Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My New Cave

As my husband calls it...this is my "cave" where I hibernate. We recently moved into a small Condo and I love it. It's easy to keep clean and quite stylish, if I might say so myself. Except...I'm thinking the picture in the living room is too high. What do you think???

I should have thrown out my leftover taco. :)

My nephew thinks my bedspread is...I can't recall his exact words, but ugly means the same thing. I rather like it. And if you look closely, you can see my husband's CPAP machine on his nightstand...or his scuba gear as I call it because it makes him look like he's going diving. :)
This is where I really spend all my time. My little corner of the world. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Connect the Limbs

I think new meds are playing havoc with my writing at the moment, and emotionally, I'm a mess. I had a melt down this week and actually deleted two blogs, resigned from another, and cut my self off from a great group of friends. My body told me I needed to take some deep breaths and do something I immersed myself in

What a trip I've taken. I started family trees for my side of the family, and for my husband's. The people and connections I've run across have been amazing. Researching my family, (Pomerantz/Goldberg and Poole/Jones) has given me information I never knew about my father's side of the family and I'm stalled with my Grandmother who came here from Russian in 1905. I even found information that told when she arrived and aboard which vessel via Liverpool, England. On the Jones side, I ran into what I imagined...common names and dead ends, but I'm not giving up. I'm afraid I may discover that my ex-husband and I are related via the Jones connection. *lol* His father was a Jones and my maternal grandmother was a Jones. Do you have any idea how many Jones' are listed on the registry? A great many of them were slaves.

When I switched to my husband's relatives, (Simpson/Austin/Grady), I've worked my way back to the 1700s, discovering that my husband is indeed related to John Wilkes Booth. Not something to brag about, but interesting nonetheless. I discovered one relative that fought in countless battles during the Civil War. Reading the list from the roster gave me shivers.

The site gives you access to so many records. I see now why the Census is so important. People are listed with ages, siblings, mother, many clues to follow. One woman was definitely an orphan as only young children were listed as housemates, and another was part of a Cherokee tribe and the entire "nation" was listed on the census. It's been a fun and relaxing way to spend time.

Sadly, my free trial is up soon and if I want to continue, I'm going to have to pay. I'm considering that it will be money well spent. Just imagine how it feels as you move through the generations and find other family trees on site linked to your relative. As names changed on Kelly's side from Grady to Pugh to Sanders, I was provided links with other people researching the same person I was at the moment, and most of the time, I found more links to keep me going. Amazing is all I can say.

I had always heard that there was a name change somewhere in my father's side of the family. My maiden name was Pomerantz, my paternal grandfather was Pomerantz, but his father was Halevi. Now I have to discover a whole new path, but I fear it leads to Russia and I may never know more. Still, I'm going to have fun looking, and I'll undoubtedly find out more as I add in siblings, spouses and children.

I caught this ancestry virus from the new TV series,"Do You Know Who You Are?" I only wish I had the money the celebrity cast does to make trips abroad to conduct further research. But,I'm doing fine on a free trial, and I think I've found a new hobby to inspire even more historical fiction novels. Funny how that happens. And who knows....some of you just might be related to me. :)

I "borrowed" the nifty art work from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation page.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Do I Write?

Let me count the ways! First I have a cacophony of voices always screaming in my head, "Write my story, write my story." Only in sleep, after a Xanax or two, can I escape the noise. But, then I dream. I should live long enough to finish all the novels I have started in my work-in-progress folder. I wish my wallet was as thick.

Every day brings another thought, another scene, another character to inspire me. I've already written two short humorous books, but I enjoy writing third person so much more. So, I try to infuse my books with something to inspire a giggle. Beside Myself, although listed as romantic suspense, is actually chock full of fun. At least I giggled while my character showed me what she was going through at the time. Can you honestly say this doesn't make you grin? (Setting the scene....My hero and heroine have suffered an unfortunate body transfer during their first kiss and now are giving each other tips on how to handle things.)

No sooner had Alex thought of Cynthia, she appeared in the doorway. “Well, I’m ready... I think.”

She was a mess. Pieces of tissue dotted numerous razor cuts on her face and she had combed his hair all wrong. “Geez, Cyn, take it easy on my face. Should we call 911 and ask for a transfusion?”

“Very funny, Alex. I’ve been shaving my legs for years, but this was a lot tougher than I expected.”

