an environmentally
controlled complex protected several highly sophisticated computers.
It would be easy, he thought, to correlate two months' fieldwork.
Having entered the case file information into the computers Joshua
returned to his office and sat back to wait for results. Old tapes and
modern data crystals from other agents had
been stacked on his desk, "Bury them or resolve them!" the note
attached to the top stack ordered. How lucky can I get? He thought,
Staring out the window he absentmindedly watched white puffy clouds
expand and separate. Sighing he leaned over, inserted the first tape
and turned on his recorder. He listened intently to each one of the
individuals being interviewed as they related their experiences. They
were intelligent and not easily frightened people but strange events
had changed their lives. They had been witnesses to unbelievable
The data crystals weren't anymore definitive, he discovered, when he
inserted them into his computer.
Joshua was skeptical yet, he had to admit, they seemed levelheaded and
He had not heard any of their stories before but here in his
comfortable office each one sounded similar. How many of them, he
wondered, were missing? Was there a rational
explanation? Why had these people vanished?
He spent the entire morning talking to other agents and playing and
replaying the voice recordings and data crystals.
"What the hell is going on? Am I crazy? People don't disappear. Humans
are tangible, solid entities." He rubbed one hand against the other.
"No. It's not possible. It can't
The tapes have been around for years. He knew everyone had a crack at
them and they came up empty-handed. No one really expected him to do
anything about them. But the voices on the recordings haunted him…and
those on the data crystals were just as compelling.
Information from the computers confirmed his suspicions. There were
many similarities. People who did not know each other, who lived in
diverse places, were experiencing similar phenomena. Witness after
witness repeated the description: "…suddenly there was a brilliant,
blinding flash of light!"
Some of the stories had been discounted. Missing people were found, or
returned on their own. But certain cases could not be so easily
resolved. Were they coincidences, or were the implications far more
Why should these people suddenly vanish? Joshua sat down at his desk
and tabulated a long list of names. He could not find one common
denominator. The missing people came from all walks of life. The less
fortunate were as likely to disappear as executives, and children
vanished as often as adults. There was no pattern.
Joshua ran another correlation check through the computers. This time
he fed all the data he could find into the memory banks, beginning
with SICOM's first reports of unusual events up to and including the
information on the data crystals his "buddies" left on his desk.
He did not know what to expect, but learning that many reports were
never investigated astounded him—like the Deming, New Mexico case. The
Air Force was far more
interested in the discovery of extra-terrestrial crash sites with body
remains near Roswell, New Mexico than with bizarre disappearances,
which the Air Force considered a `local'
problem. Youngs Creek, Indiana, among others, was another report that
fell through the cracks. Then there were the missing children cases
among others in New England. SICOM believed the local "Feds" should
Someone else would have dropped the whole thing, but not Joshua. He
could not let go. If there was a linkage between people disappearing
and his starship, he would find it or die trying. At least that was
how he felt about it at the moment.
There had to be a link somewhere. But where? How? Something kept
nagging at the back of his mind. Joshua had a feeling a trip to
Washington, DC. might provide some clue.
SICOM did not agree. Joshua argued that every effort had to be made.
SICOM said he was wasting everyone's time.
"Maybe," Joshua said. "But if we don't try, we'll never know. Will we?"
I've had the privilege of critiquing both of these wonderful novels, and I'm so pleased to add a personal recommendation for Anita Davison. This humble woman doesn't even recognize her own talent, but Enspiren Press has realized what a star she is and, on the heels, of her first novel, has contracted a second. Both are stories you won't want to miss. Duking Days Rebellion is available now, and Duking Days Revolution is coming soon. I hear rumors of a third. *grinning*. I feel honored to know this lady and call her friend.
