Friday, October 31, 2008

The Yard Sale Diary

Day One of the Yard Sale was a great success...after only one customer. Some young Latino man came and announced, "I buy lot. You give me good deal, yes?"

I nodded.

As he made his selected purchases, I followed him around with a tablet and recorded the prices. He explained his reasons for picking all the bedding. "I buy for my familia in Mexico. They no get good deals like you give me."

My tablet was small and I kept flipping pages and writing. When he was finished buying 15 watches, all the bedding, some blouses, rugs, and other items too many to list, he had amassed a total of over $100. I felt like everything we had done to this point was paid for. *lol* Of course he tried to haggle with me, but I remained firm.

"I gave your discounts as I noted the items."

He nodded and trudged off to the bank. When he returned, he purchased a few more things and went on his merry way.

The rest of the morning was filled with 'lookie lous' and people who wanted 50-cent items for a quarter. People expect something for nothing, I swear! Of course, at the thought of keeping and toting things to the Goodwill, I usually agreed to barter.

Gwenn and I shared a morning of laughs--mostly at my expense. My clothes, which I thought would be great sellers, are still hanging on the rack. Only one elderly woman showed any interest and I refused to tell her she looked good in a sweater that hung on her like Kareem Abdul Jabbar's jersey just to make a sale.

I remember all those hairdressers and saleswomen who lied to me. "Oh, your hair is absolutely stunning." Right...I looked like Bozo the clown and cried until I could get home and comb it myself.

Or..."That outfit is you."

Sure it was if I was looking for something from Omar the Tent Maker or wanting to appear on someone's worst fashion list. Yep, I absolutely refused to make money at the expense of someone's dignity. Too bad others don't share the sentiment. :)

Those pictures of naked women that looked so great as bathroom art raised a few brows. We are in the Bible belt, after all. A few men stopped and stared, but most women shielded their eyes and moved on. I don't think I'll display the pictures at the entrance tomorrow...and of course, I'll lower the price dramatically. Really, the things we thought would be snapped up, weren't. A brand new food processor....only $15.00...a new microwave $20.00...a brass lamp $5.00. C'mon people of Gallatin...these are deals!!!

Anyhow...we made almost $200 yesterday, so we decided to take day two off and go for Saturday when those who have jobs can stop in. We don't have a ton left, but there's someone out there just dying to have what remains. I'm hoping for some chubby chicks with big feet who need work clothes and some extra shoes. *rofl* I'm positive that person with decorating style is still out there looking for my lamps, and my dishes.

So, stay tuned, and I'll sum up our final tally for you. Just in case my bathrobes don't sell, I'll be having a special on car covers later next month. (I hate you, Dimes McDropperson).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dimes Departed

While sitting here, waiting for the next yard sale customer, I'm reflecting on how very proud I am of my ONLY nephew, Adam, AKA Dimes McDropperson. He left for Iraq yesterday as a civilian employee of KBR. He'll be stationed in Iraq for at least a year, or until Obama wins and ends the war as he's promised. But that's a topic I'd best avoid. *lol*

I admire Adam for being adventuresome enough to risk the danger of working in a war zone, and of course, I'll keep reminding his mother that he'll be just fine. The base he'll be at sounds like a resort, and he'll probably have much more fun than we will. His job doesn't require him to leave the safety of the base. That makes us feel a little more secure...that and prayer.

Ad had to endure numerous tests and evaluations of his fitness for duty, and he passed all of them. Imagine, he even had to take a lie detector test and a psychological evaluation.

Just wanted to jot this note, but I have to run now and collect the large amount of money this man who this walked into the backyard is bound to spend. I'm a little worried because he seems to be more interested in the bra and panties than anything else. *grin* But back to why I blogged today in the first place...

Way to Go, Adam Covington. You da man!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Having a Ball...and a Yard Sale

Last week we got rained out, but today is the today Sis and I are setting up for the big yard sale. She swears she isn't taking part, but I know better. I can guilt her into it. :)

Since we've 'combined' households, we have tons of things we no longer need, so I'm hoping someone sees our junk as their treasures. I can't imagine that they wouldn't. *lol*

Usually, this would be a dreadful chore, but having my youngest sister as part of my life is a blessing. We've bonded closer than we ever have, shared feelings that we've not shared before and we laugh constantly. They say, "laughter is the best medicine." If that's the case, we are going to be healthy for a long time to come.

I'm very happy to report that our Mom's surgery went well. During her routine colonoscopy, a tumor was discovered, and although we feared it was Cancer, it wasn't. The growth was removed and a bowel resection done, and, on Monday, she left the hospital to recuperate at my Aunt & Uncle's house. My brother assured me she would be going home with him, and I believe his exact words were, "this is a fight she won't win." I see Mom's much stronger than he expected. *smile*

When I moved to Tennessee, I hoped Mom would want to come here and live with me or at least in the general area, but she's always preferred to be closer to her daughter who lives in California. I'd like to say it didn't hurt my feelings, but I'm only human. I think we always assume we are the favored child. Go figure! *lol*

I'm certain my Aunt and Uncle wish she had moved here so I could be the one taking care of her and her two pesky dogs and one-legged bird. I wish I was, too. Thanks to everyone who prayed for Mom. I appreciate your plea for help on her behalf, and I'm happy to say, it worked!

Well, I'm off to start pricing and displaying...and nagging my sister until she joins me. Wish us luck! While we work, we're going to practice our bartering skills. Next, I'll have to think of where to strategically place the signs so people can find this 'end-of-the-season' blow out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Time to Get Out the Axe

After watching 60 minutes tonight, I'm starting to believe that the problem isn't who becomes president, but who remains in Congress and the House. I think it's time to get out the axe and cut loose the idiots that have made a mess of our economy. Why don't we have term limits?

IN 2000, the Senate and House voted unanimously to pass the Commodity Futures Modernization Act which is what has propelled us into the mess we are in today. It was this very type of activity that caused the stock market to plummet in the 20s, so what were people thinking to deregulate Wall Street?

Steve Kroft, the reporter on the program, explained the financial process known as credit default swaps and the role they play in the current economic crisis. What I want to know is why has none of this been publicized in the local news or in the newspapers? Dishonest people are wagering that loans will fail and then making billions when they do. It's like purchasing an imaginary insurance policy for which there is no money for payout. That's why we're having to spend billions to bail out the economy. A huge debt incurred for the taxpayers and we didn't even have a say-so. What's wrong with this picture? If you missed the program, you can view the video at:
60 Minutes

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dimes, Dimes and More Dimes

A few days ago, I posted about all the dimes we've found in our 'new' house. It's an older home, but new to us. The discover of silver slowed for a while, but today, it started again. My sister had just showered, and dressed only in her underwear, stood at the vanity. Something fell to the floor, and she looked to see what it was. A DIME! Okay...she had no pockets, we don't leave dimes laying on the bathroom counter, and we're at a loss to explain where it came from. It's eerie but fascinating all at the same time.

I started researching the internet to see if I could find a correlation. It seems people finding dimes are a 'dime a dozen' (bad joke), but at least we don't feel so weird. I'm starting to keep the ones we find but I only have four of the many we've discovered. We'll see how long this continues. It's weird enough, but the fact that ONLY dimes are what we're finding makes it even stranger. No quarters, no pennies, no nickels...just dimes.

In my search, I came across a very interesting blog, dedicated to this very topic. I thought to share the link with you. You might find it interesting. On her first blog post, there are over 40 responses from others who have experienced the same strange phenomena. As I said, spirits or not, we aren't frightened. This house just feels like home.