“Come here and let me show you how to comb my hair. That looks ridiculous.”

“Can I help it if you have unmanageable hair? I’m not used to dealing with waves,” she said in defense, until she eyed her own locks. “And, what do you plan on doing to mine? You certainly can’t go to my job looking like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like you just got out bed.”

“I did.”

“I know, and it shows.” She looked him up and down.“Although I must say, you did okay picking out a dress.”


Cynthia’s gaze returned to the feet. “The shoes aren’t bad.” She looked closer. “Wait! You forgot panty hose.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No, you can’t go to work with bare legs,” she said with conviction as she turned and rummaged through her drawers.

She found a new package of nylons. “Here, put these on.”

Alex groaned. He kicked off his shoes and sat on the bed. He tore into the wrapping and held up the delicate leg coverings. “I don’t have a clue how to put these things on.”

Cynthia took them from him and demonstrated how to gather them together. The rough skin of Alex’s hands snagged the silky fabric. “Christ, Alex, don’t you ever use lotion. Your hands feel like sandpaper.” She wrestled with the nylons. “Like this,” she said as she handed them to him.

Not at all used to his new fingernails, Alex did further damage as he mimicked her actions.

She grabbed his hands and made him stop. “Take your time, go slow...and about the lotion. Don’t let my hands get like these.” She
rubbed his palms together, creating a grating noise.

“Yeah, like my biggest worry is hand lotion right now.”

After several attempts and a few more snags, Alex had wriggled his hips enough to get the waist where it belonged. “I never knew what you women go through.I am so glad I was born a male.”

He dipped his feet back into the shoes and asked, “Satisfied?”

“Not hardly! Let’s do something with that hair.”

He followed her into the bathroom and sat on the commode while she gave him styling instructions. He rolled his eyes and acted like he cared.

She toyed with one last stray wisp. “Okay, that looks pretty good.”
She reached for a tall can. “Close your eyes while I spray.”

Alex squinted his eyes tightly closed.

Obviously knowing her own hair, she administered a hearty dose of hair spray. “There! It’s actually easier to do my hair from this perspective,” she said as she stood back and admired the finished product.

Alex went into a coughing spasm. “Are you trying to asphyxiate me?”

“Quit complaining. Now, for makeup.”

“Oh, no way!” He tried to stand.

She used her new-found strength and pushed him down. “There is no way you are leaving this room without at least blush and mascara.”

“Oh Christ...if I must.” He closed his eyes while she worked her magic.

Cynthia hunched over him as she coated his lashes.“Quit blinking. This isn’t as easy as it appears.”

“Why couldn’t you be a natural beauty?”

“Watch it, buddy.” She stood back and again surveyed her handiwork.

“You look fabulous. A little lipstick and you’re good to go.”

I wrote this book several years ago, and I really haven't pushed it as much as I should have. I really had fun with this one, and it received great reviews. Now looking back, if I re-wrote it, I would apply all the things I've learned and it would be an even better read. Hmmmm! Admonishing self...Don't you already have enough on your plate to choke a horse.

Special thanks to Joe Average Gets Fit for letting me "borrow" one of his creative pictures.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome, Angela Kay Austin

As a young child, I watched my father go off to work every day with his lunch in hand. And, return every evening covered in asphalt and dirt. Exhausted, he’d bathe and fall asleep before you could blink. Sounds like something out of the 1800s, but no, this was the 1970s. My father, to me, was a big man. And, at 6’1” and about 200 pounds, he wasn’t a small man by any means.

My mother was his opposite. She was a petite 5’5”. She attends church every day, and my father well, he attends on special occasions. I can’t think of the last time my mother uttered a negative word or a curse word, and my father might just burn your ears off.

The love my parents have shared over the last 40 years has inspired me. As a single woman, and as a writer.

My stories involve interracial couples, different educational backgrounds, different religions, and different economic backgrounds, but at the core of every story I really just want to have an unyielding, undying love, like my parents share.
I guess that’s why I write the men that I write. I don’t like annoyingly arrogant men that don’t learn and grow from the things they’ve experienced. And, I don’t like incredibly feminine men that act more like your best girlfriend.

The policemen’s motto: To serve and protect, describes my men perfectly. And, of course, my women will do the same. The love journey between two characters (two people) is always placated with many twists and turns, and only if those characters’ traits support the other’s weaknesses will the relationships be able to withstand what’s thrown at them.