This review backs me up:
Coffee Time Romance - Rating: 5 Cups
This is an excellent and engaging read. If you love historical romances, this is a book you should be clamoring to get. Do not pass on this story of courage, hope, despair, and loyalty. Yes, this book encompasses it all and with great depth. Ms. Davison has brought feeling to her characters and will have you cheering for the good guys and despising the bad guys. Her descriptions are so accurate and detailed, you would swear she had lived in that time period. I cried while reading certain parts, the emotion was so real, and for me that makes an excellent read. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out and continue this wonderful adventure. Ms. Davison has struck gold with her first book and has won reader loyalty from this reviewer.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
I'll post the blurb for A Tournament Knight below. I hope very soon to have the cover and an excerpt posted on my website.
Jacqueline Montacute's twin brother is killed in a joust. He has been struck down by their scheming father who has no love for his family. To seek revenge Jacqueline must pose as a knight in her brother's stead. Along the way to reaching her goal, she finds love in the arms of a tournament knight, Sir Terric Aubrey. But in exacting her revenge she puts their love to a test that could very well end in Terric's death.
The Blue Lotus - Avaliable now at Liquid Silver Books
A Tournament Knight - Coming Nov. 07 at New Concepts Publishing
Gracie and the Bad Hat is my first contemporary to be published by AweStruck Ebooks -coming out in December. I adore the book cover, created by Kendra Egert at Scrapfairy Designs. She depicted the story visually and I love her for it!
Gracie has an unusual profession. She's a hat-maker, living and working in San Francisco. The hero is a fine art photographer who would be considered a 'bad hat' ~ As far as Gracie can tell, he's promiscuous, unreliable, poor and living in the worst area of the city - The Tenderloin. Not at all the perfect man she's looking for ~ or is he?
Gracie and the Bad Hat
Unedited excerpt of Gracie and the Bad Hat, copyright, Vicki Gaia, 2007
A bad hat: a person who deliberately stirs up mischief and commotion.
Grace O’Shaughnessy was naked.
The photographer she met last night slept curved into her side, his thighs pressed against her legs, his arm flung over her chest. A smile warmed his face, but her stomach felt like ice.
Grace lifted the sheet to take a peek, and a groan escaped her.
Yes, buck naked and tangled up in a man’s plaid robe, her black straw hat crushed between the pillows.
The sour aftertaste of too much merlot tainted her mouth, and she touched her forehead, a headache snaking up her neck. Grace gingerly moved his arm off her chest. Sweat and heat stung her skin, and the ghost of his touch kept her off balance. It took all of her effort to stay focused on what she had to do. Mainly, to get the hell out of here before he woke up.
Grace swung her legs over the edge of the bed, clutching the robe to her chest. The shock of cold air nipped at her toes. She slipped out between the sheets, barely missing a pile of blankets and pillows arranged on the floor. Careful to step around the tangled bedding, she noted her surroundings.
Morning sunlight squeezed through the frosted windows and cast a gray light that did nothing to dispel the gloom. She wrinkled her nose. Not too successful earning his living as a photographer, the studio the antithesis of a romantic loft so popular with the city’s urban professionals.
Wallpaper, faded with age, curled off the walls. The furnishings sparse - a Murphy bed, plain square nightstand, scarred wood table, and two chairs she remembered him saying he’d fished out of the bay. Was he kidding? From the looks of it, she didn’t think so.
When Grace lifted her hat, he rolled over, let out a sharp snort and burrowed his head in his pillow. Her heart sped up and lodged in her throat and she froze. To her relief, he didn’t move a muscle. Now was her chance to escape. After scooping up her clothes and purse from the floor, she made a beeline to the bathroom.
Grace closed the bathroom door before dropping the robe to the floor. Standing naked in front of the sink, she turned on the faucet and splashed cold water on her face. The water refreshed her but the drawn face staring back from the cracked mirror horrified her - bloodshot eyes, hair matted to one side of her head, a flushed complexion.
She opened the medicine cabinet hoping to find a bottle of aspirin. Instead, she found a shelf crammed with blue Trojan boxes. Obviously, a long line of women visited the man’s bed. Or maybe, he’d hoped to get lucky. With any luck, she had sense to use one of these condoms he’d stored so expectantly in his cabinet.
