Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Good Time Was Had By All...

My sister, Gwenn's, birthday was Friday, but we decided to celebrate last night. We all got 'duded up' and headed off to BB Kings Blues Club in Nashville.

Wow...I definitely feel my age this morning. Last night, I danced, drank and celebrated to the best of my ability, and my efforts are readily apparent in the set of glasses I got as a testimony to each Mississippi Mudslide I polished off. I slipped a note to the band about Gwenn's special day and they announced her celebration and wished her a good one. The photo guy came over and took our picture, and although I wanted to scan it and share it, another glimpse this morning gave me pause. Besides, Gwenn threatened to kill me if I did. In the photo, Kelly looks like a Mafia hit man, Gwenn is doing her best Stan Laurel Impression, and I'm the melting woman. My face is on a downward slide and I can't do anything to halt it.

The photo is not just a memento from Gwenn's birthday, it's also a testimony to aging. I keep shoving the picture in Kelly and Gwenn's face and saying, "I don't really look like that, do I?" Of course, they're kind and tell me I don't.

I demand to know what happened to whatever used to hold up my neck skin. I shall use my Granny's anatomy term here and admit that my 'guzzle' looks like a turkey's waddle. Could it be I have some long lost connection with the canine Shar Pei line?

Every muscle in my body hurts this morning. Those moves I 'busted' on the dance floor have come back to haunt me, and I should have really considered that 5 mudslides were too many. They went down easily...tasted like a chocolate shake, but the half-and-half doesn't mesh with my lactose intolerance. I have enough gas to drive to the mall and back. I do find some solace in the fact that I only busted moves and not a hip. I really can't 'cut' a rug anymore...I can only put a tiny slice in it. *lol*

BUT...The BB King All Star Band was fabulous, even though my ears are still ringing from sitting at the front table. We had a wonderful time, and came home feeling patriotic. Believe me...we did our part to stimulate the economy. when did drinks get so expensive???? I"m thinking maybe OPEC bought interest in alcohol to sustain them through these low gasoline prices. *lol*

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pleasing the Critics? When Pigs Fly.

As if writing a book isn't a daunting enough task, an author then faces the task of finding a publishing who actually likes it. Once you've accomplished that major feat and think you can take a deep breath, think again. Reviews! Just the mention of the word makes me shudder.

Reviews are as varied as book topics and movie themes. The future sales of one's book or cinemascopic wonder depends how a written assessment slants. If the reviewer doesn't like ONE particular thing in your story, and focuses on that, your sunk. Then, there are some reviewers, it seems, who feel the need to annihilate other people's work. I've been on both sides of the fence--author/book reviewer. I'm not always crazy about the entire content, but I at least try to focus on the positive aspects of the book. There had to be some or it wouldn't have been published or, in the case of movies, millions spent to film it. Face it!

The reason I'm addressing this issue is the latest reviews on the movie, Australia. I suggested to my sister that we go see it. She's very in to reading reviews to help her decide if she wants to spend the money for a ticket or read. Thank God, not everyone does. I give very little credence to the opinions of others when it comes to books or movies, because opinions are so subjective. Imagine if the success or failure of Hugh Jackman or Nicole Kidman depended on the following comments taken directly from Yahoo Movies:

The film was poorly shot with horrendous transitioning between digital animation and live scenery. "Australia" also took a long time to develop the storyline. The plot was predictable and feebly attempted to chase several "rabbit trails." But the most irritating part of the film was it's failure to end! On multiple occassions, I expected the film to wrapping up only to realize there was more. I found myself begging for the credits.

Terrible in every sense of the word. The screen writer simply could not settle on what plot to write about. One moment, they were herding cattle. The next, fighting Japanese invaders. Unfortunately, these two stories didn't connect in any way shape or form...and it was 3 hours of my life that I will never have back.

Hugh Jackman was ok. The film suffers from bad editing, a stupid ending, and the lacking ability to really draw the viewer in. Stunning visuals cannot save this film. It's like LION KING:THE MUSICAL, meets MOULIN ROUGE, meets PEARL HARBOR, meets THE THORNBIRDS, meets THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER.

This movie was a mess. Worst I have ever had to sit through, and I almost walked out. Stupid plot, bad acting (Jackman did okay), worse dialog, ridiculous soap-opera close-ups, just plain awful. A poop-pile of the worst parts of Titanic (cheesy rich girl-poor boy love story), Mary Poppins (aghh the singing), Pearl Harbor (war mixed with gooey love scenes), Quigley Down Under (look at me I'm Aussie!), Cold Mountain (Nicole Kidman again), Josey Wales (the stupid ending), City Slickers (cattle drives!), Indy's Temple of Doom (rescue the children for the village, Indy), and Commando (worst villan attempt of all time). You should miss this movie at all costs.

Okay...would you go see it now! Remember there are people who sat in the theater and saw a completely different film as evidenced by:

WOW!! I really can't say enough good things about this movie. Everything was well done. The story line, the visuals were outstanding. It doesn't surprise me that the critics didn't really like it, but why would they when there was truth in what was being told. A definite must see.

I don't write reviews ever but this one is worth taking the time and telling the world they must see this movie. My family spent time in Australia in 2006 and seeing this movie made us all feel home sick. This movie was exactly what Australia is like. Beautiful but harsh and full of unknown history. This movie covered so much of the life of Australians they way they lived and the way things are now. I can't say enough. You must go see.

I see many movies and some leave no impact on me at all. This movie I will mevr forget. Nicole Kidman played her role to the max. Hugh Jackman was good also. But the one that touched me the most was the little boy he was excellent. If you enjoy a movie with a believable story,good acting and beautiful location settings this is your movie. It was well worth the 2 1/2 hours of running time. I never once looked at my watch thats how much I was into this movie. Go and enjoy this epic they are not made like this any more in Hollywood.

this film is oustanding! critics take themsekves to seriously. the movie had it all, love, action, comedy, and adventure. i loved it. it may be 2 hours long but it is worth it. go see for yourselves. it is truly an epic!

To say that reviews are confusing is an understatement. I've been fortunate to have received mostly positive reviews, but I've read unfavorable ones of books and movies that I thoroughly enjoyed. Shocking, to see that others didn't find the joy or excitement I did, but that's life.

Don't let another person's opinion decide for you. That's my point. Be your own judge and jury. The same goes for critics have caused the demise of some great eateries all because their taste buds were out of whack on one particular evening. It's sad that we give someone that much authority over our lives. Like I'm going to put a lot of stock in the fact that Joe Blow doesn't like a particular artichoke dip or spinach souffle. I'll be my the master of my own cuisine...reading tastes and movie preferences, too. If this sampling of reviews doesn't prove my point...then nothing will.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mommy's Little Helper

Spencer's other grandmother decided he needed to have a Chef outfit, so she brought this for Thanksgiving. Doesn't he look enthused?

He really got into the cooking theme a little later and helped Mom with the homemade biscuits. He added the cheese and then went back to his Thomas the Train's which were relegated from the kitchen counter to the floor. He can't quite get the concept that the kitchen isn't one big train station. Mom and Dad are working on that!

Our dinner was wonderful, and we all ate too much. Jean (Granny) and Carrie (Spencer's Mom), made homemade pies, and my sister, Gwenn, made a delicious cranberry relish. I brought home most of my jello fruit salad because we had so much food. Turkey sandwiches today, and crock pot beans tomorrow with the ham bone I snared. Yum! We are truly blessed and the scales prove it. *lol*

Hope you all had a good day, too.

Now It's Offically The Holiday Season

My contribution for Black Friday. For those of you who hate crowded malls and enjoy ordering directly from your's your chance. If you like a quick read to get you in the spirit of Christmas, please consider, Virginia's Miracle, offered at Eternal Press as your holiday pick-me-up and at a very reasonable price.