In my book, Love’s Chance, I introduce readers to Chance O’Malley and Sinclair Mosley. Chance is definitely Alpha male, but his attention to Sinclair’s needs throughout the book made me love him even more after the book was finished. He’s been hurt, not by love, but by life, and really lives life as he pleases. Sinclair much more quietly. She focuses on everyone and everything, but herself. Where he’s adventurous, she’s not. He’s a loner, she’s not. He’s rash, she not.

What kind of relationships do you like to read or write about? What types of relationships hold your attention when on the pages of a book?

Find more about me and my work on my website.
Love's Chance - Available NOW from Red Rose Publishing

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Moment

Ever notice that artists, singers, actors/actresses, and authors have a lot in common? Not long ago, I equated being a writer with an Olympian, and I saw the similarities as the athletes prepared for their moment of competition, hoping for their best performance ever. Each time I begin a new novel, I pray that it's better than the previous one...that something in that next attempt reaches out, grabs attention and earns me my "moment."

That comparison still applies but now I've added other entertainment fields to the mix.

What is the commonality, you ask? Unless an author touches the reader's heart, just as any other performer, we've lost our ability to connect. People buy artwork because it's appealing to the eye. Singer's voices and the lyrics connect the a listener's heart, actors and actresses are the vehicles through which the words of a screenwriter are conveyed. Like SHOWING in a novel, those holding movie roles must become the person, feel their emotions, experience their pain. Working for a Grammy, Oscar or recognition of any kind takes devotion.

In the ten plus years that I've been writing, I've learned more than I could possibly list here. Through my recent class taught by Cheryl St. John, well-known HQ author, I've received validation of what I know to be true. Rule number one: The reader has to care! Not everyone will, and that's a fact.

Some art lovers adore Monet, others don't.

Most women swooned over Patrick Swayze in Ghost while others considered it romantic drivel.

Some music lovers grieved the loss of John Lennon; personally I was never a Beetles fan and his passing saddened me, but I cried when Luther died. He touched my soul with his songs.

Conflicting opinions continue in reading as evidenced by two reviews of the same novel: one appreciating and one picking the book apart. But I still apply rule number one and work to make whoever reads my book care about my characters, my plot, my storyline. If I don't, then I won't ever please anyone, and that would be horrible. I'm sure every other "artist" has faced the same dilemma and disappointment, but that doesn't stop a professional from reaching for "that moment."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Me, A Liar?

I was honored with The Best Liar Award by not one, but TWO good friends. Lea Schizas and Lisabet Sarai both are under the impression that I can't hide a one little truth among a bunch of lies. To that I say, "Ha!"

Of course none of these awards come without here are the ones I must jump through:

1: Thank the person who gave you the award and link to them. DID THAT
2: Add the award to your blog. DID THAT
3: Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and One Truth.GONNA DO THAT
4: Nominate six creative liars... I mean writers and post links to them. PICKING MY VICTIMS...I MEAN NOMINEES NOW!
5: Let your nominees know that they have been nominated. WILL DELIVER THE GREAT NEWS. find the one truth in this list.
1. I sleep in the nude.
2. My middle name is Sonia
3. I once went parasailing at 700 feet in Hawaii.
4. I'm not afraid of snakes.
5. I love to skydive.
6. I'm an avid football fan.

My list of awardees consists of:
Kayden McLeod
Cate Masters
Tabitha Shay
Sharon Donovan
Lorrie Struiff

I hope my pals will forgive the extra workload, but anything we do to get our name out on search engines helps promote our work. I've linked to each of your blogs and I'll be checking to see if you're carried out your assignment. *smile*

Also...for those who read, find the truthful statement and comment, I'll draw a winner from the correct answers for a free download of my upcoming release, White Heart, Lakota Spirit. You can read more about it at MoonGypsy Press.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Release Hangover and Alice in Wonderland

Thanks to Miz Ging for letting me hang out. So I saw “Alice in Wonderland” in IMAX 3D on Friday. Thought it was a wonderful interpretation of what might have happened, the colors and special effects were fabulous and it was easy to see Tim Burton’s twist and Johnny Depp’s hand in the story line. Over all kudos. How many of you have seen the SyFy movie “Alice”? About a modern day girl named Alice who goes through the looking glass trying to save her boyfriend, Jack, from being kidnapped? Out of all the adapted versions I have seen this is by far my favorite. I bought the movie at my local Border’s the other day and discovered it was even better than the TV version, which I had adored. Such a wonderful tale Lewis Carroll created. One steeped in traditions and politics in such a way that unless you know to look for them you may not notice. A grown up message in a children’s tale.