The remaining shelves held a box of bandages, two toothbrushes (one wrapped in its cellophane box) and a tube of toothpaste. She closed the cabinet door and sighed.
What stupidity to sleep with a stranger. She’d never believed in one-night stands, wanting to have a connection with her lover. But last night she’d been vulnerable to the photographer’s charms, and it’d been so long since she’d been this intensely attracted to a man.
A razor leaned against the glass shelf alongside a can of shaving cream and a bottle of aftershave. Grace brought the bottle to her nose, and took a whiff, the brisk scent evoking the smell of his skin. A tingling sensation coiled in her groin. A mouthwatering fragrance, reminding her of ocean spray and days spent in the sun.
Cranking up the 'cold' on the faucet, she splashed her burning cheeks. She had to
get out of here, and quick, before she crawled back into bed and demanded satisfaction, not remembering one second of their lovemaking. Just her luck to finally meet an attractive man and not remember a thing that when on between the sheets.
Grace zipped up her wrinkled dress and wadded up her nylons, stuffing them into her purse. She tugged her hat over her unruly hair. This hat had gotten her into this mess. The photographer had approached her to compliment her on its delicate rose trim and the way it framed her face. He’d seduced with his smooth words and his arresting face. And like a desperate woman, she fell for his affectionate manner.
Ready to leave, Grace opened the bathroom door and peeked out. The photographer remained in his position on the bed. Safe to make her exit, she tiptoed toward the front door, slipped on her shoes, and almost escaped.
“Gracie, you’re leaving without saying goodbye?”
With her hand frozen on the doorknob, her purse slipped to the floor, the contents spilling across the carpet. Oh God, he trapped her with his intense eyes, those baby blues piercing. Black silk panties draped from his hand, his mouth curved into a wry grin. “Forgetting something?”
Grace’s shoulders sagged. “You can keep them. Think of them as a souvenir.”
“You think I invited you here to add a notch to my bedpost? Although I don’t have a bedpost. Might be a problem.
”The man had some nerve taunting her. She straightened her shoulders and took in a deep breath. Letting it out slowly, a surge of anger replaced her embarrassment. “I don’t think anything about last night,” she snapped.
Happy Reading! Vic
Well this was a questionable start to my day. As usual, I got up at 6:00, woke up my grandson, hurried him around to get him dressed for school, and of course today, he was eager about going. At 7:00, I shuffled him out to the car, fastened him in his seat and we were on our way. Imagine my surprise, and his actual disappointment, to see not one car at the school. No crossing guard, no traffic jam, no school. Someone forgot to tell NeeNee (that's me).
I re-read the note his teacher sent home, and it said, "Parent Teacher day will be October 11 from 1:-7:00 pm, there will also be no school on October 12, an in-service day." The key word in that sentence is ALSO and I missed it. Oh well, we had a nice morning outing, but it sure put the skids on everything I had planned today. Sigh!
Such is life when you are approaching senility. :)
After my first novel, Stroke of Luck, was published, I got sidetracked away from fiction for a while.
I’ve written a couple of nonfiction books, but primarily I’ve focused on editing. I’ve had the pleasure of working with several great authors on some wonderful stories. You can learn about the books I’ve edited on my blog: A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye.
Finally, my next novel, Dream or Destiny, will be released by GASLight Publishing in December. Although the cover isn’t ready yet, I'd like to share a blurb and some early reviews.
Marilee Anderson dreams about a murder and wakes to find the murder has actually occurred. Her knowledge of the crime from her dream and her previous relationship with the victim’s boyfriend make her a prime suspect. David Nichols, the victim’s brother, is also a suspect because he desperately needs money to save his failing business and his gun in the same model as the murder weapon is missing. In spite of doubts and suspicions of each other, Marilee and David team up to find the killer. Each is determined to clear his or her own name, and David wants vengeance for his sister’s death.