I wrote Virginia's Miracle as a gift for my mother. I tried to imagine what the holiday meant to her, and how she dealt with losing so many of the people she loved the most. Since I consider I'm 'cut from the same cloth,' I think I did a pretty good job of estimating. :) Hope you enjoy it.

P.S. I'm still looking for pictures of holiday decorations, traditional photos, or just posts to wish holiday greetings to others. Please join me in 'decorating' my blog.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Turkey Day

Today, it's mandated that we spend a day cooking, eating, and hanging out with people we may not really enjoy. *laughing* That's not the case here, but I've had gatherings where I'd much rather be elsewhere eating a hot dog. This year, I'm feeling particularly blessed because my mom just survived a major surgery, my sister had a safe trip here, I have a wonderful husband I adore, and we are all relatively healthy and have a roof over our head. When I get down, I keep reminding myself of all that I have and enjoy.

I always look forward to Thanksgiving, but not so much for the food, fellowship and fun, but rather because it's one of two days out of 365 that I actually insist that people pray before they eat. You have no idea how great I feel to see those gathered around the table, join hands and bow their heads. I'm always the one to say grace, but it comes naturally to me. God and I are friends and I talk with him regularly. He's seen me through some very trying times, and although the conversations we have are one-sided (unlike the ones Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert claim to have), I come away with peace and optimism. I know not everyone shares my belief so I try to make my prayer short and to the point. I hope everyone can share that sentiment today. We need a whole lot more prayer and a lot less hatred in our world.

I found a very interesting site about Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it sort of kills some of the imagery that crops into my head on this special day. So much for picturing the pilgrims in black, white and buckles. *lol* Check it out. Below, I've quoted one entry. Thanksgiving Myths

(Copied directly from History Made Every Day.

Myth: The original Thanksgiving feast took place on the fourth Thursday of November.

Fact: The original feast in 1621 occurred sometime between September 21 and November 11. Unlike our modern holiday, it was three days long. The event was based on English harvest festivals, which traditionally occurred around the 29th of September. After that first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists, Gov. William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer, shared by all the colonists and neighboring Indians. In 1623 a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during the prayers. Gradually the custom prevailed in New England of annually celebrating thanksgiving after the harvest.

During the American Revolution a yearly day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states had done the same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November, which he may have correlated it with the November 21, 1621, anchoring of the Mayflower at Cape Cod. Since then, each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941)

Just thought I'd share a bit of history, since I tend to write more historicals than anything else. I know why... I'm sure I must have lived before...and I'm quite sure I was a fat squaw in the Lakota tribe. *smile* Maybe I should write a book about that.

Hope you enjoy your day and find time to give thanks for all you cherish and appreciate. Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Holidays from Clare London

I've really enjoyed reading the Christmas posts on your blog, I don't know if I'm too late to join in! I just wanted to let you know about one small addition I made to my annual decorations, starting a couple of years ago. My online life had really taken off and I had many new friends whom I considered close, even though we'd never met in person. By the way, that's still the case now! LOL

Some of us exchanged Christmas cards, but for those who didn't, or who celebrated a different holiday, I created a special tree (attached photo, excuse my poor skills with the camera!). I asked each of them to send me a picture of something to represent them - maybe a personal photo, or a symbol, or their online avatar. Anything they liked, and it didn't involve cost or postage, they could just email it to me. Then I made them into small tree decorations and hung them on a small but special tree of my own.

Maybe my family thought I was mad! But I felt I had all my friends with me all through the Holiday season.

I hope everyone is looking forward to the season - I know that's not always the case, but I personally enjoy the opportunity to catch up with friends and family, though there's few of us. And I love th

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Heard Any Good Jokes Lately?

Blame it on Anita Davison. She shared a joke on 'gingersgroup' and got me thinking about ones I recall that really made me chuckle. My mother-in-law told me this one years ago and I still laugh when I think about it. What amazes me is that I remembered enough to share it in written format...of course I had to create the image in your minds. Hope it brings you a chuckle, too.

Historical Joke: (read with an exaggerated southern accent)

Two elegant southern belles stood in the corner of the ballroom, fanning themselves and chatting.
The first one patted her bosom. "My Gerald has been most generous. He bought me a new plantation."
Her friend continued fanning. "Verra nice, dear, verra verra nice."
Bothered that she wasn't able to really impress her friend, the first woman fluttered her left hand. "And look, my darling, Gerald brought me this diamond ring from New Orleans."
Her friend continued fanning. "That's verra nice, dear, verra verra nice."
"And did I mention that Gerald purchased a contingent of slaves to do my bidding?"
"That's verra nice, dear, verra verra nice."
Now the woman is getting really frustrated and wanting to see a glint of jealousy on the other's face. Her rapid fanning shows her ire. "Well, dear, do tell. I've told and shown you what my Gerald has done is prove his love for me. What exactly has your husband done for you?"
Without missing a beat, the unimpressed woman grabs the side of her skirt and curtsies. "My husband sent me to charm school."
"Oh, and what exactly did you learn there?"
With a slight smile and continued fanning, the answer comes. "They taught me to say, "verra nice, dear, verra verra nice," instead of "who gives a flying f**k."

Do We Really???

Honestly, do we really need all these guys in suits to conduct polls to tell us what is evident? This morning, I watched some nerdy looking exec-type announce the results of the "Consumer Shopping Index poll." What a shock! Given the state of the economy, only a slighter higher percentage will be spending more. Those are probably the folks at AIG, shopping for their next retreat. *lol*

Needless to say, I wasn't shocked to learn that the majority of those asked plan to spend less money on Christmas this year. Most of us are trying to pay off our gasoline credit card bills from when the prices soared to $4.00 a gallon because of supply and demand. I wish someone could explain that to me. I see the same amount of cars on the roadways, school buses are still running, people are still commuting to work, yet in just a matter of weeks, the cost of gasoline has plummeted to $1.56 yesterday. Supply and demand my big ol' butt. It's because we're being lulled into a state of relaxation and OPEC is hoping we forget about drilling for our own resources. Do we look stupid? Evidently we do.

I hated to get off the topic of holiday glee, but honestly folks, I hate watching the news. It just infuriates me to hear what our government is doing. Now I see that Obama MIGHT change his stance on income taxes. Isn't that what always happens...they campaign, tell lies, we swallow, they renege. Go figure.

Tomorrow, I promise, it's back to happier topics. But since you are here, take my poll. The government didn't pay for it. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wild Women of Whippoorwill

There's no better visual image to follow the reporting of my sex scene poll. A friend sent this to me today, and I had a good chuckle. What a fun group of women this looks to be. I want to join them. How about you?

Finally Removing The Old Poll

Sometime ago I polled visitors about their reading preference regarding sex scenes. After totally forgetting about it for a while, I noticed it ended and I needed to report the startling results. A whopping fourteen people responded and here is the breakdown. I had to get out my calculator:

Prefer steamy descriptions - 21% = 3
Prefer something left to the imagination - 78% = 11

Why, then I wonder, are erotica sales booming? I realize this is a minuscule sampling, but books that describe every bump, grind, moan, groan and pebbled nipple have become largely popular...according to sales statistics and the growing number of publishers beginning spicier lines.

Still, I vote with the 78%. I like to envision what's taking place over having someone else place the imagery in my head. I know being a good author includes making the reader smell the smells, hear the sounds, and feel the emotions, but c'mon...stay out of my bedroom. That's where I prefer to take charge...well so to speak. *lol* I'm older now and I can't even imagine getting my body into some of the positions I've read about. I'll stick with what I know.

This is my tribute to Charlie Brown. And this is as good as it gets. I decided to put the tree in the sun room because there's more space. Of course the fact that it's twenty degrees out there might hamper our enjoying it, but...