That is such a wonderful thing to be able to do. And something that sells so well in the romance market also. Grown up fairy tales. Now granted the ones we write in the romance market are a little more obvious in their messages, and perhaps not quite so many politics come into play, but the idea that even adults can play is one that we all need to see. Remember to fantasize and take a moment to believe in the things that aren’t supposed to be there, or that are outside the box. Curiouser and curiouser as time goes on and we remember that to rest, play and stretch our imagination is something to indulge in and to try every now and again. This will help us all to deal with the everyday grind just a little better.

My first story was a fairy tale reworked into an erotic romance. “Red’s Wolf” was previously published by a company that no longer does romance books. So I have it out as a free read over at so go by and pick it up. After you have discovered that it is fun to indulge stop by Eternal Press and pick up the next Torrent’s Talents book “Cassie’s Awakening”. It came out yesterday and continues forward in the idea that we should all imagine things to be a little different.

Stop by and visit me…and thanks for chatting about Alice.


“I repeat. What did you think you were doing?” Cassie asked, with more bravado than she was feeling. She had never felt anything like the pulsating emotions emanating from Jared. It seemed to overwhelm all her senses and she was struggling with just getting breath in and out of her lungs. She looked up at him and found herself face to face with eyes that were so intense she could see nothing but them. There was a slight glow that fascinated her; she had never seen eyes like this before, incredibly deep with a special inner light.

“Don’t ever touch Kraig again or let him touch you,” Jared growled from deep in his chest. He was having trouble keeping his wolf in check. When Kraig had kissed Cassie it was all he could do to not rip the pup’s head off. She didn’t know anything about being his mate, or even what it entailed, but Jared did and he was having trouble controlling the wolf because of it. He had barely managed to control changing, and he certainly wasn’t going to stop the rush of jealousy and anger at his mate being touched by another man. Not just a man, but another werewolf. And with that acceptance, he quit thinking and did what his wolf wanted. He kissed her.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Welcome, MC Halliday

MC Halliday: I’ve lived in the Victorian era!

Absurd, you say? In truth, yes but I was born in the UK and lived with Victorian grandparents in a Victorian row house midst Victorian furniture. The differences I experienced in that world are absolutely unlike most modern life in North America.

Heating was solely from coal burning fireplaces. And each room with a door had a fireplace, so if the fire was not lit in the winter (in my bedroom, say), frost was patterned on the inside of the windows and steam expelled with each exhale. The blackened coalman would arrive weekly to top up the shed, the coal dusted chimney sweeps would make regular stops: My world smelled of coal dust and soot.

There were no gaslights by the time I lived in the row house but the ‘electrics’ were precious. Money had to be collected in coin to feed the meter box for heating the water immersion tank and keeping the lamps on. We were very aware of each tick on the meter and maintained a strict Victorian roster of allowed days for bathing and clothes washing. Laundry was done in the kitchen by hand, using harsh soap flakes and then hanged there on clothes lines that were taken down when the linens were dry. I won’t mention the bathing routine, as you’ll all be aghast. My grandparents used chamber pots all their lives, and lived in that Victorian row house in the historic market town of Petersfield from the first day of their marriage until they passed in their late nineties.

Rugs and area carpets were beaten of dust in the tiny back area between the coal shed and the kitchen door. Outside the same door, tea residue and food remains were dropped into an open drain. The walls indoors were covered in floral paper, in each and every room, including the hall and stairwell. There was no telephone, no paper delivery. The postman came twice a day and the milkman stopped by early every morning.

Through my fraternal grandparents, I learned a great deal about Victorians. Queen Victoria reigned until my grandparents were into their late teens and during the latter years of the 19th century, she was very popular with the middle class and her morals were emulated. Protocol was as important as the social grace of not blowing tobacco smoke into the eye of your opponent whilst playing cards.