Does the eccentric woman everyone calls “the crazy lady” know something, or is she completely delusional? Does the cheating couple have more to hide than their illicit affair? Why has David’s abusive father suddenly appeared after all these years? Why had the victim expressed fear of her ex-husband, the sacker at the grocery store, and her boyfriend (Marilee’s ex)? Can Marilee and David trust each other? Or will they be the next victims?
“Lillie Ammann's unique talent brings her characters to life in this tension filled suspense, Dream or Destiny. From the first paragraph she'll have your heart racing as Marilee's nightmare takes over her life and changes it forever.” - Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, author of A Time to Dance
“Lillie Ammann has written more than a book about two people trying to solve a crime. She delves into the effects of grief and guilt, attraction and suspicion, compassion and evil.” - Helen Ginger, Freelance Writer, Editor, and Book Consultant
"Dream or Destiny hooked me from the beginning, and I couldn't stop reading! In fact, I had to force myself to put the book down. Lillie can truly capture a reader's attention, and the characters she introduces her readers to are strong and realistic. This romantic suspense is not only a page-turner, it's a great romance filled with tons of suspense! I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Lillie Ammann's upcoming romances! - Misti Sandefur, Novelist and editor of Coffee Break for Writers
Visit my blog ... and watch for Dream or Destiny!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Wow, Ginger, what an array of wonderful writers, and all friends of yours. I’m so happy to be here today and part of you party. Thank you for this opportunity to showcase my latest releases.
My Highland Love (released Sept at Wings ePress) is the sequel to White Clover (released April)
Here’s the blurb:
When Beth Anderson arrives to help her friends renovate their dilapidated Scottish castle she is stunned by Liz’s story of how she and Andrew were swept back in time. Beth discovers their method of time-travel, but the Travis she meets is now driven by revenge and has little time for another woman from the future.
Travis tipped the flagon and swallowed a swig of ale. The hall was quiet, everyone going about their duties in other parts of the castle as the middle of the day hovered. He should go to bed, but knew that sleep would escape him. Beth, the woman from the future, had retired an hour ago, after finally giving in and conceding that she was exhausted. What a surprise she had turned out to be. Her beauty might not match up to that of the other Beth, but she’d proved that her strength was more than a match.
At last she had given up clinging to the cape as if it were a link to her other life--once relinquished never to be found again. Why hadn’t she returned to her time last night? It was a mystery. And more importantly, why was she here?
His tired brain could find no way around the riddle. If, as they suspected, Andrew had been brought through time to save his, Travis’s, life, then what was the purpose behind this new arrival?
Perhaps there was no greater purpose; the fair woman was just nosy and had happened to hit on the right incantation that had flung her here. Running a hand through his hair, Travis sighed as he went over the course of events leading up to the fire. If he hadn’t insisted on taking Beth out late yesterday two of his best men would still be alive. But so would Dugal MacGriers and his clansmen. Did his men have to die so the events could be played through in their right order?
And Traces of Dreams has just been released by Calderwood Books, a new publisher of quality ebooks. This book won the RWAustralia’s Romantic Book of the Year the first time around and has been reworked and republished better than ever at Calderwood.
Here’s a blurb of Traces of Dreams:
From the horrors of the 1914-18 war to present times, Traces of Dreams follows the lives of Londoners Alicia and Mathew as their working class family struggles in a world where their only riches are their unfailing strength and capacity for selfless love.
Despite insurmountable odds, Alicia is the beacon that lights the way for her family and sustains them for generations.
Alicia came to terms with her loss in the following months. Their dad had always stressed that they should get life in perspective. At least she had her son. Lots of women had nothing but a few paltry memories to remind them of their lost men. The heavy burden of grief lifted. Alicia began to get on with her life.
Fiona rushed in one day in May, her cheeks pink and her mass of blonde hair flying about her pretty face. "Guess who I bumped into down the road?" she asked as she unbuttoned her jacket.
"Must have been someone important, by the sounds of it," Alicia commented wryly, her eyes on the sewing before her on the table.
"Well, I don't know about that. It was Mathew. You remember him?" Fiona sat opposite Alicia, pulling Arty onto her knee.