Check out the link: Peace of my Mind

We're wondering if it might be our Dad. He did live with a strange woman for years after his death, but we believed he had 'crossed over'. It's a long story and one I might share later on. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I'm still dumbstruck at the topics on 20/20 this week. I think they've hit the bottom of the barrel, featuring some 'idiot' who lives among the wolves, and the girlfriend who fell in love with him, despite his inability to bathe, brush his teeth, or wash his long gnarly hair. God forbid he remove the 'animal scent' and put himself into further jeopardy. I think I would have discarded the whole 'research' idea the first time they mauled my face, but then I suppose I'm just not all that adventuresome. How about watching a video on these canine creatures? Something filmed from a safe distance.

There has to be a better way to study the habits of animals than to live among them. Okay, maybe you can get in the cage and sit with them, pet them, even like them, but to chew up food and let them eat out of your mouth??? C'mon! Yuk. AND posturing over a dead carcass and pretending to protect your bloody territory? I can't even stand a rare steak.

I was amazed that the girlfriend saw this as a 'touching' experience as she stood there and cried tears of joy, her lip bleeding and her teeth red. Maybe she was just relieved that the wolf who briefly had her throat in his jaws, decided not to clamp down. I shiver at the thought of skydiving too, but I think, given the choice, I'd be jumping out of a plane.

And love! Ain't it grand? Although I do have to tell you that I can't recall ever wishing to find a man who smelled like a dog, had dirt-crusted LONG hair, and bad breath and wanted me to roll about with a bunch of wild animals. I keep trying to imagine when she met him in the bar, what attracted her to him? She wasn't 'all that and a bag of chips' but at least she appeared to have good hygiene habits.

Me thinks the man has lost his marbles...he even growls like a wolf, and the more I watched, the more I believed he actually looked like them. They say people eventually start to look like their pets... remind me to steer clear of pigs. *lol*

Redistribtuion of Wealth

While I try not to discuss politics on my blog because of the varied opinions, I couldn't resist passing along this email I received. I can't attest to the validity of the claim, but the concept seemed very appropriate. It seems both candidates are 'writing checks their asses can't cash.' If I had worked long and hard, had the good fortune to amass a large sum of money and finally reached a stage in my life where I could enjoy the fruit of my labors...I have to tell you, I would be sorely pissed if I reached in my pocket and found the government's hand freely doling out my hard-earned dollars to those who make welfare their livelihood. And yes, aside from the unfortunate souls who find themselves needing assistance, there are millions who sit idle and let the tax-payers foot the bill. But...if we reduce taxes to all those who make less then $250,000 yearly, I guess the money will have to come from somewhere. I guess the saying about politicians is true..."If their lips are moving, they're lying." But, I digress...AGAIN. On to the email I wanted to share:

Conceptual Test launch on redistribution of wealth:

Today at lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

In the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie. Again I laughed as he had given away his political preference--just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed the money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gotta Love Her!

I've tortured my nephew enough with the previous pictures of him. He sent an email, begging me to post another blog and help slide his haunting images into the abyss of archived messages. Since my creative juices aren't flowing freely, I decided to share my good fortune with you... a live in housekeeper.

This is a picture of my sister Gwenn, who will most likely kill me because her panties are showing. Mind you, the carpet was shampooed twice by someone else prior to our moving in, but she's been shampooing it AGAIN because she's anal about things like this. I doubt I will ever have to pick up another dust cloth or run the vacuum again. The only downside is I have to listen to her tell me how lazy I am and answer questions about why the dust and nicks on the baseboards don't drive me to distraction. I have a perfect answer...cataracts and lack of interest. At a point in my life, I might have cared, but now, if I have to bend over, kneel, or crawl on the floor, I'm not doin' it.

But, as it turns out, I won't have to concern myself. She spent the first couple of days cleaning the baseboards with a toothbrush and then touching up all the little nicks. She's done the same with all the walls. I've let her decorate, as she's the one with talent in that department. I can write tasteful scenes, but my ability to actually create a stylish environment will never measure up to hers.

Yesterday, I purchased a plant and soap dispenser for the bathroom. I put them where I thought they looked fine. This morning, both have moved. Amazing! Although I could contribute it to the dime-dropping ghost who visited here for a few nights, I pretty much know who did it.

And cannot borrow her. She's mine. All mine. And I love that she makes me laugh.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fashion Don'ts

My nephew, Dimes Mcdropperson, was checking out some of my yard sale items and decided to model a few. If you're in the neighborhood in the next week or so, make sure to check out my signs for things equally as lovely as the items Dimes is modeling. Luckily he found something much more slimming. *lol*

Do you Believe in Ghosts

At last, I have my computer back and some order of semblance in the house. My sister is a whiz at getting things into shape, and I'm sure by the end of the day, she and Kelly will have the few remaining wall pieces hung. But while they are working up a sweat, I've sneaked into my 'new' office to tell you about the first few days here.

While cleaning up remnants from the previous tenants, I swept a pair of little girl flip-flops from a bedroom closet. I also noticed something shiny, and bent (with great effort) to pick up a dime. I threw it on my desk and continued. The next day, we moved a piece of furniture outside, and while sweeping away the dust bunnies and crumbs remaining beneath it, I found another dime. I picked it up (getting my exercise by bending) and added it to the other, now thinking, 'hmm'.

The first night we spent here, I was undressing (a pretty scary imagine in itself) in the bedroom, and I found another dime on the floor. Okay, now things were getting weird. What's with all the change!!!

I mentioned it to my husband, who later found another dime in the living room. I made several loud announcements to the new house that I didn't want anymore dimes. If whoever 'it' was insisted on leaving money, I demanded dollars.

The next day I found a few more dimes, but then realized my sister had said something to my nephew and, I of course told my son. A few of the dimes can be attributed to their 'slinging' them around when I wasn't looking to fuel my fear, but I do have a few that both swear on my pending grave they did not leave.

The second night in the house, I awoke with a start to someone sitting on the edge of my bed. I bolted up, expecting to see someone there, but nothing! I clearly felt the bed dip beneath someone's weight. No repeat occurrences thus far.

Strangely, I'm not bothered by all this. I don't feel any hostile vibes and I already feel like I'm home. Coincidentally, I learned that my nephew, who is about to depart for Iraq, has used an alias "Dimes McDropperson" for quite a while. This couldn't have had any influence on the first two dimes I found while sweeping, nor the third in my bedroom. I'm sure this won't ever make Ripley's Believe It Or Not, but it gave us food for conversation for a few days while I didn't have the internet. *lol*

Anyhow, now I'm back on line, you can expect to read more of my drivel. :) Again, I really thank my friends who filled in the void while I moved. They are the best, aren't they?


Friday, October 17, 2008

Contest Results

Since Ginger hasn't kicked me off her blog yet, I'm going to sneak in one more post. (It's better to ask forgiveness than permission, right Ginger? Right??)

The winner of the caption this photo contest is:
Deidre Durance!

Her caption:
Her: Do these flowers make me look fat?
Him: Absolutely not, my love.

I will send you an email shortly with your free book attached.

You had my husband's favorite comment. Too bad I was the judge and not him! Muhahhaha

Dude. You quoted me as having Chlamydia. It was funny, but give a girl a break!

Thank you everyone for participating! If you had fun, check out my own blog for your daily dosage.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

I have moved and am without internet service until after Thursday. I've stolen into my son's bedroom and am on his computer, and wanted to take an opportunity before I get caught to thank each and everyone of you who has participated in this awesome blogathon. I'll be back online soon, so watch out. I'm having serious computer withdrawal. :)


Caption this photo contest

Have you ever heard of the Observer Effect? It states the act of observing will change the observee's behavior. Imagine every single time you stood in front of a camera. Did you stand taller? Smile brighter? Look happier? Hide the beer bottle in your hand? I bet whatever you did, you probably noticed the camera and changed, if slightly, whatever you were previously doing.

So it's rare to capture a photo indicative of who you actually are. Even when these photos do come along, they are frequently discarded as "bad pictures" because you aren't standing still or aren't smiling.