Once I wrap presents, I'll place them around the bottom of the tree and it will be at least one festive corner in our house. The wreath is going on the front door, and hopefully, I can convince Kelly to string some lights on the front of the house. I refuse to give up the Christmas Spirit. I don't care if I am an adult, the holidays are always going to be special to me. I'll hear no "Bah Humbugs" if I can help it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Christmas Dream House

I'm lucky if I can get my husband to hang a strand of lights. I can't imagine the spirit behind the person who did this. one submitted this. I found it on Youtube to fill the gap in submissions. Enjoy:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holy Village, Batman!

Look what Jannine Corti Petska spends her time putting together for the holidays. This amazing display must require many hours to complete. I've included one picture that shoes the intricate pieces in each part of the village. Well done, Jannine, and I'm sure this adds to the festive spirit of your home.

Check out Jannine's books at Jannine's Website and make sure to have a look at her new video trailer designed by Trailmix... a very close associate of mine. *wink*

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tumblin' Tumbleweeds?

One of my favorite readers, Joy, had this to say about Christmas decorations..."I don't have a photo of one but every year here in the desert of Arizona my husband rounds up alot of tumbleweeds, stacks them like a Christmas tree, and sprays artificial snow on them. He puts a star on the top and we have a big sign that says "Happy Holidays Y'all" on it."

The picture I found and posted isn't exactly a tumbleweed Christmas tree, but it just shows what you can do with those prickly little buggers. Thanks for sharing, Joy, and thanks for all the years you've spent following my newsletter and website. You've certainly been a 'joy' to me, even though it's your name.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Earned This Logo

My latest lapse of mind earned me the Doofus Award...sadly awarded to me, by me, for making a mistake in the first name of my first Christmas photo submittee. Sylvia, I have no idea why I typed Linda...not once, but twice. I don't even know anyone named Linda. I guess I should be proud that I had least got the right name in the website url. I've corrected the post, but worry that this seems to be happening with more and more regularity. I guess when I start calling my family by the wrong names, they'll herd me off to an assisted living center. Oops...I forgot, those cost money. You'll be able to find me in a cardboard box on the corner. *lol*

Happy Holidays, Sylvia. My bad!

Happy Holidays from Louisiana

Happy Holidays from Sylvia Rochester in Bayou Corner, Louisiana. Sylvia was the very first to submit this festive picture for my holiday showcase. She joked about the dilemma of decorating a felled tree just outside her porch--a reminder of Hurricane Gustav. I'm sure she has many reasons to feel blessed this holiday season.

You may read more about her at:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Everyone who submits something for my holiday theme will be entered into a drawing for a gift. Not sure what yet, but you can bet it will be something you'll like. Perhaps a basket to start the New Year off right. Guess you'll have to wait and see. So, send in those pictures of your holiday decor...don't care what it is, to

I'm Getting Started

All my decorations are still in the attic at my son's house. For the past two years, we've used my tree there, so I guess I'm out of luck this year. Guess I'll have to spring for a new one or do without. I know of course, I can't survive the holidays without a tree, and this year I'm running behind. My ex-husband used to accuse me of starting to decorate the day after Halloween. That was an exaggeration, but not much of one. I start early but take everything down the day after Christmas. There is something about a tree devoid of packages that saddens me. I know...some of you leave your decor up until well into the new year...some of you leave your lights up all year long, but, I suppose it's a personal preference.

Anyhow, I decided to make a few wreaths this year. I found a really good use for my "Gazelle" glider as you'll see in one of the pictures. The snapshots really don't do them justice...they are much prettier in person and for someone without any 'artsy' talent, I must say I was quite proud of myself. Good one else around here appreciated my efforts. Instead of one scrooge, now I live with two. *lol*

Now, I need to fetch my 'festoons' home so I can really get this place decked out. Sing with me..."Deck the Halls with boughs of holly...Fa la la la la, la la la la...." Sounding good!

It's Time To Get In The Mood!

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. Yes, Virginia, I still believe in Santa Claus, Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward all Men, and I love to eat! I miss the days when ALL my family members gathered together to dine and give thanks for our many blessings, but those days are gone. People have passed on, others have become outcasts, and some live far away. I'm still determined to make the most of whatever time I have left on earth to celebrate the gift that is my life!

So, in the spirit of keeping my spirit up (smile), I invite you to join me in decking the halls. Please send pictures of things you've done to enhance the festivities in your neck of the woods. I'll happily feature them here for others to see. You can also send any holiday wishes you care to share. Let's keep the spirit alive...or at least jump start it. Let's make some holiday memories together. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if it's to say, "Merry Christmas from New Jersey, New York, or Minnesota." You get my drift.

Send your pictures and wishes to

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I can't sleep! It's 2:39 AM and I've tossed and turned until I've practically worn the hair off both sides of my head. I've tried three times, but I keep ending up back out here at the computer so that I don't disturb my hubby. I hate nights like these, and although I don't have them often, they're a nuisance. You know what I keep staring at the clock and watching the minutes tick by at an amazingly slow speed. Your eyes hurt from peering into the darkness, and if you lay there another minute, you're going to scream. There's nothing you can do but get up.So, what else has made me want to scream today? Let's see.

Annoyance #1: How about the fact that most of the television stations have started featuring writing on the corner of the screen. I guess the commercials that advertising the coming attractions aren't enough. Now we have to watch or programs through script. And as if that isn't enough, some even have little characters rise up out of the corner and skitter across the screen. How annoying can they be? I was watching Law and Order and Monk appeared, dusted himself off and put on a little mini-show about his series. Give me a break, people. If I want to watch Monk, I'll tune in.

Annoyance #2: Spiders. Cold weather seems to drive them inside. We have more than our share of those ugly jumping cricket spiders. I hate them!!! I can handle bugs, I just really dislike ones that jump.

Annoyance #3: Feeling like I have a bladder infection. It's been a long time since I've had one, but I can feel it coming on. I've been to the bathroom twenty times and what should be a trickle is a drip. Now I have to go the store and get some cranberry juice before it becomes a full-blown problem. I'll also get some of that wonderful medicine that turns your urine bright orange. Love that!

Annoyance #4: Hearing that the Romance Writers of America (RWA) are badmouthing internet-published authors again. I received this email a few days ago:

Good Morning,
I am putting together a response to the RWA President's recent column in the RWR. Once again, e-pubb's have been downgraded as an unprofessional outlet for authors.
I want to strike RWA where it hurts..the pocketbook. I am taking polls on all of my loops and if ya'll are on other loops as well, please direct your fellow e-pubbed
RWA members to my website,
Tell them to join my Yahoo group Tara's Oasis and then they can fill out the database there or they can e-mail me directly at
I am an RWA member and I've had it with the consistent jabs at my being a 'non-professional' writer because I'm not in a 'Big' house. I think if we band together and show them just how many of the RWA community are e-pubbed and show them just how much money they stand to loose should the e-pubbed professional authors
chose to leave their snubbing society then they may have to re-think their position. I do not intend to publish names with this article. I'm just trying to acquire an idea of how many of us there are out there. I think their membership is between 9,000 to 10,000. I'd really like to know how many of us there are in that total.
Thanks for your help.

A while back, RWA started granting 'recognition' to certain e-publishers they felt achieved noteworthy stature. I assumed this was a good sign, but if the foregoing information is accurate, it was actually more of an empty gesture. I'm appalled that RWA feels the need to trample on the accomplishments of those of us published by small press. I hope Tara is successful in getting the information she needs.

Okay...big yawn. Time to try again. Wish me luck! And, feel free to list your annoyances. I hate to bitch alone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

IT"S TRUE...I'm Famous! *grin*

I often 'Google' my name to see what new things crop up, and I was shocked to find myself listed on the following site: Wiki Names/Ginger
There I am...listed as a FAMOUS person along with Ginger Rogers. Wow!
I realize that anyone can add to Wikipedia, but somewhere out there is at least ONE person who thinks I deserve to be recognized. How cool is that?