"Mathew?" Alicia queried, keeping her head bent over the buttonhole she was making in a jacket. She knew quite well who Fiona was talking about. Surely he wasn't the one who'd put the unmistakable sparkle in her eyes?
Fiona laughed and helped herself to a biscuit from the plate in the middle of the table. "Mmm, these are good." She offered Arty a bite. "You're the best cook a'going, did you know that?"
"Stop the soft soaping and tell me about this Mathew who seems to be so important." Alicia frowned. God, if Fee had fallen for him she'd just die. He was thirty at least, and Fee was just coming up to eighteen. She was growing more beautiful each day and could get any boy she fancied.
"You remember the man who came to fix our gas lamp?" Fiona casually brushed a few crumbs off the table. "Well, I invited him over for tea."
"You did what?" Alicia pushed her sewing aside, scowling.
"I thought you'd be glad of the company." Fiona put Arty on the floor and went to sit on the bed. She slipped out of her shoes and sat rubbing her toes, her head down.
"You thought I'd be glad of the company! I don't believe this." Alicia pressed her palms on the table and stood up. With hands on hips she faced Fiona. "Come off it! You invited him here for your own benefit, not mine. Have you been meeting him on the sly?" She pointed a finger accusingly at Fiona's nose.
Fiona threw her head back and laughed. "Don't be daft. He's nearly old enough to be my father. I think he's a nice sort. You know? He seems gentle; even if a bit rough round the edges."
Alicia couldn't have explained the man better if she'd tried. "What possessed you to invite him here? And how could you have the cheek to ask him without speaking to me about it first?" Alicia demanded, her cheeks hotter than they'd been in a long time.
"Would you have agreed if I'd asked you?" Fiona queried blandly, blinking at her.
"No, I would not!" Alicia's scowl deepened. The last thing she wanted was this stranger hanging around her sister.
"Well, there you are then." Fiona tossed her head, sure that settled it! Alicia grunted.
Despite her overt denials Alicia had to secretly admit it would make a welcome change to have the company of someone nearer her own age. Too many hours were spent with Arty and his childish chatter. Although Fiona was almost a woman the nonsense she spouted at times grated on Alicia's nerves, and she was often out with her workmate at weekends. Alicia would never admit it, but she was lonely.
Please visit my web page for more excerpts and reviews--Tricia
Hi. I'm Carol Shenold and Ginger invited me to visit with you all. I have a new book out. "Privy to Murder" is a paranormal cozy mystery complete with two murders, a ghost and a single mother trying to cope with the gift that allows her to see the past when touching a person or object. Since that "gift destroyed her marriage, and split up her family, she's inclined to ignore it. Unfortunately for her, an angry ghost makes that impossible and she is forced into the uncomfortable position of try to solve two murders.
Please come to http://eternalpress.com.au and read "Privy to Murder." Also, come visit my website and read excerpts at Http://freewebs.com/carolshenold.
Now what kind of mystery/paranormal/romance does everyone like. I'm a big fan of Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris and her Sookie Stackhouse books and Kim Harrison myself. I love mysteries and they are even better with a ghost or two thrown in. If you go to my site and read the excerpt and tell me in a post to this site, what animal Tali had a close encounter with, you will be eligible for signed postcards and bookmarks from "Privy to Murder." Talk to you soon. Carol
From beneath her lashes Cecile saw him approaching, though she pretended not to notice. Her breath caught in her throat as he neared.
“May I have this dance?”
His husky voice brought chills to the back of her neck, and she realized she had sprung to her feet before even accepting his offer.
Thank goodness a waltz was playing. Being held in his arms seemed like a dream; everything she had fantasized about for the past few days was coming true. She peered over to where her girlfriends gathered, hoping they’d noticed. Meanwhile her mind spun, trying to think of something to say to him, but she decided not to spoil the moment by making idle conversation. It was a struggle not to rest her head on his wide shoulder and lean the length of her body against his.