I got married in May of this year and received the rights to over 1000 photos, all perfectly perfect in their own way. But the real joy came from looking at the 500 additional outtakes photos. There were "real" photos of my family with all the facial expressions they make in "real" life. Talking with their hands, smiling crooked smiles, the way they stand slouched over, etc. No one will call these pictures complimentary but they are hilarious because they are real.

There was one photo of myself and my new husband that was absolutely perfect. I look at this photo and say "yup, that's us!" Our expressions accurately reflect our personalities, the hand gestures are dead on, even how we're standing is a perfect description of how we actually are. It's one of my prized pictures from my wedding day even though it was lumped in the outtakes pile. It's so good, I'm running a caption contest to see who can best caption this. The winner will receive a copy of The Draconis and the Stallion. The winner will be announced on Friday on my own blog Be sure to check back and make sure I have a way to contact you if you do win. Good luck!

Example caption:
Luke: "So you know how I got you a diamond..."
Laura: "Yeah?"
Luke: "Well that means I can keep you forever."
Laura: "Wait, what?"

Monday, October 13, 2008

*waving hi*

Hello all!
My name is Kallysten, and I've been invited by Ginger to join in the blogothon fun. I write mostly supernatural/fantasy romance published by Alinar, but I read anything as long as the relationship between the hero and heroine sets out fireworks!

I thought I'd share a bit of my latest release with you. Blurred Nights is set in a future in which beast-like demons are invading the world. The stories two vampires heroes and the human heroine fight these demons while trying to figure out where they stand in relation to each other...


“You two check inside that building. We’ll stand guard.”

Elliot nodded and stepped toward the ruins Kate had indicated first, Sky on his heels. Before they even entered the building, the fog swirling around them had made them disappear. Kate turned her back to the ruins and swept her eyes around her. She couldn’t see more than a few yards away, but that didn’t stop her from trying to see, or hear, approaching demons.

“Anything?” she asked in a whisper.

Just feet away to her right, Blake took in a deep breath.

“Citrus shampoo,” he said after a moment. “Lavender soap. Minty toothpaste.”

The words made no sense. Kate turned to him, frowning in confusion. His impish smile clued her in as to what he was talking about—her. Her frown turned into a glare.

“Blake! Can you be serious for a minute?”

“I can. Just not when you stand upwind from me. You’re too distracting.” He took a few steps forward and breathed in deeply through his nose again. “Nothing recent. The freshest trail is at least a day old.”

Still miffed, Kate didn’t reply. Her back very straight, she kept watch as attentively as though he had announced that an entire army of demons was advancing on them. She felt suddenly very self-conscious, and couldn’t help bringing a strand of hair to her nose. She couldn’t smell a thing. She hurriedly let go of her hair when Blake turned halfway toward her, but his fleeting smile made it clear he had noticed. She looked back toward the building. She could hear Elliot’s voice, though not enough to understand his words. He seemed to be coming back out.

“I’ll check the building across the street. Be right back.”

Her heart jumped in her chest at Blake’s words. She whirled back toward him, but he was already disappearing inside the ruins on the other side of the street—again. Couldn’t he understand the simple idea of not going anywhere alone?

“Stand guard,” she said quickly to Elliot as he and Sky emerged from the building. “We’re checking across the street.” She hurried after Blake, her hand clenching over the hilt of her sword. This time, she was going to kick his ass.

She had to stop just at the entrance of the building. Outside, the gray fog echoed the light of the almost full moon, bathing everything into a penetrating light. With the roof of this house for the most part intact, her eyes struggled to adapt to the sudden darkness. She stepped inside cautiously, her eyes darting around her in search of Blake.

“This way,” Blake whispered somewhere ahead and to her right.

Blood thundering into her veins, she advanced a little faster. Had he found the breach? Could it be—

The attack came from the side, swift, silent and unexpected. Just as she passed through a doorway, a hand closed over her fingers on the hilt of her sword and pulled her forward. She tried to resist, but found herself with her back to a wall, a strong body in front of her, her arm pinned to the side, the sword useless and out of her control. The first flash of fear receded when she realized who had attacked her. This time, Blake had gone too far, she thought. She started telling him as much, but before she could say more than a word, his mouth brushed against hers. She froze in shock, eyes going wide in the near darkness. Blake leaned in again, caressing her lips with his with more gentleness than she had imagined him capable of—not that she had ever imagined how he kissed. His left hand remained on her right, holding her sword away, though not as tightly. The right cupped the back of her head, his thumb caressing her cheek lightly.

“I’ve been wanting to kiss you since the first night I saw you,” he murmured, his mouth so close to hers that she felt the words as well as heard them. “Can I?”

Kate wanted to push him away and punch him for daring take her by surprise like this. She wanted to glare at him, call him a moron, curse him, laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of what he was saying.
Yet she didn’t move, and all she managed to say was a stuttering, “Wh—what?”

“Can I kiss you?”



If you liked this and would like to read more, the first chapters are available as a sample on my website at, along with other excerpts, free stories and a bi-monthly audiobook podcast! Also, until the end of the month my entire back catalogue is 25% OFF on Alinar.

Thank you Ginger for the opportunity to blog here, and thank you to all readers!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Halloween Rocks!

I love Halloween. It's my favorite holiday. Although I've not gone as insane over it in recent years as I have in the past, I think it rocks. I love pretty much everything about it -- except the cold. I don't know about where you are, but in Alberta it's always cold for Halloween. In fact, there is usually just enough ice on the sidewalks to make walking treacherous. Aside from that, however, Halloween rocks.

In fact, I was married on Halloween. That's right, it's also my anniversary. My husband, daughter and I all wore costumes for the ceremony, they were pirates and I was a saucy wench. HeHe.

So even though most people don't give out Halloween presents, I am going to. I'd like to offer you this:

Love Bytes is a sexy short story I wrote a while back and today I created a cover for it and turned it into a pretty spiffy ebook, even if I do say so myself. This is my Halloween gift to you. If you'd like to learn more about the book, read an excerpt and download it please just click the cover and head on over to its page on my blog.

And although it's a little early -- Happy Halloween!

Dating With Children

Good morning and happy Saturday. Today, I'd like to share an excerpt with you from The Best Selling Toy Of The Season which will be available in November at Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love

Nikki Lane works at a discount store and lives in a mobile home She can't believe it could happen to her, but Tommy Price who's rich, handsome, and single just asked her out. Oh, joy!

Disaster! Nikki has two children and can't find a baby sitter. Has she missed her chance to go out with Tommy? No, she hasn't because Tommy gallantly offers to take the children with them. The children beg to go to a greasy spoon restaurant for dinner, so that's what they do.

The Chicken Shack was located several miles outside of town, and when Tommy slipped on the greasy floor, he guessed that the business specialized in fried chicken. They seated themselves at a booth with a scarred Formica table top which needed a good washing. Undeterred, Nikki took a paper napkin from the holder on the table and wiped away the rings left by the previous occupants’ glasses.

“I hope you don’t mind sitting beside Michael,” she said. “It’s easier to talk if you and I are facing each other.”

“I don’t mind. Michael and I are buddies.” He turned to Michael and asked, “Did you like what Santa brought you?”

“I sure did. It was the best Christmas ever.”

Teddy snickered. “You said that last year.”
“I did not!”

“Yes, you did.”

A loud and lively conversation broke out. It took Nikki a few moments to quell the riot. Good. The noise had made his ears ring.

Nikki propped her elbows on the table and frowned at Teddy who looked ready to argue. “I wish that Dan was here. He can always make the boys mind. All he does is give them a look, and they behave just fine. I think it’s because he’s a man. Boys respond to a man better than a woman.”

Privately Tommy hoped that he, too, would be able to compel the respect of Nikki’s boys, for that’s what made the children obey Dan, respect.