* Ginger Rogers: actress
* Ginger Baker: drummer
* Ginger Beaumont: baseball player
* Ginger Clark: baseball player
* Ginger Commodore: Jazz musician
* Ginger Leigh: vocalist
* Ginger Lynn: actress
* Ginger Simpson: writer
* Ginger Shinault: baseball player
* Ginger Spice (stage name): pop singer
* Ginger Wadsworth: writer
* Ginger Whitaker: writer

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pregnant Man? Give Me A Break

This is an image that doesn't belong to a man. It's specifically WOMAN, and when a person makes a conscious effort to follow their heart and sacrifice the gender into which they were born, they give up certain privileges.

Is anyone besides me appalled how this 'so-called' man keeps cropping up in the news as being pregnant? And why does the media think we want to know about it? To me, the actions of this person negate the reality that there are people truly born with gender issues so real that they either choose to make the painful switch or commit suicide. I happen to know one person who went through the pains and tribulations of making this decision, and it's not something to be taken lightly. The "pregnant man" has made a laughing stock out of those who agonized over their options.

Clearly, this media hog is not a woman, rather has used a gender switch to gain notoriety for benefit. How dare he claim manhood when he still sports the uterus God gave him/her. Just because she grew a beard doesn't make her male! I could do that if I quit plucking and waxing. It's hormones, not gender. Shame on the media for allowing this person a platform of ridicule and instant gratification, not to mention cash. I guess this proves people will do anything for money.

Okay, so I'm expressed my disgust for this person and I feel better, but God help p the children born into such this screwed up union. They're gonna need it. I don't think the economy is our only worry.

The Voices in My Head Have Stopped

I have 'writer's block.' Usually, there are a gaggle of characters in my head, all trying to tell me their story, but lately...nothing! I've issued an 'all points' bulletin for Carrie, my heroine in First Degree Innocence. She got me to the part in the story where she's actually met the heroine, working in the prison garden, and now, she's left me flat. I think this is a great story and I really want to finish it, but... Here's an example...maybe it will catch her interest and get her talking to me again:

“Carrie.” Someone called from across the room. Susanna beckoned to her.
After placing the book back on the cart, Carrie made her way to her friends. She cast a wary glance at the door leading outside, making sure that Jet wasn’t watching. For the past few days, Jet had kept her distance, giving Carrie the time and space she requested. Carrie hadn’t told Susanna and the girls about Jet’s proposal.
“Hey, girlfriend,” Susanna chirped, slapping Carrie lightly on the back. “What’s with the anti-social behavior?”
“I was looking for an interesting book, but there aren’t any to my liking.”
“Wanna go outside for a breath of air and see if we can hear the men again? If we get lucky, they might be working in the garden and we can actually see them.” Susanna struck a hands-on-hip pose that made Carrie chuckle. She almost accepted then remembered Jet was in the outer yard.
“No thanks, I’m not feeling quite up to snuff. I think I’m getting ready to start my period, and I always feel like crap for at least a week.”
“Make sure to request your pads now,” Di chimed in. “If you don’t, you’ll never get them in time. I always ask the guards for them at least a week before I need them.”
“I hear they’re going to take pads off the list of freebies and add them to commissary. I don’t know what those of us with no money will do,” Helen said, a crease marring her brow.
“Can they do that?” Carrie asked, her jaw dropping in disbelief.
“They can do anything they want,” Susanna said. “I had to settle for using pads because they refuse to stock tampons. Can you believe that some stupid idiot tried to smoke one?”
Di chuckled. “I believe anything these days. When I got here, I found missing pages in the Bible they gave me. My cellmate told me that some of the gals tear them out and roll apple peels inside and smoke that.”
Carrie rolled her eyes. “Somehow, besides being an infraction of the rules, that most certainly must be a sin.” Her brow rose. “Smoking the Bible? Where does the insanity end around here?”
Ruthie patted her on the back. “It doesn’t. It just gets more and more bizarre.”
“What’s bizarre?”
Carrie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The voice behind her was all too familiar.
“We were just regaling Carrie with some of the shenanigans people pull around here,” Celia explained to Jet.
“You won’t mind if I borrow her for a minute, will you?” Jet hooked her arm through Carrie’s and led her away before anyone had a chance to respond.
“Well?” Jet steered Carrie toward the door to the outer yard.
Carrie forced a smile. “Well what?” Feigning ignorance was all she knew to do.
“I’ve given you some time to make up your mind. So, how about it? You wanna switch from cellblock D to C?”
Stepping outside and shielding her eyes against the descending sun, Carrie took a big breath and released it. “I really don’t see any reason to move. We have the same recreation time. Can’t we just spend time together during our break?”
Jet stepped in front of Carrie, glaring at her with beaded eyes. “You don’t get it. It’s not about spending time together during rec. It’s about you having a better time in my cellblock than you do in your present one.”
Now Carrie wished she had shared her dilemma with Susanna. She wasn’t sure why she hadn’t. Now, the right words weren’t forthcoming, and Carrie worried when they did, they’d be the wrong ones. The last thing she needed was to anger Jet.
Better to change the subject. “Oh, look how tall the corn has gotten in the garden.”
She started to walk toward the fence, but Jet grabbed her arm and spun her around. “You haven’t answered my question, and who gives a rat’s ass about the fuckin’ corn?”
A silent gasp pushed past Carrie’s lips. Still words failed her.
“It’s your choice, but you might want to consider my offer seriously.”
“I like you, I really do.” Before thinking, Carrie’s concerns bubbled to the tip of her tongue, begging to be voiced. “But honestly, I think you need to know that I’m not into same sex relationships.” She swallowed hard, feeling a flush creep up her neck and heat her cheeks.
Jet’s eyes widened and her face softened as she broke into laughter. Finally, she calmed herself enough to speak. “Where did you get the idea I wanted you for sex?” Her mouth curved into a smile.
Carrie was certain her face was beet-red. “Well… you… you gave me that impression when you said you could be a very loving person. You put a little too much emphasis on the loving part, I thought.”
“Then let me set you straight, my friend. I don’t care how long I’m in this joint. If it ain’t got a dick, I’m not interested. If I need pleasure, I can take care of myself, so you needn’t worry about me playing grab-ass with you.”
A wave of relief swept through Carrie. “That makes me feel a lot better. You just never know these days…”

And what the heck happened to Odessa? I was working on First Degree Innocence when she intruded and started screaming about her Pa being trapped under a wagon. See:

“Can anyone hear me?” Odessa Clay screamed. Nothing in the desert stirred except the hot wind that whipped her long hair into tangles. In the distance, a dust funnel swirled across the trail. Her nails dug into her fisted palms when her gaze returned to the overturned wagon atop her father. Again, she struggled to lift the cumbersome weight.
“God, please help me.”
The veins in her neck strained to the point of exploding, but her effort to budge the wagon proved futile. Odessa, at one hundred pounds and barely five feet tall, lacked strength. She brushed the sweat-dampened hair from her brow and knelt. Her effort had only succeeded in setting the left rear wheel into a slow spin. It created an eerie whirring in the silence.
“Hold on, Papa. I’ll find some way to help you.”
His pale features contorted, and fear clutched her heart. She rose and stared up and down the trail. It unfurled like a brown ribbon between the expanse of cactus and sagebrush. Refusing to display her hopelessness, she blinked back tears.
This was all her fault. First Odessa’s mother died giving birth, and now her father was dying because of her. He wanted her to have a woman’s influence in her life—have more opportunities. Their trip had gone smoothly until Papa whipped the horses to a faster pace to combat the heat—stir a breeze where none existed. The same wheel that spun now had been the one that slipped into a ragged rut and tipped the wagon over. She’d jumped clear, but her father’s bottom half remained pinned beneath the sideboard. The accident snapped the harness rigging, and the animals ran off.
His survival lay in her hands. She rushed to the other side and pulled with all her might on the front wheel. Praying for strength, she gritted her teeth and tugged until splinters from the prickly-wooded spoke tore into her flesh. There was nothing she could do. The wagon wouldn’t shift.
Something stung above her left eye and she swiped her knuckles across it. Blood mixed with the dirt on her hand and created rust-colored mud. She wiped it on her sleeve and scanned the area for something to use for leverage. Her father had often lifted things by using a piece of wood or a log from a fallen tree. She hitched up her skirt and waded through the knee-high weeds, praying to find something—anything.
“Stay with me, Papa, I’m looking,” she called back and cast another hopeful glance at the trail. Still no one in sight. Why had they decided to make this wretched trip to Phoenix? Just because Aunt Susan lived there? Odessa’s stomach churned with fear and her mind spun in a hundred directions. What if she couldn’t get Papa out?
She spied nothing but rocks, boulders and a broken saguaro limb too rotten to use. Her shoulders sagged as she returned to the wagon empty handed. Her father’s face appeared even more ashen and his breathing ragged. A scarlet pool colored the dirt beneath him. She hunkered next to him and took his hand. Why had God let this happen?
Before she found her voice, his eyes fluttered open. “It’s all right, Dessie. I’m not afraid to die. Your Ma is waiting for me.” His weak voice faded into a cough then his face puckered into a grimace. He licked his lips.
“Do you want water, Papa?” She swiveled to fetch it, but he grabbed her arm.
“No.” He took a shallow breath. “I’m worried about you, darlin'. Find your Aunt Susan and let her know what happened. She’ll take care of you.” He moaned and swallowed hard. “All I know is she’s somewhere close to Phoenix. Tell her I’m sor….
Odessa squeezed his hand. “Don’t leave me, Papa.”
His hand went slack in hers, and a final breath escaped his already blue lips. She remembered the distinct death rattle from when her grandmother passed a few months back. Odessa collapsed across her father and wept. The day had started out with such excitement, and now she’d become an orphan. Being alone in the middle of nowhere magnified the pain of her loss. Was she destined to die too?

I was just getting into the story when she turned mute. Luckily, Meagan stepped in and filled the void, prompting me to start, Tender Return:

Meagan bolted upright. She strained to hear what woke her, but the room remained silent. “Maybe I imagined it,” she muttered.
She squinted until her eyes adjusted to the muted rays from the streetlight below her window. Shadowed movement of tree limbs outside danced across the wall, and everything took on an eerie form. The sweater she’d draped over the chair gave the appearance of someone sitting, and when she realized it wasn’t, she released a pent up breath.
“You’re such a coward.” She sagged back onto her pillow, her heart thudding.
She closed her eyes and waited for her pulse to slow. About to doze, a tinkling against the window brought her straight up in bed again. Her gaze locked on the glass in time to see the pane shiver from contact with a pebble. Meagan leapt to her feet and tiptoed across the room, embracing herself against the chill. The clock on her nightstand showed a few minutes after midnight.
Ryan Cullen stood on the front lawn looking entirely delicious in his uniform. With his garrison cap tucked beneath his arm, his cropped dark hair glistened beneath the street lamp. The army cut he shared with his peers made him look years younger than his actual twenty-three.
She eased the window up and leaned out. Goosebumps peppered her skin and she shivered. “What are you doing out there at this hour?”
She kept her voice low, hoping her parents wouldn’t hear. At twenty, she still lived under their roof, and there were rules to follow. Having a young man throw rocks at her window in the middle of the night certainly fit the ‘don’t do’ list for a proper young lady.
Ryan cupped his hand alongside his mouth. “I had to see you.”
She peered over her shoulder and chewed her bottom lip. Her door remained closed. The last thing she wanted to see was her father’s face. His burning stare had singed her more often than she cared to recall. As an only child, she was his one chance to prove to the world what a great parent he was. She loved him, but at times he could be overbearing.
She gazed back down at her boyfriend. “Couldn’t you wait until morning?”

Although mid-March, the Texas air still held a stinging chill. She rubbed her arms, certain she’d hear footsteps in the hallway at any minute. Reaching for the sweater on the chair back, she pulled the cashmere warmth around her shoulders.
“We got our orders tonight. The 36th is shipping out at long last.” His shoulders widened and he stood straighter.
“When?” Her breath hitched. “Where?” She’d dreaded this moment ever since they locked eyes six months ago over the USO serving table where she volunteered. “Wait right there, I’m coming down.”
She turned the knob ever so slowly and crept into the hallway and down the stairs, hating every creak. At the front door, she paused and glanced back up at her parent’s closed door, then opened the front one and tiptoed outside, closing it behind her. Holding her breath, she fastened her top sweater button to secure cloak-like warmth around her shoulders.
Ryan crossed the grass and bounded up onto the front porch. Even in weak light, his wide smile showed glistening white teeth and tugged at her heart. “I’m sorry I woke you, but I couldn’t wait to give you the news. I’m finally going to see some action. I can’t tell you when or where, but I had to tell you I’m going.” He tucked his khaki cap into his web belt and took her hand.
She pulled him into the shadows behind the large shrubs. “Keep your voice down. If Daddy hears us, he’ll probably arrange for you to peel potatoes in the mess hall for a month.” Wriggling against the cold, she rubbed her hands together. “You know how much I love to see you, but we’ll both be in trouble if we get caught.” She cocked her head. “Should you have left the barracks without permission…the base?”
“O’Connor is covering for me, and all I need to get back on base is my ID, but in case we get caught, let’s at least do something to earn our punishment.” His eyes mellowed with longing. He reached for her.
She took a step back. Cold air penetrated her thin gown. Her sweater did little to hide her puckered nipples and was certainly not what her father would consider proper attire for receiving guests. “I have to get back—”
Ryan pulled her into his arms and silenced her protest with a kiss. Between his spicy smell and the warmth seeping from him, Meagan’s resolve melted. She locked her arms around his neck and sagged against him. His tongue probed her lips and she parted them. He tasted as good as he smelled.
His manhood hardened against her, but instead of pulling away as always… before things moved too fast and too far, she pressed closer. That little angel on her shoulder who always provided a voice of reason seemed to have fallen off. Meagan caressed the smooth skin of Ryan’s neck, craving more than just kisses this time.
Her father’s sermon about the pitfalls of dating a serviceman flashed through her mind. She snapped back to reality and shoved Ryan away. “Not now! Not here!”
He teetered against the porch railing. “A simple ‘stop’ would work. It always has.” He rolled his eyes.
“I’m sorry, Ryan, but all I can think of is getting caught by Daddy. I want you as much as you want me, but we have to plan things a little better. I’d doubt you’d feel the same excitement at spending the rest of your tour in the brig over shipping out. As a councilman, Daddy has connections, you know.”
He nodded. “I apologize, Baby, I just get carried away around you.” He stuffed his hands into his pockets, and waggled an eyebrow. “How about if I borrow O’Connor’s Ford and we take a little ride out to Passion Pinnacle?”

Then I had the brilliant idea to start NaNoWriMo. What was I thinking, adding another title to the mix? Now I have visions of "The Locket" stirring in my brain, but I'm so intent on finishing the previous ones that I dropped out. This is going to be the one, according to my sister, that gets me noticed by a bigger publisher. Right...all I have to do is finish it...right after I finish the other three. I pray I live long enough. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Urine or You're Out!

Whoever wrote this should be applauded and the idea implemented, but, then as my sister pointed out, law suits would be filed for invading welfare recipient's 'right to privacy.' The only people getting rich in this country are lawyers.