His arm tightened around her waist, drawing her close, yet maintaining a proper space between them. The ripple of muscles beneath her hand and the masculine smell of his clean, cotton shirt stirred feelings new to her—her stomach clenched with excitement when she noticed all her friends watching.
If only time would stand still. But the song ended, and they stepped apart and applauded.
“Would you mind if we sat?” she asked, feeling a little giddy and unsteady on wobbly legs.
He agreed, and placing his hand on her elbow, guided her back to her chair. “Can I fix you a plate?” he politely inquired.
She tried to read his face, tell from his body language if he liked her, but images of sitting on the sidewalk, covered in food, flashed before her eyes. Despite her stomach’s hungry rumblings, she declined with a shake of her head. “But thank you anyway.”
Walt sat in the chair next to hers. “You left so quickly the other day; I didn’t have a chance to find out much about you.”
“I think I mentioned that I’m Cecile Palmer, and if I remember correctly, you’re Walt Williams.” Her lips quivered, wanting to curl into a smile at her feigned dispassion. How could she forget his name? She’d only said it a thousand times since meeting him.
With each dance, the conversation flowed. As the evening progressed, she learned more about him. Aunt May, his only surviving relative, was helping him secure a loan to purchase the piece of land he wanted more than anything else. He intended to build his own cattle ranch and realize a life-long dream. Her mind painted pictures of the acreage he described, associating beauty, serenity and lushness with the image she saw.
The band finished the final song, the last note striking a sour note of disappointment in her chest.
Walt held her at arm’s length and dropped his hands to applaud the musicians again. When the commotion died down, he locked gazes with her. “Thank you so much for the wonderful evening. Would it be all right if I call on you before I leave town?”
“Yes, of course.” She responded quickly, then reminded herself not to appear quite so eager. It wasn’t easy given the happiness plucking at her heartstrings. She refused to think about him leaving town.
“So, Miss Palmer, after my appointment tomorrow, maybe I’ll have some good news to share with you.”
Her spreading smile faded as dread crept over her. Walt was about to discover her father ran Silver City’s bank. Notorious for his serious nature, and for glaring over his spectacles at anyone who displeased him, Harvey Palmer deemed no one good enough for his daughter. It hadn’t concerned her until now. Perhaps she should speak with him before he met with Walt. But then her father would know she had an interest in him. She grimaced at the prospective outcome. Saying nothing seemed the best option.
Across the room, she caught sight of her father motioning to her. When he looked away, she stood on tiptoes and quickly bussed Walt’s cheek. If Harvey Palmer witnessed such boldness, he would give her a lengthy lecture on public brazenness. In her opinion the kiss was worth the punishment, but there was no use putting Walt’s loan in jeopardy. She crossed the room to join her parents for the walk home.
The mild evening air smelled of honeysuckle and horse manure, but nothing could spoil the perfect evening Cecile had just spent. A million stars twinkled overhead, and her step was as light as her heart. At the hitching rail outside the hall, the horses nickered as the Palmers walked by, and Cecile paused to rub the nose of an old mare tethered to a covered buggy. Up ahead, her mother’s voice elevated in laughter and Cecile hurried to catch up.
Harvey Palmer’s heavy footsteps shivered the planks of the old walkway as the trio passed by the mercantile, heading for the end of Main Street, where they lived. Lively laughter behind them rang through the silence as the social hall emptied and others departed. A pang of melancholy plucked at Cecile, her sadness growing. The dance had ended far too soon for her liking.
“I notice that a particular young man monopolized most of your evening, Cecile. I didn’t recognize him. Who was he?” Her father halted to light a cigar.
Just as she’d expected, the conversation turned to Walt. She hesitated before answering, sure her father would find fault with his breeding. There was no use avoiding the topic. Tomorrow, when he met with Walt and his aunt about the loan, her father would learn the truth anyway. Why not show her interest in him?
“His name is Walt Williams, and he’s here visiting his aunt for a few days at her boarding house.” Cecile’s tone bordered on defensive.
She turned to her mother. “He’s really very nice. Can I invite him to Sunday supper, Momma, please, please?”