Michael tugged on Tommy’s sleeve. “Mister? Hey, Mister.”

“What do you want them to call you?” interrupted Nikki.

“They can call me Tommy.”

“You interrupted me,” Michael complained.

“Go on then.”

Michel did so. “Are you going to be our daddy?”

I've been tagged...AGAIN!

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know when he or she has been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

I guess Cheryl St. John didn't get the message that I'm supposed to be packing and avoiding my blog. As you can see, I'm incapable of turning off the computer and walking away.

Cheryl is a dear friend and very accomplished award-winning Harlequin author with one of the most interesting blogs around. I guess I have to play AGAIN, but only because it's Cheryl. :) The hard part is coming up with six more things to tell you about myself. I'm honestly just not that interesting, but here's my best attempt:

1. I hate moving. This is the fourteenth move in 13 years. I'm starting to feel like a gypsy. Maybe I should take this silk scarf off my heard and get rid of these large gold hoop earrings. Face it...I married a nomad.

2. Since I've grown older, I tend to be more vocal about injustices. When I got crummy service in a restaurant in my earlier years, I grumbled and walked I email the corporate office and let them know. You can't fix what you don't know is broken. I'm sure somewhere my name is on a list of local nut cases. *lol* At least I don't have an ulcer...I just give them to other people.

3. I sleep on my right side as evidenced by the thinness of my hair. I'm looking forward to the day I can do the Donald Trump comb over. NOT! I always start off on the left side, lay there just until I start to doze off, then roll over. It's a ritual I cannot break no matter how hard I try. I also pull one knee up. Strangely, it's the one that is stiff and sore all the time. And, I do not snore. (Hey's that's a twofer)

4. Several years ago I was diagnosed with Objective Tinnitus. Unlike Subjective Tinnitus, you can hear the noise in my head if you put your ear to mine. I've been the crowd pleaser at many a gathering. :) Although the condition was not easily diagnosed, extensive and painful testing revealed that I have too much carotid artery on both sides and the noise stems from blood rushing through the loops behind my ears. The noise has often been described as "a pissed off bumble bee in a jar." The ENT doctor who first heard it said he would have to blow his head off if he had the problem. I decided that wasn't an option, so I sleep with a white noise machine close by and have some type of noise as diversion in the background during the day. It's not easy living with a noise in my head 24/7, but at least it isn't voices telling me to kill least not yet. Now you know why I'm crazy.

5. Just revealed through a recent colonoscopy: I also have too much colon. The equipment wasn't long enough to finish the job. Just my luck. God gave me too much carotid artery, too much colon, but barely no lips. I can never get a face lift. I'd look like a snake. :) Check out Judge Judy and you'll see what I mean. Even she's asking what happened to her lips. :)

6. I always wanted to be a stand-up comedienne. I think I could do an entire routine about growing old. My comedy heroine is Tammy Pescatelli who says, "When people ask how I get new material, I tell them, I wake up every morning." Laughter is the best medicine and I believe in frequent doses.

Quote for the day. "If the shoe fits, you can bet it isn't very stylish."

Now I have to list six people I'm going to tag and provide you with a link to them. I'm going to make it easy and target....ah I mean select... six who are blogging with me this week. They may hate me, but hey...don't we always dislike beautiful people? Make sure when you visit their blogs to tell them Ginger sent you.

Clare London

Connie Rachal

Elaine Cantrell

Rhonda Lee

Deb Hockenberry

Laura Elliott Herbertson

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ghost at a plantation !


Completed in 1840, Houmas House is the Crown Jewel of Louisiana's River Road. The home was built during the days of thriving sugar cane and over looks the Mississippi River.

A ghost of a young girl is rumored to be amused at the activities around the home. There has been sightings of a girl with dark eyes, and wearing a blue dress. If approached, she disappears. Could this be the ghost of a little girl who once lived here?
Saturday and Sunday I will be book signing at the Houmas House Art Festival. I'll be surrounded by authors, and artist and will be sipping mint julips on the shaded porch over looking the lush gardens.

Connie Rachal
~Sail into the past of intrigue and romance~

On the Road Again

I promised Helen I would help keep the blog going while she was busy packing and unable to write posts, but I have been remiss. However, it looks like she has had plenty of folks stepping up to pick up the slack.

Thank goodness, because I have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger.

My mother always says that, and I still don't get it. How busy can a one-armed paper hanger be? Anyway, I digress.

I'm getting ready to go to Austin for a couple of events, and as usual the preparing is making me nuts. What to wear? What not to forget? Did I put enough feed out for the big animals? Water all the plants? Did I leave plenty of food for my hubby?

And don't forget the books!!!!

I am going to be doing a signing at the Border's Books on South Lamar Blvd. in Austin on Sunday, October 12, starting at 2:00pm. The book I will be signing, One Small Victory, is a woman's novel inspired by a true story of a woman who infiltrated a drug ring and helped bring down the main distributor in a rural town in Texas She did this after losing her son in a car accident and drugs were found at the scene.

On October 13, I will be at the Austin History Center at 6:30pm. I will do a presentation about writing and read excerpts from the book. That day, 20% of sales will be donated to the Austin Public Library.

Both events are open to the public and everyone is invited to come. By the time the event is over on Monday, I'll be ready to party.

A Good Question

Well, the chat is over and I had a lot of fun. Yay! There were a few loyal readers there, a couple of my fellow authors from Eternal Press and some brand new faces as well. One of those, brand new faces won a copy of The Duchess, so with any luck, she'll become a fan soon too.

That's a weird word for me. "Fan". Even "Loyal Reader" bothers me. They sound somehow condescending, or arrogant. Which is never, ever, ever my intent. I value my 'fans' more than I could ever put to words -- and putting things to words is my job :) Maybe instead of fans I should call them 'frans'. You know, friends/fans? No? Well, I'm still working on it. I will find a suitable word. Someday.

While I allow my subconscious mind to work on that problem, I'd like to go back to the subject of the chat last night. There were some great questions. Unfortunately, because of the format being a live chat, I had to keep my answers pretty short. I'd like to elaborate on one of them here...then I'll share another spicy excerpt from The Duchess.

Q: What is your favorite part about being published? Your least favorite part?

My favorite part about being published is having people read my story and tell me they enjoy it. I can honestly say that for me honest feedback means more to me than any royalty cheque. It's not all about ego either, I enjoy constructive feedback that helps me improve a story almost as much as fan mail that tells me how much someone loved it. Almost :)

My least favorite part about being published is that the book is done. I wrote The Duchess three years ago and it's a great book, but my writing style has developed and improved since then, as everyone's does, so in some ways it hurts me to know the novel is finished. There is no more room for me to revise it. No, I really can't move a comma if I want to, it's done.

Check back tomorrow to find out why Halloween is my favorite holiday and to get a special Halloween gift from me!

For now, I'll leave you with another excerpt from The Duchess. Again, this is not an explicit excerpt, but it's quite steamy and very suggestive. When a peasant doesn't show the duchess the respect she deserves, he has to face the consequences -- across her knee.


"Please, milady," he pleaded, as close to begging as he'd ever been in his adult life. "Please, I'm sorry."

"Oh, you will be." She chuckled, reaching behind him to pat his bottom playfully. When she spoke next, however, her words seemed cold as ice and brooked no discussion nor debate. "Now do as you are told and lay across my lap."

Moving stiffly, like an automaton, he knelt at her side and then, after one last long pleading look at her, leaned over so that her lap supported his upper body, making his bottom easily accessible to her right hand.

"Mmm...good boy," the duchess purred. She let one hand drift down the line of his back and over the curve of his buttocks in much the same way that one might stroke a cat. "Good boy..."

Gabriel stiffened beneath her touch and mentally bristled at the way she spoke to him, but did not move nor speak, choosing instead to shut his eyes and wish for this to be over as soon as possible.