I received this via email and have no idea of the origin, but I agree 100%. I wish I could take credit for the witty title I used, but I borrowed it from the person who wrote the following:

Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my
taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get
that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no
problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people
who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to
get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please
understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do,
on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their ASS,
doing drugs, while I work. . . . Can you imagine how much money the state would
save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all will
pass it along, though. Something has to change in this country -- and soon!!!!!

Note from Ging: Heck, if I could qualify for assistance, I'd pee in a cup right in the reception area.

Facts About the Auto Crisis

The great thing about blogging is that you can express your opinion and then learn from it. I was sent an invite to join a Facebook group addressing the faltering auto industry. If you'd like to read more, please go to: GM Facts and Fiction

Quoted from site:

From plants to parks. From dealerships to driveways. From gas stations to grocery stores. What happens in the automotive industry affects each and every one of us. In fact, the collapse of the U.S.-based auto industry wouldn't just impact the more than 239,000 Americans directly employed by the Big Three. One out of every 10 people in America is employed in a service that is related to the U.S. auto industry. If a plant closes, so does its suppliers, the local stores, the hot dog vendors, and the local restaurants.

The effect would be devastating in ways of which you never have thought:

* Nearly 3 million jobs would be lost in the first year alone – with another 2.5 million to follow over the next two years
* Personal income in the United States would drop by more than $150.7 billion in the first year
* The cost to local, state, and federal governments could reach $156.4 billion over three years in lost taxes, and unemployment and health care assistance
* Domestic automobile production would more than likely fall to zero – even by international producers, due to supplier bankruptcies

The credit crisis that is affecting us all is wounding the U.S. auto industry in many different ways. Carmakers can’t get loans to restructure and to produce new advanced technology vehicles. Suppliers and dealers can’t get loans for routine business, and customers can’t get loans for new cars.

NOTE FROM ME: I'm not supporting the fact that we should let anything this major fail, but I still think having them file bankruptcy and assigning a trustee to oversee the restructuring is not a bad idea. There has to be some accountability for oversight, unlike the other companies where we have funded the very people who ran the companies into the ground, thus letting them continue to exercise bad judgment in spending and leadership.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Who else are we going to bail out? There's something wrong when the government continues to rescue failing business, but leaves the same people in place that ran them into the ground. I agree with a guest on CNN the other night...let the car companies go bankrupt and have a trustee assigned to oversee their reorganization. That's what happens to regular people when they can't financially survive. Better yet, have private investors come to their rescue. You and I can't afford to take on the responsibility.

AIG seems to think they need to continue to have 'retreats,' using the money we taxpayers so thoughtfully provided to keep them in business. Why are they under the same leadership? Am I the only one who sees something amiss? And what about the ridiculous decision to limit the golden umbrellas and bonuses to the top officials? When you've been a lousy executive, failed at the helm, who decides you get a bonus? Most people would get fired. What is it about these companies that make them exempt from the rules and regulations most other employees have to follow? If you screwed up at work and drove your business into poverty, would you get a bonus? I don't think so.

I fear for our future. We're already so in debt we'll never be in the black, yet the government keeps looking for ways to spend more. If you divide our debt to China per taxpayer, you'd faint. Things aren't rosy, folks. So many companies have already moved abroad because of cheaper operating costs, taxes and wages, and now with our Pres-Elect proposing to raise the taxes only on those who earn over $250,000, I can picture even more vacant buildings and unemployed people.

When was the last time you called a service number and spoke to someone who didn't have a middle Eastern accent? Even our Banks are outsourcing their services to foreign employees. Good ol' Bill Gates has proposed bringing more alien workers here to staff his company. Any wonder why unemployment is at an all time high? If I can figure this out, and I'm certainly not a Rhodes Scholar, why can't our legislators? Has everyone in Washington gone daft?

Why is the press more interested in Sarah Palin's wardrobe than what is really important? What has happened to the media?

Besides the failing economy, we have a rising epidemic of Austism among our children. Why aren't we bailing them out instead of shoddy businessmen who are overpaid in the first place? Why are our priorities so screwed up and why aren't our elected officials protecting our interests? I don't have the answer. Do you? I'd love to hear it.
My thanks to the lovely ladies of Eternal Press who filled a gap in my blogging with their wit, charm and talent. Special recognition goes to Rhonda for her blog on "Racing Death." Just what I wanted to think about when I'm staring another year in the face and wondering how many more I might have left. Aging does that to you... makes you question your mortality.

I'm happy to say I survived my birthday, even if it entailed going to a line-dance lesson and feeling like a fool, trying to learn "Mustang Sally." Egads, what used to come easily ten years ago was a test of my endurance, and I failed. :)

I used to know close to one hundred dances back in the day, and I could scoot a mean boot or push a tush with ease, but it seems my boots hurt my corns now and there's too much tush to push without huffing and puffing.

Usually, I propelled myself with a steady intake of Bud Light, but now that I'm taking medications,I limited myself to one. Actually one and a half. It just doesn't taste as good as it once did. Oxygen would probably be a better choice. :)

As I may have mentioned, I purchased a "Gazelle" a few months back with the intention of increasing my daily activity. It's made a perfect clothes rack until recently, when I've been shamed into actually using it. Let me tell you, it may be called a glider and is low-impact, but it still takes stamina to push through the pain. I was so stiff after the first couple of days, I'm surprised I could actually jump up when the Charlie Horse struck in the middle of the night. I did my own version of Mustang Sally, and without lessons.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. So far today, I haven't done my mile, but, I figure I must have worked off a few calories last least until I came home hungry and had a snack before I went to bed. When did life become so confusing? I'm probably the only one who can eat an ice-cream cone while watching the Biggest Loser on TV. I'm hopeless!

Well, gotta run and get my Spencer from school. Run! Ha. I meant drive. There isn't a bra out there tough enough to sustain these puppies for a jog. I'm not running anywhere. What's the hurry?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Racing Death

First and foremost -- happy birthday Ginger! I hope it's wonderful and I want to thank you for inviting me to come hang out here today. Thank you :)

Now, on what I swear is an unrelated topic, I have a question for all you readers. Do you ever feel like you're racing death? I do! I don't know when it started really, but I am very well aware of the fact there aren't enough years in the human lifespan to do everything I want to. Not even close. With that in the back of my mind, I am driven to get as many things on my 'Lifetime To-Do' list as I can before the grim reaper cuts me down. I am, in essence, racing death.

The good thing about racing death is that you get a lot done, you're never bored and you really appreciate the time you've got. Or at least, I do. It does cause me to wear a lot of hats, as it were. I have a ridiculous amount of roles. I'm a mother, a wife, a volunteer, a writer, a poet, an editor, a-- you get the idea.

That can make it tricky when I'm invited to blog at someone else's blog -- I never know which hat to put on and talk about, which role I should be fulfilling.

Today I've decided to touch on two of them; Editor and Writer.

I am the founder and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine. Niteblade is a fantasy and horror magazine and in September we put out our very first print anthology. You can check it out by clicking the image to the left. I love Niteblade, the publication itself, my role as editor and most of all, the wonderful people I've met while wearing my 'editor' hat. It's given me a perspective on the publishing industry I wouldn't otherwise have, and thus has definitely helped me when I'm functioning in one of my other favorite roles -- writer.

I write a lot and in all sorts of genres. The lack of specialization that typifys my life is present, also, in my writing. I write everything from BDSM poetry to zombie novels. I love the diversity in my work and I have a few dozen publications to my credit. I wanted to share something before I left, but I appear to have rambled too much to post anything very long. Thus, I'll end with a short poem. I hope you enjoy it.

House, But Not A Home
by Rhonda Parrish

You left me all alone,
like a house that’s not a home.
Homes are built of love and joy,
children’s laughter and yards with toys.
A house is made of wood and stone,
It’s empty of feeling, vacant and alone.
Both have four walls, this much is true –
but one is incomplete – like me, without you.

