Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guess What! More Alaska Pictures

I could probably spend an entire month blogging and sharing pictures we've taken here, but, today will probably be the last installment of pics as I think everyone should make this trip and experience the beauty firsthand.

We've seen a moose wander ito the yard and graze on a bush, seen countless beautiful flowers blooming in the wild, evidenced bear footprints in freshly leveled soil, and witnessed God's beauty in the glaciers, waterfalls and animals who dwell there.  I never dreamed I would get to Alaska, let alone see so many wondrous sights.  Ann and Mike have put up with us far longer than they bargained, and now we face leaving good friennds, good times, and even more, Ann's great cooking.  To say our friends will be missed is an understatement.  But, alas, Tuesday, we return to Tennessee and steamy weather and pretty much the solitude that I haven't missed.  We'll definitely plan to return next year if Ann and Mike don't move and forget to tell us.  *lol*



On our trip to Whittier, there was a big turnoff for me.  I hate tunnels.  With Claustrophobia, any place or situation where I feel out of control is not a place I want to be.  Flying, elevators, tunnels, bridges...all make me hyperventilate, and finding that the entrance to our day trip required traveling through a two and a half mile tunnel didn't make me smile.  Then, of course, you have to leave the same way you came.  This is my favorite picture:











We saw lots of Orcas, but my favorite...












I rediscovered my hunky hubby. 












Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More from Alaska

Here we are, waiting to board the "cruise boat."  As much as I'd like to think lie and say it was the one in the back...it was a much smaller version, which you saw yesterday on my blog.   Next time, maybe.  :)









Shoot...not our boat.  :)


















Kelly, showing off his new bags.






















A beautiful glacier.  Makes you cold looking at it, doesn't it?















More beautiful scenery along the way.














Waterfall alongside the glacier.  There were tons of these.























Crew pulling in a shrimp pot. 
















Ann, holding one of the shrimp.  Yuk! 

More to come!















Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Second Alaskan Cruise

Our first cuise through the Kenai Fjords was such fun, Ann decided we needed to check out the Glacier Cruise out of Whittier, AK.  We had another wonderful jaunt...great lunch, beautify scenery and good company.  Ann has made this a wonderful vacation and life-changing experience.  I don't know how we can ever thank her and Mike for putting us up for almost a month and a half now, and they still like us.  *lol*

Here are some of the pictures I promised to share.  Ann takes the best one.  :)  Enjoy the beauty of Alaska.

Whitter, AK...where we departed.













Standing in line (Me, Kelly and Ann) waiting for the boat.













Me and Kelly in front of the cruise "boat".  What you can't see the is cruise "ship" behind it.













Some little friends we met along the way.  Aren't they the cutest?













Headed for the glaciers.  Isn't the scenery breathtaking?











Headed for dangerous ice.  Are you scared yet?



















Some more new friends, hanging out on the ice.















Two dangerous creatures up and close and personal with a glacier.  Did you know that Ice Fields are stationary and glaciers are moving?  I didn't until the tour.

I have lots more pictures to share.  Ann is a photo nut and I've never been so photographed in my life.  :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Confess on Six Sentence Sunday

For the next few Sundays, I'm going to share six sentences from MY...yes moi...erotica, Searchers.  Coming this month from Whiskey Creek's Torrid Line in a second, improved version, this is my debut/swan song all wrapped up in one.  If you would like to participate and share sex...I mean six sentences of your own, you must register at http://sixsunday.com/ anytime during the week preceding Sunday.  Add your link, post your blog, and then be fair and visit the sites of as many of the other participants.  I've been missing the fun because I'm in Alaska on vacation, but I'll be home on the 26th, and I'm playing from God's Country this weekend.  :)

Without further ado, here are my...um Pepper's six:  This installment isn't more than rated R, but trust me...we'll get there.  :)


His Levi jeans encased his long, muscular legs as though he had laid in a mold then had them tailor-made. A perfect bulge displayed itself invitingly, but Katie tried to be inconspicuous with her stares. He invoked images of James Dean, a rebel; sleeves rolled up just below the elbows, and top buttons left open to reveal an alluring chest. Joey even had the same rebellious look in his chocolate eyes.


Katie‟s heart skipped a beat at the thought of unbuttoning his shirt the rest of the way.

“Hi, good-lookin‟, I was hoping I‟d find you here.”
 
 
Join me next week for more from Searchers.

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Friday

Where else can you feel so at home?
We have a little over a week left here in Alaska.  I'm dreading the stack of mail and coating of dust that await me back in Tennessee after over a month away.  This has been a wonderful vacation and time to refocus and I hate to see it come to an end.   The picture shows Kelly and I sipping our coffee and enjoying our beautiful surroundings.  If you look closely, you'll see bears in the background...okay, so they're on the window sill, but bears, nonetheless.  *lol*

Last night, I went with Debbie, a new friend introduced by Ann, to Anchorage to be a guest at her writer's group.  Although small, the setting was perfect...five authors at various stages of their careers who had a keen interest in hearing what I had to share.  Debbie, I fear, heard little, since she was caught up in the excitement over the birth of her new and first grandchild.  I shared her joy, recalling how I felt when Spencer arrived in August of 2002.  My, how time flies.  I wish health, happiness and lots of grandma time to Debbie and her new, Caleb.