Over and over again, her gloved hand caressed his back and draped itself over his ass. It alternated between being as soft as a feather and a heavier, yet still gentle touch. Over and over again she petted him, and slowly he felt his muscles relax.

It started in his shoulders; the knots began to loosen as the tension to left them. Then it spread, sweeping down into his upper back and then his lower. Finally it moved down into his butt, and further, into his legs. After a few minutes, he found himself quite relaxed and at ease as he knelt with his bottom up, waiting to be spanked. Still, she stroked him. Gabriel found that he had begun to feel quite sleepy—most of his anger was slowly worn away by the rhythmic, soothing sensation of her gloved hand moving down the length of his body again and again. Then, just as he'd begun to forget how much he resented being put in this position and had almost determined to let go of his anger, she did it.

She stroked him once more, from the top of his head, her fingers tangling gently in his long hair and massaging his scalp as she trailed her hand through it, over his shoulders and down the length of his back. He let out a soft sigh of contentment, and she struck. Reaching his bottom, she lifted her hand from him for the first time and brought it down again hard on the fullest part of his ass.

Gabriel felt the shock all the way through his body. His eyes snapped open and his mouth gaped. She'd actually hit him! The bitch was giving him a spanking!

Rhonda Lee

Pirates - New Orleans and Me

Thanks to Ginger, I am enjoying reading all the guest blogs this week and getting to know other authors.
I live in Louisiana and what better setting for books than New Orleans. The city is rich in history.

Historical Romance, Bride of Passion is set in New Orleans.
If you like pirates, (move over Johnny Depp) you'll fall for Andreas.

Krista.... Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance :”Claret is every bit of her name; rich and full of life. She is not one to be put down for nothing. Andreas made me swoon, and at the heart of him beat a true heart. I loved watching their relationship develop over time. This was one romance that had me from the beginning. I could not get enough and the setting made the story come more alive. Romance on the high seas is definitely something that will get you going from the first page.”

All my author’s royalties from the sales of this book will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Baton Rouge to help in research to find a cure. Our grandson, Casey, has Cystic Fibrosis, a life threatening disease. He is eleven years old and a very special and an active boy.

What's It All About

I can't wait for November because that's when my new release The Best Selling Toy Of The Season comes out. There's nothing quite like holding your book in your hand for the first time! I'm desperate to see the cover and share it, but so far it isn't ready.

Anyway, I'd like to post a blurb about the book this morning, and tonight when I get home from work I'll find an excerpt for you.

Why the picture? Because I've enjoyed looking at everyone's fur babies.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love

Blurb: The Best Selling Toy Of The Season. Coming in November from Midnight Showcase.

Who’d want to be Nikki Lane? Sure, she’s beautiful, but her family isn’t much. She isn’t married either, and supporting her two boys on a minimum wage job has cost her more than one sleepless night.

Tommy Price is everything Nikki isn’t. He lives on James Street, the best street in town. Naturally, his rich, influential family has a suitable woman picked out for him to marry.

Tommy and Nikki’s two diverse worlds literally collide one evening at the discount store where Nikki works, giving both of them a glimpse into a life they never knew existed.

Can the growing attraction between them bridge the vast gulf which separates them, or will their romance end before it even begins.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Can't Believe I Did It!

What did I do? Oh, I made video trailers for each of my 2007 releases. Why is that such a big deal? Lots of people have them. It's a big deal because yours truly is technologically challenged. I didn't grow up with computers, so technology doesn't come as easy to me as it does to some people.

Anyway, I had watched other people's trailers and wanted one, so when I was offered the chance to take a class on Windows Movie Maker I did. To my surprise, the basics weren't that hard to master. That doesn't mean I didn't struggle with it. I did, and I know I still have a lot to learn, but I made one trailer for Purple Heart and another for The Welcome Inn.

Here's a link to my masterpieces:

If you do watch them, send the technologically challenged one (me) a note and tell me how you liked them. Be kind. They're my first ones.

thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love

Truth or Dare

I adore Ginger for lots and lots of reasons, but she was very instrumental in seeing my first erotic adventure come to pass. The book, Truth or Dare, was released last week and I'm really excited about it. I also got my first review and I was pleased. The review started a whole discussion on heat levels for the new publisher. Yep, my publisher, Carnal Passions is brand new, so new in fact, that I'm their first release. Squeeee!

Here's the blurb: What happens when a woman spins the bottle then accepts both challenges of the truth or dare game?

Sheray Demsy is about to find out when she confesses that her most secret fantasy is to be seduced by a complete stranger. For her friends, it isn’t enough she tells them her desires, they dare her to experience her fantasy as well. So begins Sheray’s adventures with a stranger in the night.

And check out my first review from Simply Romance.

You can find a steamy excerpt at Sizzling Stories with Syrell Starr.

Today's The Day!

Well, today is the day. It's the day of my first ever live chat and I'm incredibly nervous. It's like that 'first day of school' kind of nervousness, only much, much worse.

I'm going to be chatting live at Romance Junkies tonight at 9pm EST (details here) and I'm worried I'll go there and spend the whole time talking to the moderator. I'm sure they will be a very nice person, but how crushing would that be for my ego?

As incentive to try and bribe get as many people to come hang out with me as I can, I'm giving away a free copy of my novel, The Duchess, to one lucky chatter. The Duchess is a historical BDSM novel. If you like sweet romances with happily-ever-after endings, this one isn't for you. However, if you like kinky sex scenes so hot they threaten to set your monitor on fire, you'll love The Duchess.

Please allow me to share a short excerpt from the novel with you, to try and entice you to come hang out with me for your chance to win a copy. This excerpt is not explicit but it is extremely suggestive.


Tasting herself wasn't a new experience for the duchess, but having a man standing inches away while she did it was. He watched her every move, unblinking. His cock ached for release and his moan echoed around the chamber, all because of her. This thought gave her a surge of pleasure and made her fingers taste even better than usual. She savored every drop as she licked them clean before waggling them under the peasant's nose.

"Do you like how I smell, Ferrin?" she purred, her voice teasing, taunting.

"Yes, milady. God, yes." Ferrin drew her scent into himself, the sweetly pungent aroma of her most sacred place. He sucked it in through his nostrils and held it there, resisting the urge to snake out his tongue and steal a taste, hoping against hope to sample it from the source.
Seeing the desire in his eyes, chiseled upon his face and thrusting out from his crotch, the duchess felt her knees grow weak. Unwilling to show this unworthy peasant how he affected her—or, more accurately, how this situation affected her—she took a step back and laughed bitterly.

"Run home, little peasant—run home to your wife and see if her cunt smells as good to you as mine does."

The looks of absolute shock, shame and humiliation that crossed Ferrin's face in succession only served to make her laugh louder, harder.

He stood as though glued to the floor, his face flushed, his manhood aching, crying out for release, disbelieving what he'd just heard.


"You heard me, boy—run home and see if your wife makes your cock stand and call out for her the way it screams for me."

Turning abruptly on her heel, the duchess snatched her skirt from the ground and headed toward one of the doorways at the back of the room. Ferrin stood, unmoving, still in shock at the betrayal of his marriage vows. When she reached the door she turned, her hand resting upon the knob.

"But Ferrin? Come back three days from now, and bring her with you."

"Bring...bring my wife to court?" the hapless man stammered.

The duchess nodded. "Yes. And Ferrin? You don't want to disappoint me."

Rhonda Lee


Some of my invited guests have encountered problems logging onto Blogger, but as evidenced by the growing number of contributors, the problem does resolve itself. I actually had problems logging on this morning, too.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the posts. Even though I'm supposed to be packing, this stupid computer has a magnet affect on me. No matter what I'm doing, it keeps pulling me back. So, I'll be lurking until I have to disconnect and move my PC.