Thank you again for having me Ginger :)

Our Ginger, out celebrating her birthday, has turned her blog over to US. She is brave. We can do anything we want. Hmmmmm. What can I do next? Plotting, plotting, plotting.

I'm Carol Shenold and I write paranormal mystery and urban fantasy. The blog and excerpt below are from my 2nd Tali Cates mystery, "Bloody Murder" available from right now. The first one, "Privy to Murder is also available. "Fairy Dust" is my urban fantasy about a fairy with flying issues. In January, I have a Tali Cates short mystery coming out called "Museums are Murder" and features Tali and Aiden(That hunky vampire you see to the left there on the Bloody Murder cover. NO, silly. Not the mummy, the good looking guy to the left of the mummy.

Event planner Tali Cates's psychic gifts have brought her more than enough trouble in the past. She wants those irksome gifts to leave her in peace so she can support her family and lead a normal life in the small town of Love, Texas.

But when not one, but two beauty contestants in the pageant she's running turn up dead, Tali is again drawn into murder and mayhem. Toss in some witchcraft and kidnapping, and she has no choice but to protect her kids by hunting down the killer. Life gets even more complicated when her son accuses her new boyfriend of being a vampire, which is just plain ridiculous.

Or is it?


Now, Tali Cates and her best friend, Cherilyn have gone to the old Rayburn house and been driven inside because of storm. The storm isn’t the only scary thing in the old house.

Excerpt 3 Bloody Murder Book 2 in the Tali Cates mystery series.
“Shit, shit, shit. We’re going to have a tornado, and it’s not much after noon. They’re not supposed to hit until afternoon or evening.”
“Tell that to those clouds overhead.”
I scanned the kitchen and saw a door on the opposite side from the one outside. “Quick, in here.”
“If it’s a cellar, I’m not going to be trapped inside a death trap.”
“Oh, don’t be a baby. It’s just a pantry but it should protect us.”
She pulled back. “But it’s dark and old and there’s no telling how many critters are in there. Besides, how do you know it’s a pantry?”
I shrugged and pulled open the door, then looked around for light. In the middle of the pentagram on the floor stood a large candle. Plucking that from its resting place might not be good but it was better than being in the dark. I grabbed it, attempting to ignore the energy washing through me.
We barreled through the pantry door and closed it. Now we were in the pitch dark with an unlit candle.
“It’s noon in October, not late afternoon in May,” I shouted. “We shouldn’t be having this strong a thunderstorm.”
“Did you tell that to the weather gods? I don’t think they’re playing by the rules,” Cherilyn yelled back. “How about some light?”
“Do you have a lighter or something?” An abrupt flare of light blinded me as the wick of the candle I held burst into flame. I barely managed to hold onto the wax when I jumped. Thank God I’d dropped the sack of grass at the last thunderclap or I’d have a bag of flame.
“Okay. That was just plain weird. I know you have some gifts, but lighting things with your mind?”
“It wasn’t me. Not on purpose.”
Shelves held the usual things for an abandoned house—dust, cobwebs, more dust, spiders, a discarded, dented can of corn. The hail, wind, and rain had stopped, or else we simply couldn’t hear them, which made no sense. Was this the eye of the storm? I didn’t remember that tornados had an eye; they came and went so fast.
The pantry was enormous, as were Cherilyn’s eyes. She wasn’t looking at me, but above my head somewhere.
“What? What’s wrong?”
She pointed to the wall behind me. “Look.”
I turned. Symbols covered the wall. Most pantries had shelves on at least three walls but this one was as large as a living room, and one wall was covered with hundreds of drawings crammed together, one on top of each other. They glowed with a light of their own—or took the light from the candle. I moved closer to try to identify the drawings but an immediate chill shot through me.
My hands shook, my entire body trembled, sending the candle flame jumping like a demented firefly, throwing shadows in odd shapes all over the wall. I swore the shadows moved on their own. More than anything in the world, I didn’t want to see the things that made those shadows. Fear also moved on its own, pushed into me, froze my blood, stopping all movement, including my heart. Unreasonable fear that made me want to claw my way out of the room took over.

Clare London lets the Cheeky Cherubs out to play...

Happy Birthday Ginger!

I've known Ginger for as long as I've been published - she's been the best kind of friend throughout my last whirlwind year *lol*. And yet now she's letting me loose with her Blog...??!! *mwahaha*