My grandfather revealed his secrets and history on many occasions when we alone together. I have used some of his insights in my writing, and from his intimate revelations of family and war, I became a huge history buff. It bears worth mentioning that I learned a great deal about class structure in Victorian England from my maternal grandmother, as she was in service for most of her life. From a very young age, she was sent off to work in order to provide for the family at home. Eventually, she had the privilege of a grounds cottage as manor house matron and my grandfather was the lowland gamekeeper.

From all this, conjuring the Victorian era came quite easily in writing, ‘I Came Up Stairs: A Victorian Courtesan’s Memoirs 1867~1871’. The variations from my own experiences were known to me by the chats with my elders and so I heavily researched every detail to get the book absolutely right. All the while, I could envision the cobbled streets I knew and see the Whitechapel district, of which I briefly write: Small dark streets that in the past contained the greatest misery, filth and peril imaginable.

But this tale moves quickly from that horror to a new life for heroine, known as Mae to her friends. Alas, her past never quite leaves her…if I may say, I took this aspect of her life from my own experience, for I must work and work at the challenges presented and seldom learn until up against a wall and forced to make a change. Without further ado:

The epic Victorian tale of love and lovers, war and heartbreak woven into the erotic memoirs of a courtesan unashamed of her amorous adventures, releases today at Eternal Press.

I Came Up Stairs: A Victorian Courtesan’s Memoirs 1867~1871, in pdf format
Word count: 88,550
Historical Erotica, 5 flames
Available soon in PRINT at Amazon, worldwide

~The erotic adventures of an enchanting seductress

Led from filth and poverty by a gentleman in the hopes of gaining coin for his purse, Mae is shaped into a lady and tutored in the arts of pleasure. With raw sensuality, she creates a seductive dance that entices the peerage in puritanical England, and she quickly becomes favored courtesan to Prince of Wales. Her renown and riches ever rising, she continues to romp with gamely men and women of both the nobility and the lower classes. Eventually, Mae’s bohemian ways cause suffering for those she loves and her own heartbreak. Must she conform to Victorian mores, or can she remain true to her sensual desires?

These intimate memoirs reveal a young woman’s journey from the slums of Whitechapel to celebrated dancer of the Victorian music hall, and courtesan to the highest peers of the British realm. From the years 1867 to 1871, Mae recounts her varied lovers and false loves, and her heartbreaking losses in a quest for happiness.

Buy Link

Book video

MC Halliday ~ deep, sometimes dark, always delicious tales of women

You can find me and links to my website at:



Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm Baaaack!

Looking at the picture here probably conjures up some questions. Well, now that my stress level has dropped and I'm worry free, I'll share yesterday's experience. Even in the worst situations you can find humor.

This is a table used by a urologist to do a bladder scoping. Yes, doesn't that sound fun. They put cameras on everything these days. I'd heard of "stirrups" before, but I thought those days were over when I stopped have to visit the Gynecologist years ago. These stirrups leave no room for error. The term, "let your knees fall apart" is never uttered because you have no choice. I had no idea I could do the splits. *lol*

My day started with a CT scan of my kidneys. Although I was perfectly calm, that calm only settled when I realized the scanner wasn't one of those long tunnel types that make my claustrophobia flare. In fact, your head doesn't even go inside. The prize: The dye they inject to light up your organs. Talk about a hot flash! Luckily, it lasts just a few moments and it wasn't so bad. The tech was awesome and made the test go much faster.

The wait for the scoping was the worse. The waiting room was filled...mostly with older men, so I had lots of time to sit and conjure up what would happen. I remained fairly calm and collected though because I elected to have the "sleepy" med rather than the "numbing" med. When given a choice, I prefer to sleep and not know what's going on. Sometimes it pays to be clueless.

When my name was finally called, I was instructed to shed everything except my socks. Now doesn't this paint a great image. *lol* But, I was given a lovely green gown, a pair of mesh booties to match the lovely net for my head, and guided to a comfy chair where the nurse covered me with a warm sheet.

It was freezing in that place, and the room was filled with cubicles separated with only curtains...everyone dressed just like me. Honestly, the men looked more ridiculous, but it was definitely not a fashion expose...and no privacy I caught my husband smirking when he caught sight of my new garb, but he quickly dipped his head to hide his face. As you often read in romance novels, my nipples were pebbled, but they were in my lap so no one noticed.

I didn't have to wait long until another nurse showed up and asked that I accompany her to the "procedure" room. Inside is where I saw this table. She was brusk, to the point, and before I knew it had captured my tree-trunk legs into this giant "thigh-master."