“Now, Cecile, I . . .”
“No! That wouldn’t be proper.” Her father expressed his opinion in a most resounding manner, leaving his wife with her mouth gaping. “After all, you’ve just met and we know very little about him.” The tip of Harvey Palmer’s cigar flickered deep red as he drew smoke into his mouth.
Cecile started to beg her father to change his mind, but that’s what he expected. Instead she choked back her usual emotional outburst and cast a pleading look at her mother. The trio paused inside the gate of the picket fence surrounding their house.
“Now, Harve,” Mrs. Palmer said, gazing up at her husband, “there’s no better way to get to know a young man than to invite him for a meal. What harm can come from it? After all, Cecile is nineteen and old enough for us to trust her judgment. I think it’s a fine idea.”
Mr. Palmer walked up on the porch and unlocked the door, mumbling something under his breath about Cecile being able to do much better. Usually, when she and her mother joined forces, he didn’t have a leg to stand on, but still Cecile crossed her fingers for luck as she joined him on the stoop. It only took puppy-dog eyes for him to relent.
Cecile wanted to jump up and down like a little girl; instead, she held her happiness in check. “Thank you, Father, I know you’ll really like him.” She used her most restrained voice, trying to display the maturity her mother had pointed out.
Inside, she kissed both parents goodnight and scurried upstairs. While changing into her nightclothes, she softly giggled over getting her father’s approval to invite Walt to dine. She jumped into bed and snuggled deep under the covers, almost too excited to sleep. Thoughts of dancing with him flashed through her mind, and she wrapped her arms around her body, trying to recapture the feeling of his embrace. When sleep finally came, her last conscious thought was of his deep blue eyes.
I finally weeded my way thru the hullaballoo of trying to get to your blogsite and Lordy, what did I find there that had my eyeballs popping out on their stems?....but an old blog of mine I started months ago I forgot I'd done....Leave it to me....it was when I first started a little story I planned to write and did it as a blog thingy, then stopped and never got back to it, although I have written a lot more of the story since then....Okay, enough of that...These days I'm busy with promoting my debut novel, "Witch's Brew" a paranormal romance written under the pen-name, Tabitha Shay released by Eternal Press Publishers which can be found at www.eternalpress.com.au
I'm also up to my hips trying to get book two of the witch series finished by deadline. "Witch's Heart" is due out in Feb. of 08, followed by, "In the Arms of Danger" a contemporary western romance written under the pen-name, Jaydyn Chelcee. Between blogging, answering emails, playing on the EP reader and author loops and Myspace site, and playing Scrabble with my online Scrabble buddy, I'm a busy person with little time to catch my breath and I love it! I'll soon have a brand new website up and running done by a pro which certainly leaves me out....lol...I can't wait to get the word out to everyone once it's finished and up for viewing....So, my year for 08, when it comes to writing and being published is pretty much set, unless I manage to churn out book three of the witches in record time, then I might have three releases, that's a big if though, because I'm also going to be busy serving as Chairperson for the OWFI Conference again next year in Oklahoma City as well as assisting with the registrations for the convention. So big things going on...more Salem witch stories in the works and certainly book two to the Danger series as well....Hmm, well guess I've blabbed enough here. Thanks for asking me to be your guest. Bet you weren't expecting me to dump all this on you though....lol...Catch you on the loop....Tabitha Shay
I just wanted to let your readers know that they can get a free full-length contemporary suspense novel called "A Different Kind of Outlaw" in installments when they sign up for my monthly newsletter at http://www.dianewylie.com/newslettersignup.html.
Join up, the October newsletter is out now with a new chapter inside!
4 1/2 stars Romance Times
"Secrets and Sacrifices"
He watched her go still, like a rabbit sensing a predator. Damn, that analogy was really annoying.
“So. Are you?” He kept both his expression and tone totally neutral.
“Am I what? A witch?” Her voice was high and brittle, her cat’s eyes wide.
“Sure. It’s a simple enough question. Are you or aren’t you a witch?”