Thanks to the ladies of the writer's group for making me feel welcome and like a true celebrity.  I meant what I said...you have my email addy, so if you have questions or if I can help, contact me.  I see some stars in the making.

Okay...back to my remaining time here.  Tomorrow, we are taking another cruise, this one out of Whittier, which I understand has quite a history after the earthquake years ago.  The only part I'm dreading is the 2 1/2 mile one-way tunnel we have to drive through to get to the departure point.  Me and my claustrophobia don't like confined spaces.  I'm sure I'll survive.  ;)  I plan to take lots more pictures to share of the wildlife here in Alaska along with the splendor and beauty.  If Ann has her way, we'll be residents of the state.  Mike...he just isn't sure if we're ever going home.  He'd probably like to have his home back.  *lol*  You will Mike...you will.  Just one more week and we'll be out of your hair...uh...off your scalp.  *wink*

Won't be long till my blogs are back to focusing on the business of writing and reading.  I miss my friends, but I've enjoyed the respite from pressure and stress.  But, we all have to go back to the real world eventually, and mine is in Tennessee.

No blog tomorrow, but I'll share the pics I take.  Maybe I'll get one of a polar bear.  Right!






Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's 4:30 AM and I'm Hungry!

This is NOT me!
Is it considered bad manners to raid your host's fridge this early in the morning?  Yep...still the perpetual house guest in Alaska.  We were supposed to stay ten days, but have been here a month.  I wish I had packed more clothes.  My wardrobe is getting pretty boring and if I buy anything, I have to find a place to pack it.  I'm used to flying Southwest where bags fly free (no...not me, my real baggage) and paying $25.00 per is a racket....especially with Obama threatening to cut off my social security.

This has been a wonderful experience...finding a good friend from high school and still feeling that connection, but stronger.  Our hosts, Ann and Mike have been wonderful, made us feel welcome, and even more...wanted since we've changed our return reservation twice now.  This is the first time I've visited anyone where I really wasn't in a hurry to leave.  You know the old saying...after three days, fish and house guests both start to stink, so I'm hoping by taking frequent showers we've avoided any problems there.  :) Besides, the guest room is awesome...and there's plenty of light to go around.

View from bedroom balcony at 11:45 PM

Ever found a friend who shares so much in common you feel related?  That's how I feel about Ann.  We share many common traits, and even a few silly ones.  Last night we discovered our left ankles swell.  Not the right one...just the left.  We both divorced after thirty plus years of marriage, we have sons the same age, we've shared some of the same issues in life, both had gastric surgery and suffer the consequences...although as you can see from the picture...her's worked.  :)  This is Ann and me, and I know how much I'm going to miss her when I go home.  She's made such an amazing difference in my life.

My mother taught me to be a helpful guest.  I've been trying to do my part, and with four dogs (sometimes five) rain and mud aren't my friend.  Yesterday, Kelly finished a "doggie run" complete with indoor/outdoor carpeting (grass) to keep their little footsies clean.  Charlie, Scooby, Molly and Pebbles are great friends, but they can be real slobs.  :)  I'll have to take a picture of them all together....or use one of the five hundred Ann has taken of me or the dogs since we've gotten here.  I swear, I've never been so photographed in my life.

Tonight, I'm going with one of Ann's friends to speak at a writer's group in Anchorage.  I'm nervous and excited at the same time, but I know I have some great tips to share.  Having been an author for ten years now has given me some insight into the e-industry.  I'm taking my Kindle, a few copies of my books, some pens to give away, and Ann's IPad so I can demonstrate my website and videos.  The members don't know it yet, but they're in for a treat.  *lol*  I'll post tomorrow and let you know if they share my opinion.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Welcome Carol Welty Roper

Carol Welty Roper, is the author of Tilly’s Song. It is the first novel of an historical trilogy, based on a true story. This novel covers many topics that the author uses as a platform for speaking engagements: surviving catastrophes, starting over in life, use of writing and singing for healing and grief resolution, healing our image of God and development of intimacy with Him, single parenting, issues of widowhood, infertility, development of lifelong friendships, German hospitality and many more topics. As an added bonus, in the appendix of the novel are all the recipes of the foods mentioned in the story. You may contact her at:

 www.timelessinktales.com

e-mail: timelessinktales@gci.net

Tilly's Song is available for sale on Amazon.com.


Note from Ginger: I had the pleasure of meeting Carol at the Bear Paw's Festival in Eagle River, AK.  I invited her to be my guest today, and I'm honored that she accepted.  I hope you'll make her feel welcome.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcome Viviane Brentantos

I suppose if I had to pick the reoccurring theme of Cold, Cold Heart it has to be the theme of sacrifice or – to be more specific – sacrifice for love.