I kept waiting for the "sleepy" medicine, but she went to work, warning me she had to touch my private area and it was going to be cold. She didn't mention the pain. *smile* Well, so much for modesty as she whipped my gown and sheet up over my head and gave me a rub down in the most delicate of areas with something that felt akin to a Brillo Pad. Then she announced she had to use two swabs. Honestly, I believe she worked for Roto-Rooter in a previous life. Where the hell was my "sleepy" medicine?

The doc finally came in and asked how I was? Really...he didn't know? He had my chart, is the one who scheduled me for this torture, sees me at my worst and he wants to know how I am.

"Fine," I mumbled, but all these questions whirred through my head.

"Where's my "sleepy" medicine," I asked.

"Oh, that's right." He walked over and adjusted my IV (did I mention I had that put in before the CT scan?) and then disappeared between my legs and began the procedure. I felt everything, but I have to admit it wasn't any worse than the Brillo Pad and Roto-rootering and was over even quicker.

Back in the "recovery" room, I was cautioned to sit until I felt less woozy. Who felt woozy? I finished my $89.00 bottle of Orange Juice, put on my clothes, left with my husband, and immediately fell asleep in the car. Finally, my "sleepy" medicine kicked in.

I think Kelly enjoyed being able to drive with me in the car without my constant nagging about his techiques. *rofl*. I did enjoy a nice nap for the entire afternoon, and I'm happy to say, that all the prayers, positive vibes, good thoughts, and good friends helped me hear those wonderful words, "Everything looks fine."

My wish for everyone...when faced with a situation like this, those are the only words you hear.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Welcome, Lorrie Unites-Struiff

Thank you, Ginger for allowing me a spot on your blog.
To any that leave a comment, I am putting the names in a hat and will draw one name for a free copy of Gypsy Crystal after release.

Inspiration for Gypsy

Once upon a time, a good friend, an author in her own right, insisted she treat me for my birthday.

I won’t tell you which birthday, so don’t ask.

My friend took me to a quaint little restaurant where the food was scrumptious. Lo and behold, they had a gypsy fortuneteller seated at a table in the corner. Of course we indulged in both the food and having our fortunes told. The gypsy fascinated me and a few of her predictions have come true. She nailed my lifestyle and my hopes.

Needless to say, it was an interesting and fun birthday celebration.

When I returned home, my thoughts stayed with the gypsy. Being an author, I love to take interesting characters, mix in a few troublemakers, and plot storylines for them. This gypsy impressed me with her intelligence and her thoughtful chosen words, so I researched the gypsies of yore and found some very interesting reading. Their mysticism and beliefs held me captive. I admit I am often carried away with research.

Isn’t every writer?

Hence, Rita Muldova came to life, a homicide detective of Roma blood, her mother the gypsy seer and her uncle, a great baker.
Following today’s popular trends of many readers, I decided to use, and yes, add a little… well…okay, a lot of mysticism of my own.

Ahem, literary license we call it.

What is a story without a love interest? I gave her a hunk from Voodoo City. My kind of guy.


Throw in a serial killer, a good friend, and we have a wild ride of a story.

Come and meet them this month. Enjoy the ride. Gypsy Crystal will be released in March 2010 from Eternal Press.

Hope you'll check my website.

Join the Gypsy Crystal fan page on FaceBook.


Detective Rita Moldova peeked around the corner to make sure the hallway was empty. Making a quick right turn, she slipped into the autopsy lab to have a few minutes alone with the body. She tucked her white shirt tighter into her jeans and zipped her windbreaker to stay warm in the chilly room. The harsh odor of formaldehyde hit her nostrils and stung her throat.

Her heart twisted at the sight of the young, auburn-haired woman lying on the stainless steel table. A white sheet covered her to the navel; bruises blemished the once pretty face. Contusions marred the pallid skin from elbow to shoulder. The gash on the front of her neck gaped, exposing open veins and torn tissue.
Rita flipped her thick, dark braid back over her shoulder, snapped on one latex glove, leaned over the corpse, and peeled back an eyelid. In her bare hand, she clasped a star-shaped crystal hanging from the gold chain around her neck, an endowment from her maternal Roma bloodline. The crystal heated in her palm, warm energy pulsing up her arm to her shoulder. The face captured in the victim’s eye coalesced and stared back. Rita drew in a sharp breath. Bobby Driscoll! She had known him since high school, and now he worked as a uniform in her precinct. What the hell was going on?