While Mel drummed her fingers on the table, Joe let his gaze trail from her sultry mouth down to her sturdy, calloused hands. Odd, he usually liked the refined, perfectly manicured type, but somehow he couldn’t resist the image of those strong, supple fingers splaying across his flesh.
“I guess that would depend on how you define the word witch.” Her shrug almost managed to convey the nonchalance she was obviously striving for. Joe had to grant her points for trying.
“I think the more important question would be, how you define it. Tell me, Melissa. By your own definition, are you a witch?”
He watched with preternatural intensity as she inhaled deeply, gathering her courage. Then she looked up from under her thick fringe of lashes to gaze directly into his eyes.
“Yes. By my definition, and probably most others, I am definitely a witch.”
Her honesty was unexpected. “You mean you’re a Wiccan, right?” That would mean she practiced the ancient religion of witchcraft, without implying she had any actual powers. It seemed like the obvious explanation and had been what he’d expected to discover here in Sanctity.
“No.” Once again, her answer took him by surprise. “I’ve never been into organized religion.”
He suppressed a laugh, wishing once again that his research subject wasn’t so appealing on so many levels. He needed to keep her talking. “So then, what makes you a witch?”
“Magic of course.”
Joe managed not to choke on his burrito. Barely. The heavenly taste in his mouth had suddenly turned to sawdust. “Magic?”
“Umm-hmm. Spells, potions, visions. About what you’d expect.” She calmly forked up another bite of Spanish rice.
Spells? He swallowed forcibly. Potions? This was perfect. Not only did the woman admit to thinking she was a witch, she actually admitted using spells and potions, and to a virtual stranger. This was going to be the easiest research of his career if a little disappointing in the personal arena. Obviously she was flakier than he’d thought.
“I wasn’t going to say anything, because I know it sounds crazy, but I’d rather you heard it from me than from Phil Mercer at the grocery store, or Justine Flannery at the post office.” She shrugged, and the neckline of her peach knit top dipped, dragging Joe’s attention away from witchcraft and onto creamy skin. “It’s not a big secret or anything. The whole town knows, anyway.”
“Black hat and broomstick sort of witch?”
Joe knew as well as anybody, better, in fact that there really were more things under the heavens than were dreamt of in any philosophy. He’d seen things during the course of his research that absolutely defied any rational explanation. He’d run from vampires in Rumania, fought mummies in Egypt, and those were just the tip of the iceberg. He’d spoken with the three-hundred year old descendant of an elf queen. He believed, totally, in the paranormal. It just seemed incongruous to him that the petite, feminine creature across from him could state such a thing so matter-of-factly.
“Not exactly.” She licked a dab of sour cream off the corner of her lip, and a bolt of pure lust shot straight to Joe’s groin. “I mean, I make potions and stuff, but I use herbs, not bat wings and eye of newt. And I practically never cackle.” Her grin turned slightly lopsided, making it all the more engaging. “No flying about on cleaning equipment either, I’m afraid. More’s the pity. I’d save a fortune on truck maintenance.”
“You’d save an even bigger fortune if you’d invest in a vehicle that isn’t older than you are,” he returned dryly, not liking the thought of her old clunker letting her down on some dark and snowy night, far from help. Damn, this protective instinct was really getting to be a nuisance.
“So how did you get to be a witch?” He clung to the possibility that she was just a wanna-be. Television shows like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer had really popularized the occult lately. His own books hadn’t hurt the phenomenon.
“I didn’t exactly have much choice in the matter.” She sighed. “It’s a hereditary thing.”
“Of course you have a choice,” he disagreed. “Even if you inherited certain—abilities, you can always choose not to use them. We’re ultimately responsible for our own actions if not for our DNA.”
“Really? I suppose you’re right. When I find a sick animal in the woods, I could choose not to help it. When a friend is hurting, I could simply walk away. I just don’t think I could look at myself in the mirror afterward. I didn’t ask to be a witch, but I am, and with power comes responsibility.”