I love when people tell about themselves. These are my friends, but through the internet world, I only get to know them on a limited basis. Things like this allow me a glimpse into their more personal sides. Love it!

Can't you tell what a sucker Deb is for kids? No wonder she writes for them. I know Lisabet writes explicit steamy stuff, so have a fire extinguisher handy when you pick up her books. *lol* Elaine is a very gifted writer, as evidenced by her awards, and we have pet people, new authors celebrating the 'birth of their new babies' and I can't wait to see who else shows up to share.

Thanks everyone...this is a treat for me in more ways than you know.


ME, ME, ME!!

It's time to do my favorite thing: talk about myself and promote my book. I am a cubicle dwelling mechanical engineer with a bachelor's from Bucknell University and an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. Coincidentally, my graduation luncheon is today even though I got the masters in April 2007. When you do night school, they usually wait until they have enough graduates and then have the ceremony. Anyway, wish me luck. I wore flat shoes today to prevent tripping.

I hail from Pennsylvania, along with my husband and my new puppy Colby. Here's a picture of him a few weeks ago when he was only 7 lbs. Now he's more like 18 lbs. The contemporary romance I've been writing since August has slowed down dramatically since I became a puppy-momma. The time I usually spend writing is now time spent with annoying, squeaky toys. When life returns to normal (and I have faith that someday it will), I'll get back to writing more than 100 words a day.

I did recently sign a contract with Eternal Press for a new short urban fantasy called Suburban Demon. I can't post any excerpts yet (yet!) because it hasn't been edited. I can tell you that it's set in the suburbs of Southern Jersey, and the people who've read it so far have laughed out loud in several chapters.

But you don't have to wait for Suburban Demon to be released. I have another story written under my maiden name, Laura Elliott, currently available at Eternal Press. It's called The Draconis and the Stallion.

Think it's tough finding the right guy? Try having red eyes and a spiked tail.

When an escaped Draconis starts turning houses into kindling, Wing is ordered to track him down. With her spiked tail, flame-resistant skin, and ability to breathe fire, she's got the right tools for the job.

She's not the only one on the hunt - bullets fly when a military commando, Stallion, mistakes her for the pyro. Wing must convince him to stop trying to kill her and combine forces to catch the rampaging Draconis. But she gets a little more than she bargained for when the very sexy, very armed human male agrees.

You'll need flame resistant skin of your own when you read this red hot romance.

Hot, hot and even hotter. Wow, Annie's flames are not the only things burning up the pages in this book. Laura Elliott has created a new species and new way to set the sheets on fire.
- Enchanting Reviews

Rummage Sales

First, I want to thank Ginger for letting me post here. Second, let me tell you something about myself. I write for children and have been published twice on the web. I live in central Pennsylvania which is a beautiful area!

I just love working rummage sales. I know getting the things to sell is a lot of work but it's really worth it. Some of the things you see or hear there are priceless!

One year my apartment building had one and I set up a table. I had a cheap little camera for sale for 25 cents and a little boy came up to check it out. He couldn't have been more than five or six years old. The camera was one of those things that you see on the back of a credit card payment envelope where you only pay shipping and handling.

His Mom had given him a quarter to buy himself something. When she saw him looking at the camera, she came over and explained that if he bought it he wouldn't have money for anything else. Then she gently guided him over to the table where they were selling brand new Avon.

The little boy kept looking over his shoulder at the camera. You could almost see him drooling! Finally, he did slip away and came back to my table clutching his quarter. He was trying to act oh so grown up! He picked the camera up and asked how much it was. I answered 25 cents. He told me that he didn't have that much. "I only have a quarter," he told me. So, I told him that he had more than enough and that he'd even get change. By then the 'softy' in me had come out. I told him it didn't take any batteries or a flash. I explained that it only takes outdoor pictures.

The boy, still trying to act all grown up, looked the camera over going, "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm."

It ended up with him buying the camera and me giving him change. I had the directions to the camera so I gave them to him too. Then I asked him, "Would you like a bag for that, sir?" He did.

He proudly helped me put it in the bag and went strutting away to show his Mom his purchase.

I just love it when kids buy something off of me! Some of the things they do or tell you are priceless!

Deb Hockenberry

Introducing Elaine Cantrell

First of all I'd like to thank Ginger for allowing me the opportunity to post at her blog. I've been following all of the guest authors and enjoying their posts a lot. I have a book coming out in November, so I want to share a few excerpts from that, but first I'd like to introduce myself.

I was born and raised in South Carolina, one of the prettiest states in America. Whether you like the mountains or the sea you'll find it in SC. God's country, a friend recently said.

I hold a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University (Go, Tigers!)and am a member of Romance Writers of America, EPIC authors, and Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators. I’ve been married for thirty five years to my college sweetheart. We have two sons-a physicist and a fraud investigator. They’ve given us three wonderful grandchildren-one girl and two boys. We also have two mean cats and one sweet, brown dog. (If you should meet my physicist, don't ask any physics questions unless you want to get a headache. He keeps talking about particles that reach their destination before they leave their point of origin. Sorry, I don't get it.)

My first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When the publisher called to tell me, I was so excited I left a carton of ice cream on the cabinet. It melted and made quite a mess.

When I’m not writing or teaching I enjoy gardening, quilting, and trying new restaurants with my friends. You can learn more about me at my web site Elaine's website and at Elaine's Myspace. I also have a blog at Elaine's Blog.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life… Love

Published Books

A New Leaf-Oak Tree Press 2004

Grandfather’s Legacy-All Romance Books 2006 Send a request to The publisher passed away.

Purple Heart-The Wild Rose Press 2007

The Welcome Inn-Wings ePress 2007

The Best Selling Toy Of The Season-Midnight Showcase coming in Nov. 2008

Kara’s Change Of Heart- Lachesis coming in 2009

Introducing Myself

Hello! I want to thank Ginger for inviting me to guest blog while she's off living her exciting and demanding life. My name is Lisabet Sarai; like Ginger, I'm a writer. I'm not nearly as funny as she is, though. Nor as energetic, though she's a grandmother and the only people I have to take care of are my husband and my two cats. (Yes, cats are people too!)

Anyway, Ginger and I both publish with Eternal Press. I also have books available from Total-E-Bound and in January, a new novel coming from Phaze. For the most part, I write erotic romance, often quite explicit and largely in the contemporary genre. However, lately I have been trying to expand my range. My next release, due in early November, is a historical romance story called "Shortest Night", which will be included in the six-author anthology Brits in Time. I've included a blurb and an excerpt below. (It's a m/m excerpt but the story has both m/m and m/f elements.)

I'm also about a third of the way into a paranormal/shape-shifter novella, tentatively entitled "Serpent's Kiss". This is an entirely new exercise for me, and I'm finding it both challenging and fun. I have been intrigued by the popularity of the shape-shifter genre - were-wolves, were-tigers, were-stallions, whatever - and I thought I'd try my hand, but I wanted something distinctly different. I don't want to give away the story, but suffice it to say that the book is set in Guatemala based on ancient Mayan mythology. Sound interesting? You can keep up with what I'm doing by joining my (low volume) Yahoo group, Lisabet's List. You might also want to visit my website, Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory.

Anyway, here's the promised blurb and excerpt. Let me know what you think!


The year is 1595 in the reign of Good Queen Bess. Stage-struck, young Ben Hastings leaves his father's farm for London, to join Will Shakepeare's band of players. Hugh Templeton, the handsome leading man, takes the the innocent lad under his wing, but Ben soon discovers that Hugh wants more than just friendship. Meanwhile a savvy tavern maid named Jenny engineers a comedy of errors to save Ben from Hugh's lewd embrace and win him for her own.

Excerpt (Mild M/M Interaction)

Hugh banged his tankard on the plank table. “A toast! To the newest Lord Chamberlain’s man, Ben Hastings! Long may he tread the boards!” The dozen or so members of the Company present cheered and drank deep.