I'll post a bit about myself later, but while my back's turned, my friends the
~~~Cheeky Cherubs~~~
are itching to get online and talk to the Birthday Girl herself...

“I can’t do it.”
“What’s up?”
“I’m not up to the task. I’m useless. I have no talent.”
“Stop beating yourself up.”
“I’m not worthy…”
“I meant that literally, actually. Put the belt down. Clare needs it to keep her pants up. Now what’s the problem?”
“It’s a special birthday.”
“Ah… yes, I know.”
“So… you see?”
“You don’t?”
“You know, there was a time I looked on you as a mentor. Yet you can’t even empathise with this very obvious problem of creative flow.”
“You’re quick enough to correct my passive tense and snap at the hideous crime of splitting an infinitive, but when it comes to the really important things in life…”
“Back off.”
“I need help. I can’t do it.”

“And now your eyes are rolling. Is it the poem you’re worrying about?”
“Yes. I can’t get the rhyming.”
“Let me see the draft.”
“Let me…”
“No need to snatch.”
“Well, I see what you mean. You can’t put that.”
“Which bit?”
“All of it.”
“But I’ve woven in all the things her friends told me about her. Her wit and her talent and her compassion.”
“But not the lap dancing.”
“Isn’t that true?”
“Nor the consultancy to the Presidential candidates. Nor the modelling for Penthouse. Nor the advice to Yves St Laurent. And certainly not the winning of the New York Marathon.”
“No good cursing under your breath, I can still hear.”
“But she could do all these things.”
“Of course she could. She’s Ginger Simpson. She’s truly awesome. But she hasn’t done them yet.”
“No, not even the lap dancing. That was a sneaky rumor put about by those Eternal Press author friends of hers.”
“No, those photos were faked, I believe.”
“So what’s left?”
“This is good. Listen.”

Happy Birthday, Ginger, our song’s for you,
A woman we love, whose heart is true,
You deserve the greatest happiness and joy,
So take a rest from the blogging, the writing, and…

“You think that’ll do? I had no more paper left, Clare grabbed it and covered it with 6 million kisses.”
“I know. I do believe she’s done some lap dancing in the past, and do you know what she writes…?”
“Don’t go there. Let’s go deliver the birthday song in our usual discreet way.”
“Oh all right, then, I’ll be discreet and you can ask for some cake.”
“By the way, thanks for the help.”
“No problem.”
“I was struggling to get a rhyme for lap dancing, actually.”
“No, really?”
“Is that sarcasm?”
“Let’s not bicker. Come along or we’ll be late.”
“What are you worrying about now?”
“Nothing, nothing. Just working on a rhyme for blog, instead…”

♥ ♥


Fangsgiving on the Net
By Cornelia Amiri

Since I review youtube videos for my Savvy Click, Surf the Net With A View column, I wanted to share two Vampire Family/Thanksgiving videos which put me in the Fangsgiving mood. Yes, youtube has everything.

Vampire Thanksgiving

This is hilarious. It’s just a normal Thanksgiving Day in a cemetery. Hey, who doesn't spend Thanksgiving in a cemetery? Did that Gargoyle just wink at my sister?

Vampire Family photos

Mommy vampire and her brood have a fangtastic time getting their family portrait. The middle son seems to be laughing and the baby boy is having a blast.
Mommy vamp is proud of her little blood suckers. I wonder what she’s cooking up for her vampire clan this thanksgiving.

And here’s a great Fangsgiving Greeting to share with all your myspace, blog, website and e-mail fiends and friends.

And I wanted to tell you all about my new paranormal/comedy/romance – a funny vampire story, A Fine Cauldron of Fish with Eternal Press.

It's summer on the Isle of Man an Andrew is looking for hot
girls and good times. So when he meets the dreamy and seductive
Margaid, he thinks he's hit the jackpot. There are only a couple of
minor problems: Margaid lives in a cave under the sea, is invisible,
and thinks that only Andrew's blood can save her from turning into a
kelpie! But hey, whoever said love was perfect!?

Before Margaid could answer, the guy shook his head at Andrew. "It's
okay. You can keep my shirt. Although I don't know how you're holding
it when your arm's about four inches away from it, but hey, I'm sure I
simply had too much to drink. Keep it, that's fine."

"What? No, I don't want your shirt. Margaid, well she thought I wanted it, but-"

"No, don't let him go." Margaid shook her red head. "You do want his
shirt. And you need his pants, too."

Before Andrew knew what was happening, she shoved the shirt into his
arms. Then she turned back to the quaking man and grabbed hold of his

"Oh, no, Margaid, don't do it." The moment Andrew yelled out, he knew
she wasn't going to listen. He watched in utter horror as she
unsnapped the poor man's jeans, yanked down his zipper, and slid his
pants all the way to his ankles. Damn, I'm glad he's wearing
underwear. Black boxers with writing all over them. What does that
say? Andrew read aloud, "B is for big."

Happy Fangsgiving to all,

Cornelia Amiri

Rita Karnopp Dropping In (Well Sort of)

Rita is working today to pay the bills and has submitted her post to me. Finding Rita as a friend has been one of the many perks of being an Eternal Press author. She's a rare talent as an 'amigo' and author and I'm happy to share an excerpt from her new release, Revenge.

available at Eternal Press

"What is it?" Abi whispered, trying not to wake any of the neighbors.

"I'll be damned! Would you look at that."

"What? What am I looking at?" Abi asked, then came to an abrupt stop, her heart jumping in her chest.

"The whole place is rigged with explosives. I think that little package you received in the mail is the trigger. Get Kelly and I'll call the bomb squad."

Abi ran like never before. She reached the back door, then paused to listen to Miles yelling at her. "What?" she called out to him."

"I said, don't slam the doors and walk carefully by the package. I don't know what amount of motion could set it off. Now go!"

Perspiration formed on her upper lip as she brought the screen door closed with barely a tap. She moved past the kitchen table with care, yet with urgency. Taking the stairs two at a time, she reached her bedroom, clutching the baby monitor in her left hand.

She glanced at the bed and her breath solidified in her throat. She tried to scream but no sound came, only a low, disbelieving moan.

Tossing the pillows in every direction, Abi resorted to checking under the bed, in case Kelly had rolled off. She grasped at nothing. She searched, then rushed from the room, past the kitchen table and out the back door, letting it slam behind her. It sounded like a gun blast in the silent morning hours.

"I said don't slam…what is it? Abi, talk to me."

Tears rolled down her face and she struggled to speak, but everything seemed jumbled. In the distance she heard Jack bark once. She looked up at Miles and allowed him to pull her into his chest.

"Where's Kelly?"

"He's got her! My Lord, Kelly isn't in my bed. She's gone!" Tears blinded her eyes and choked her voice. Deep sobs racked her insides.

You can find more of Rita's exciting books at Rita's Website Please leave a comment and tell her how much you enjoy her work.

Rolling Out The Red Carpet

Please join me as I welcome some of my good friends from Eternal Press. It's an honor to share my blog with these talented ladies:

Jannine Corti Petska, Clare London, Carol Shenold, Cornelia Amiri, Rhonda Parrish, Janet Elizabeth Jones, and Rita Karnopp.

It's okay to like them, as long as you don't like them better than me. *lol*

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Greatest Birthday Gift

Several years ago, when I first became an author, I met a wonderful new friend through my publisher at the time. I know many of you will understand when I say we bonded instantly even though we never shared an actual moment in the company of one another. It was not long after that she confided she had been diagnosed with Cancer and given less than a year to live. I was devastated for her, and for the loss I faced, too. Time passed and our communications faltered. I knew she faced the ravages of treatment, so I allowed her time and space. How do you comfort someone who has been given a death sentence?

Too much time passed and I worried. I tried leaving a message on her website, but received no answer. I feared the worse. Another year passed, and nothing. I contacted someone who was identified to me as a friend of Mariah. I expressed my fear and was informed that Mariah was still holding her own and refusing to die. I continued to pray for my friend.

More time passed and I felt certain that Cancer had claimed her although I hadn't heard anything further. Another friend of mine who had been diagnosed with cancer and given 9 months, died after nine months and six days. I prayed the two of them might meet in Heaven. I knew they would hit it off.

Lo and behold, tonight came a message. The words, "Cancer Free" jumped out at me. She's weak from the chemo and radiation, but was given the news by the doctor this week and wanted to share them with me. She promises when she's stronger, she'll write more, and I'm so elated I can't hold back the tears. Mariah is alive and well, and prayer does work. She's proof! I love you Mariah, and I'm thrilled to receive your email. I look forward to reading more of your wonderful books, because I know you'll be around for many years to come. You're my heroine!

Sloane Taylor Loves My Blog

This little image is making the rounds. It's a peer award that gives one person the opportunity to promote at least seven other sites, hopefully drawing readers to discover new talent. I'm honored that Sloane has selected my blog as one she enjoys...either that or she picked me because she's busy and knew where I live. *lol*

Sloane is a fellow Eternal Press author and friend. She has a most interesting blog that includes some great recipes and excerpts of her wonderful work. I now for a fact that her books are equally as spicy as anything you can stir up in the kitchen. Check her out at Sweet As Honey, Hotter than Hell

Now I have the dubious task of nominating at least seven other people. I'm selecting five. because there are so many sites I enjoy on a regular basis, and Sloane's is one of them. She nominated another couple of my picks so this isn't as easy as it seems. Here's my final selections and I'm sticking to 'em:

Michelle Styles

Ideas Come From Brownies

Petticoats & Pistols - Karen Kay's Post

Kim Richards

Novel Sisterhood

I hope you'll visit the blogs and let the owners know you appreciate their hard work. Thanks Sloane for nominating me. I'll get you back...ah, I mean I'll return the favor. *lol*

I'm leaving comments on the aforementioned sites and alerting the luckily nominees. :)

Woo Hoo!

Tomorrow, while I take time off and cry all day because I'm turning 63 (sort of sticks in my throat to even type it), I'm throwing open the doors and welcoming some of my Eternal Press friends.

Since NaNoWriMo is going on, many are busy, trying to meet the required 50,000 words in a month, so I lucked out and snagged a few who aren't. Please come and help me welcome:

Jannine Corti Petska
Clare London
Carol Shenold
Cornelia Amiri
Rhonda Parrish
Rita Karnopp
Janet Elizabeth Jones

This is a wonderful chance to get to know some new authors, read some exciting excerpts, and console me. *lol* I'm only kidding. It's painful to have to admit to being this old, but I'm thankful for every day I can be here to share with you via my posts. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who stick around and continue to read my blog and support my work. That's more than anyone could wish for on any birthday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

EP Will Be At My House

On Wednesday, November 12th, I'm hosting my fellow Eternal Press authors here. I'm never sure how many can fit blogging into their busy schedules, but since we've learned that we are going to print in January, I thought those of you who hold out for an actual 'book' might like to acquaint yourself with some of the wonderful talent that abounds with my favorite publisher. Hope you can join us. While they're blogging, I'll be counting my blessings to offset the pain of turning another year older. Aging is hard enough without a constant reminder in the mirror. You'd think God would have spared us from looking like melting wax. *lol*

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