Lorrie Unites-Struiff is a native of West Mifflin, twenty minutes from downtown, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She writes short stories in different genres that have appeared in various publications and anthologies. When she is not sitting in front of her computer, she’s often found checking out bookstores, leading her writing workshops, or having lunch with local authors.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Before I begin my Tuesday blog on Wednesday, I first want to thank the "passel" of talented authors who filled my entire February slate. I enjoyed the varied genres, shared stories, and romantic advice, and I hope you did, too. So, my hat (if I wore one) is off to all who signed up to be my guests to celebrate February's Love Fest.

With that said, I'd like to also extend my deepest appreciation to Love Romances Cafe for nominating Sparta Rose for the "Best 2009 Historical," and to those of you who believed in my work enough to vote and make me a winner. That's a feeling...sort of like giving birth, that you can't describe unless you've experienced it.

As I wrote before in a post to ask people to consider my book for their nod, I was knee-deep in Olympian fever. I couldn't help comparing what the athletes went through to what I experienced during the voting period and the announcement of the winner.

I wanted to win the "gold"...stand on the podium and be recognized for something I've worked hard to finish. I realized my competition was keen, and for a while, I tasted defeat because of all I'd been through with this book. BUT...that one reviewer who GOT my story, and all the readers who voted, made my dream a reality. I achieved a taste of victory and I loved it. that I've been an adult, accepted my honor and thanked those who bestowed it on me...there's just one more thing I HAVE to do. *Turning towards those who made my life hell over this book* and you know who you are.

*lol* The devil made me do it, and gave me the perfect image.

OH!!! I almost forgot. In honor of my "Win", I'll be drawing two names from those who comment and awarding free PDF copies of Sparta Rose. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Join the Blog Tour for Katie Hines

I’d like to thank Ginger for giving me the opportunity to share with you about my book, “Guardian” today on her blog. My 10 day blog tour continues tomorrow on Marvin Wilson’s blog with an interview with me.

Here’s a brief synopsis of “Guardian”:

Imagine you have made a secret promise that can lead you to the discovery of an incredible treasure and an ancient power. But in order to fulfill that promise, you must defeat an age-old sect that is determined to claim the treasure and power themselves.

Drew Newman is ready to tell his friends a secret, but two strangers burst on the scene, demanding an ancient, magical book. He plummets into a world of uncertainty and fear as his home is invaded and he desperately tries to find the book.

Aided by the mysterious Jean-Paul, Drew’s search takes him and friends to Oak Island, Nova Scotia, where he continues his search. Joined with his Grandpa Ian and cousin, Zea, the tension ratchets up when Drew is kidnapped and he encounters the head of a sect that wants the book, a magical talisman and a treasure for themselves.

Sprinkled with magic, “Guardian” explores the commitment of a boy determined to fulfill his promise to his mother and claim an uncertain destiny.

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It actually took me three years to write this book, which some long periods of time (like 3-4 months) in between edits. I began with three months of research, and I will say that the research added depth to my story, and a mostly historical accuracy. Some fictional liberties were taken.

This story came about when my husband and I discovered a true-to-life treasure story about Oak Island, Nova Scotia. There is a pit where, due to a lot of circumstantial evidence, led people to believe there was treasure located. Because of all the money thrown into excavation attempts, it is called “The Money Pit.”

Although literally millions of dollars have been spent trying to excavate this pit and reach what is believed to be a fabulous treasure, fortune hunters have come up empty. The pit has flooded numerous times due to an ingenious tunnel from Smith’s Cove all the way to the treasure shaft where the excavations have taken place. People have died while trying to reach this mythical treasure.

Well known individuals, such as John Wayne and Franklin Roosevelt, have been a part of the Oak Island treasure story excavation attempts.

Excavation attempts began as early as the late 1700s, and continued throughout the 20th century. Today, the island is privately owned, and any treasure hunting has been stopped and cannot continue without the permission of the person who owns the land where the Money Pit is located. Read more about the Oak Island treasure story here:

“Guardian” can be ordered through, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and through your local bookseller.

You can find out more about Katie at her own website or join in the fun at her blog.

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