Ben just blushed. He knew that the opening had gone well. He’d mastered his revulsion and done a credible job as the benighted Titania. He remembered the thrill of the applause, the shouts and the whistles, as he curtseyed, hand in hand with Oberon. He could still feel Hugh’s fingers entwined with his own; the vivid recollection made him a bit breathless and queasy. He wasn’t used to this much excitement.

“Speech, speech!” Hugh called. “Give us more of your dulcet tones! Wench! Another round of ale, and be quick about it.” The slender blonde serving girl pushed a few wayward curls back under her cap and headed for the hogsheads.

Ben stood, a bit unsteady on his feet. He’d lost track of how long they’d been here, how much ale he’d consumed. He folded one hand over the other, as if he was back in grammar school, and tried to decide what to say.

Hugh caught his eye. Unlike Ben, the dashing leading man seemed none the worse for drink. His dark eyes sparkled. Black curls tumbled over his forehead, a dramatic contrast to his pale Irish complexion. In the sweltering tavern, he’d opened his doublet almost to the waist. Ben noticed matching jet ringlets on his chest, matted with sweat. The actor was smiling encouragement, but the puckered scar at the left corner of his mouth gave all Hugh’s smiles a slight sardonic cast. Still, Ben read kindness in Hugh’s face, and something else, an eagerness that Ben didn’t fully understand.

“I thank you for your congratulations, gentlemen, and also for your forbearance in overlooking my many mistakes over the last weeks. I hope that I can continue to do the Company proud.”

The barmaid returned with a loaded tray. Someone stuck a full pot into his hand. “Drink up, boy! Build your strength for tomorrow’s performance.”

Ben took a sip of the viscous, bitter liquid. He swayed back and forth, seeking his balance as he tried to continue. “I especially want to thank—hic—Master Hugh, who’s given so much of his time to showing me the ropes…”

“Nonsense, boy. I’ve enjoyed it.” Hugh stood beside him, an arm around Ben’s shoulder. Ben leaned against him, grateful for the enhanced stability. “I’m looking forward to working with you more closely.”

Ben lurched forward, spilling some of his ale on the earthen floor. “Umm–I—you…”

Hugh pried Ben’s fingers from the tankard and set it on the table. “I think that you’ve had enough for tonight, Ben.” He signalled to the tavern maid. “Girl! Have you a room where my friend can lie down?”

Ben was conscious enough to note the odd expression on the wench’s face. Sympathy for him, he thought, but a steely resentment aimed at the man supporting him. Can’t you see, he wanted to protest, that he’s my truest friend here? Lips pressed together into a thin line, she gestured impatiently to Hugh.

“Upstairs. No one’s using the front room tonight. It’s four pence, in advance.” Hugh dropped a few coins into her palm. She turned and led the way through a dingy corridor to the narrow stairway. “Turn right at the landing. I don’t suppose that you’ll be wanting a fire, with the night so warm.”

“No, we’ll be fine, child.” Hugh beamed at her. Ben could see that he was trying to win her over with charm. “But do send up two gills of your best sack, will you?”

“Very well, sir. I’ll be up in a moment.”

Ben heard Harold Warwick’s gruff voice , and then the roar of laughter coming from the taproom. For a moment, he wished that he were back with the remainder of the company. Hugh held him tight around the waist, but someone he didn’t feel stable or safe. A hand slipped down the back of his hose, a callused palm brushing over his bare buttocks. He stumbled on the uneven treads.

“There now, Ben. Just relax. Lean on me. I’ll get you upstairs, where we can be all nice and cosy and private.” The hand stroked his naked flesh, sending prickles of electricity up his spine, shocking but oddly pleasant. “Nothing to worry about. I’ll take good care of you.”

The climb seemed endless. Ben lapsed into a dreamy sort of half-consciousness. As they reached the top, though, he suddenly felt the eyes of the serving girl upon them, watching the hand’s progress under his clothes. He realised that his prick was getting harder by the second, from the hand or perhaps from her eyes. He wasn’t sure which. By the time they reached the top of the stairs, though, Ben could scarcely walk—quite aside from his state of intoxication.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CRUSOE - Pirates and an Island!

CRUSOE premiers Friday, October 17, on NBC

The novel ROBINSON CRUSOE, by author Daniel Defoe, was printed in April, 1719.

The book is a fictional biography.

Crusoe survived a shipwreck. After being stranded, he lived as a castaway alone on an uninhabited Island for 28 years. While stranded, he encountered Native Americans, captives, and mutineers. After he rescued an enslaved man, he named him after that day of the week. When mutineers bring an English ship to the Island, Crusoe helps the captain and the faithful men of his crew to retake the ship. Then he leaves the Island with them.

The Second novel, The FARTHER ADVENTURES Of ROBINSON CRUSOE, by Defoe, begins after Crusoe’s marriage in England. When he is restless and wants to return to the Island, faith plays a hand in his future adventures.

NBC’s two hour series premiere - Crusoe - Friday October 17th 8/7c

The story begins with Crusoe, Friday and the worlds they left behind.

Will the story follow the book? When they reach the Island, will Friday survive? Is this story going to be adapted to a 2008 audience?
Have you read the Crusoe books?

Please leave a comment. Ginger and I would like to hear what you have to say about CRUSOE and if you are looking forward to the premier.

Connie Rachal~Sail into the past of intrigue and romance~
Drop by my historical blog and leave a comment to enter this month's contest!

Names, Naming and the Jenny Syndrome.

Hello from Tasmania, and thanks to Ginger for her kind invitation.

My name is Sally Odgers, and I am a writeric. (And no, I do NOT mean writerholic, which implies the word writer is really spelled writerhol. Alcohol+ic = alcoholic. Therefore, writer+ic = writeric. Get it? Good.)

I began writing seriously when I was eleven, and won a short story contest. After that, of course, I wrote every chance I got, driving my family nuts with the constant clatter of my Hermes Baby. I wrote my way through my teens; while others of my generation experimented with life, I was creating realities.

In the course of all this writing, I clocked up millions of words and, after nearly forty years, have close to 300 published books. This constant pounding of keyboards left me with a case of chronic tendonitis in both hands, a living, and... a surfeit of Jennies.

When I began writing, my characters had names reflecting those I saw about me. Kids were named Susan, Greg, Jenny, Deb, Emma, Rod, Suzie, Sally Anne and Elizabeth. Parents were dubbed Trevor, Lois, and Peter. As I grew older, the kids became Emily, Jade, Jason, Jordan, Jessica, Justin, Jeremy, Rachel and Anna... while parents and grandparents took on such names as Melly, Charles, Blossom, Juliana and Emma. It was at some point in the 1990s that I realised, when reading over some of my books in preparation for a school lecture, that I had used quite a few of the same names more than once. I went through most of the books and noted down the names and relationships of characters. The resulting list was so breathtakingly huge I put it on my webpage. For interested readers, it is lodged at

Here is a sample of the horrors I discovered...

From the "AN" section alone, we have
8 Anna
7 Annie
6 Andrew (+ 1 Andy)
4 X Angela, (+ 1 Ange + 3 Angie)
4 Anne (+ 1 Ann)
3 Annabel(le)
3 Anthony (+ 1 Antony)
2 X Angelina 2 X Angeline, (+ 1 Angelica and 1 Angelique)
2 X Anya
1 Anemone, Anderson, Anneke, Anne-Marie, Annika

I also found 13 X Jack (+ a Jackie and a Jacky) 11 Jane, (+ 3 Janie) 8 Jenny, 2 Jennifer, 2 Jennie, a Jennet, a Jenna and 3 Jen.

In my own defence, I DID use more unusual names too. It was the sheer volume of characters I invented that brought the multiplicity of Jasons (10 of them), Elizabeths (10, ably supported by Eliza x 5, Elissa X 2, and 1 Elisabeth, 1 Elisabetta, and 1 Elizabetha) and Marias (10, plus 1 Marie). They're not all main characters, of course... some are merely mentioned, but there they are, existing in my private library.

Once I discovered the depth of the problem, I made (and still make) a bigger effort at novelty, only to be sideswiped by publishers who changed my Halleys firmly into Kates... (Mind you, they also changed my Toby into an Ella, a Bob into a Bobbi (thus inadvertently implying a lesbian dog) and a Tom into a Tajh...

Vote for your favorite animal shelter

First of all, thanks so much to Ginger for inviting me to post.

I wanted to let everyone know about an animal shelter contest currently going on. Vote for your local animal shelter. The location receiving the most votes gets the grand prize of $10,000. Each week, a random shelter gets $1,000. After you are done voting, send the invite to all your friends because the top recruiter gets a $50 gift certificate. Here are the links, go do something good for your community today!

Don't forget to spread the word on your own blogs, websites, and internet groups.

Good Morning :)

Good morning :)

My name is Rhonda Lee and I'd like to thank Ginger for inviting me to participate in her blogathon, I think it's incredibly generous of her and I intend to take full advantage of it and post here all week. I hope you don't all get tired of me :)

I was going to jump in with both feet and begin sharing excerpts and the like, then I paused and thought a moment and realised, most of the readers of Dishin' It Out don't have a clue who I am.

So I'm going to start there :)

I've always loved to write. When I was about 18 I submitted a few stories to publishers. They were rejected. Unfortunately I didn't have a very thick skin then, and besides, there was soo much partying to be done, so I stopped writing.

It didn't last.

Like most writers, I need to write. It's a compulsion.

For a while I fed my need to write by playing Dungeons and Dragons online in a text-based chatroom. Role playing that way is telling a story, except that you only get to control a select number of the characters.

That fed my writing addiction for a time, but it wasn't really feeding my daughter. I was a single mother at the time, working full time plus doing to university, so I began modeling in order to make some money.

Some of my pictures were actually used as book covers for Silver Moon books, you can see them here --> (possibly not safe for work, they are erotic...I hope LoL)

I parlayed that success into a small amateur website filled with sexy (but softcore) pictures of myself. My rule was that I wouldn't take any picture I'd be ashamed to have my daughter know about. That became a bit of a problem when it came to content. In the adult entertainment industry, more is better, and generally speaking, hardcore rules.

So I started writing again. I wrote naughty stories I could include in my website as content, and they became very popular.

Slowly I created a vast network of websites, most of which featured my pictures and all of which had sexy stories.

A couple years ago there were changes to the record keeping laws for adult webmasters in the United States. I live in Canada and unfortunately those changes were in conflict with Canadian privacy laws. That meant if I wanted to continue working in that industry I had to choose which country's laws to break, the one where my server was, or the one where I lived. I chose to find a new job.

I used the contacts I'd made, as well as the reputation I'd built, to create a new job for myself -- writing copy and stories for other webmasters. This is the ultimate job for me, it allows me to work at home, I get paid to write, and I have time left over to write whatever I want, not just what my clients want.

I spend a fair bit of that time writing fantasy and horror stories under my real name, but I've recently discovered that there is a market outside the porn industry for sexy stories, and I'm working on branching out in that direction -- hence my novel, The Duchess, which is now available from Eternal Press.

I hope you found that interesting, I know it's not as brief as a bio, but I like to think I've come to this business via a unique route, and it's one story I never get tired of talking about. LoL In fact, you should see the long version :)

In other news, I'll be chatting tomorrow at Romance Junkies at 9pm EST (details here) and I'd love to see you there. If not, no worries, I'll be back here again everyday this week to it out ;)

Rhonda Lee

Let the Blogging Begin

Today marks the beginning of a week-long blogathon by some very talented guest authors. I hereby wave the 'start' flag and declare my blog open for business, so have at! I'll be popping in between packing boxes and moving stuff. Whew, I'm tired already and I haven't even done anything. Thank goodness for my husband, Kelly.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Signs of Rudeness

Heaven knows why my mind functions like it does, but tonight I was watching the debate, found it extremely boring and repetitive, and my thoughts drifted to things I find extremely rude. Maybe it was because of the candidates blatant disregard for Tom Brokaw's attempt to keep things on track, who knows. But, I thought I'd make a list of some rude behavior that has me in a snit...aside from the number of people in Tennessee who gamble with my life by passing on double yellow lines. I think it's a sport in this state.

1. I absolutely hate having an appointed time to attend a meeting or orientation and have to sit and wait for it start because other people are late. That sends a message that if you're on time it doesn't matter. The world revolves around those who arrive after the appointed starting time. That's just wrong.

2. Am I the only one who is annoyed by television shows that recap what you've already watched in case someone tunes in late? I believe if I can start watching a program from the beginning, I shouldn't have to sit through recaps for those who didn't happen to tune in at the right time. Again...the same message. If you're on the ball, it doesn't's all those jerks who show up late that count. What's wrong with this picture???

3. Ban assault rifles? I know why. Probably because someone stood in line for thirty minutes before another cashier opened, and they took the people who just walked up. I've wanted to shoot a few people myself. Here's those late arrivals who are catered too.

4. Oh, and the worst of late. Those blasted phone calls that turn out to be recorded messages that have the audacity to ask you to wait until someone comes on the line. Right! If you're gonna call me, you'd better be there or I'm hanging up.

Do you see a pattern developing here...or is it just me. What happened to the early bird who got the worm? Someone must have took it out with an assault rifle. *smile*

Okay...your turn. Let's see some comments about things that bug you.

Tonight's Debate

I wore John McCain's name on a POW bracelet for the entire time he was captive in Viet Nam. I didn't remove it until the day he stepped foot back on US soil. I admired him then, and I admire him now, but, no endorsement here! I'm much too smart to enter into a debate better left to the professionals, but I do urge everyone to LISTEN tonight.

I'm curious how everyone else can be so sure who they are backing in this election when so many questions have gone unanswered. Time for change! What change? I'm all for something new and improved, but I really would like to know what I might be buying into. I'm still on the fence, but leaning heavily in one direction. There is lack of experience on both sides, but balanced by a teammate with great experience (Biden/McCain). I'll be tuned in tonight, and I'm sure tomorrow, I'll be wondering if I watched the same debate people are describing on TV. Funny how we can view the same thing and come away with such different impressions.

When you get bored with politics, spend some time here and visit with the amazing authors participating in my Blogathon starting tomorrow and running through October 15th. The number has grown to twenty now. :)


Monday, October 6, 2008

Coming Wednesday

Kelly and I have been planning to move into our own home, and the time has come. We've lived with my son and his family for over two years now, and it isn't always easy to manage a household with two females. *lol* I think we all are a little relieved, and I'm thrilled that my sister, Gwenn, is coming to stay with me. She's going to make Tennessee her new home, too.

Anyhow, since I've going to be sidelined for a bit, I've invited some awesome friends of mine to another blogathon. From Wednesday, October 8-15, you'll be entertained by:

Katrina Wampler
Lynn Romaine
Syrell Starr
Grace Brooks
Phyllis Campbell
Sally Odgers
Rhonda Lee
MaryAnn Miller
Laura Hebertson
Clare London
Robert Appleton
Connie Rachal
Janet Elizabeth Jones
Jeannine Van Eperen
Elaine Cantrell
Lisabet Sarai
Barbara Edwards
Anne Carter
Brenda Weaver
Deb Hockenberry

Wow, that's quite a line up, and there may be some last minute adds. Please make them feel welcome, ask questions and leave comments. I'll be checking in, myself. I'm sure you're going to see some exciting new reads, and maybe even a contest or two.


Romance Reviews

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