Sacrificing for love. We have all been there. For me, I left my country, my family, my beautiful Afghan Hounds to marry and settle in Corfu. The rewards – a husband, two beautiful children and a wonderful island home. Ah – kids. We give them our all and do it willingly: our time, our sleep – our figures {sob}. We would jump under a car to save them.

But what of sacrifice for romantic love, when you know there will no reward, no happy ever after ending, when you give up everything you hold dear in life to help the person you love knowing that person doesn’t want you? This is true sacrifice.

This is the decision facing Daniel In Cold, Cold Heart. My question is to you all – does this ever happen outside the pages of a romance? Would you ever do this for someone you loved? Although I am a writer of romance, I tend to veer towards the cynical. I believe most romantic love is selfish. Do we truly want the subject of our love and affection to be happy – even if it means them being with someone else? I would love to know your thoughts. Please drop by and share your stories of true love and sacrifice. Many thanks to Ginger for having me over today. She is an inspiration to us all. Meanwhile, I leave you with two short excerpts from Cold, Cold, Heart



Blurb:



Daniel Haynes has the world at his feet- fame, fortune, so why does he feel so empty inside? What is his interest in Rachel Warner, a girl from a quiet Home Counties English town? Why does she hold the key to his happiness?
But Rachel Warner is scared. Daniel's interest in her threatens her ordered yet unsatisfying life because she has to live with the shadow of her ex-father-in-law breathing over her shoulder. Can she let go of her fears?


Excerpt one:

For a moment the room faded. The blood rushed to his head. Rachel's ghost-white, stricken face rose up before him, and he wanted to weep, for in the next breath he was going to sign away everything he’d worked so hard for. But he loved her enough to do it. “So, I have a proposition for you. A straightforward business deal, if you like. You do as I ask, and I promise”—he swallowed hard—“when my contract comes up for renewal in March, I won't sign it. I'll walk away from it all. I'll come and work for you. I'll be the son you've always wanted.”

Weighty silence filled the study.

“Do you mean it?” His father’s expression read victory. “I hope you do. For years I've been waiting…. But now is not the time for pretty speeches and false words. I won't ask you if you know what you're doing. If you have regrets, that's your problem.” He cleared his throat. “So, do I have your word on it?”

Staring into the cold, expressionless eyes of the man he called father, Daniel marveled at his lack of sensitivity. He had to know he’d broken Daniel’s heart. “Would you rather I put it in writing?”

The patrician face remained impassive. “You'll thank me one day. A contract won't be necessary. You are a Haines. I trust your word.”

“I'm honored—I think.” Daniel stood and walked to the door. As far as he was concerned, the interview was over—as was his life. He'd just forfeited everything: dreams and happiness for a little boy and a woman thousands of miles away; a woman who would never know and probably never care. “I suppose I ought to thank you.” He turned back at the door. “But I don't think I can. At this moment, I just feel sick. We'll talk again tomorrow.”

“Daniel, wait. One more thing. Not a word to Samantha. This must stay between us. A gentleman's agreement, if you like.”

“How cool. Father and son bonding and after all these years. So, tell me, why does it feel like so much crap?”

Excerpt two:

“That’s my call.” Daniel held out his hand. “Thanks for helping me pull it off, Brian, and for driving me to the airport.”

“It’s the least I could do.” Ignoring the hand, Brian caught him in a man hug. “I can't believe you made such a sacrifice for her.”

Daniel gave him a regretful smile. “Her happiness is worth it.” He buttoned up his coat. “Brian…I won't be coming back.”

“Daniel, go to her.” Brian bit his lip. “I'm sure if she knew what you have done….”

“No. I’ve kept my promise, but I don't want her coming to me out of gratitude. She has to want me for myself. I won't settle for anything less. She must never know about my part in this—ever. You must promise.”

“If that is what you want.” Brian sounded reluctant. “I think you're wrong though.”

“Now, about the other matter we discussed. I don't want her to have to beg for anything from that family again. I know she’s proud, but I want to make sure she never has to worry about money.”

“Rachel will never accept money from you.”

“I know, but she need never know. To begin with, you can tell Mathew Thompson I don't want him paying for Alex's schooling anymore. I'll take care of it. I also will pay off her entire mortgage. I know you handle her affairs, so just take out the monthly payment as usual and transfer it to an account I want you to open for her. I want to make damn sure if she should ever need anything, the money is there. You can always tell her it's from you.” Daniel took a deep breath. A vision of her beautiful face flashed through his mind. “Can you do that, Brian? Will you take care of her for me? It would mean so much to me knowing she's safe and secure.”

“Of course I will.” Brian's expression grew sad. “You’re a good person, Daniel Haines. It's been a pleasure knowing you.”

Daniel blinked back tears. “Just take care of her. That's all I ask.

Bio:

I was born in Reading U.K. in 1958. My father is English and my mother is French although there is a strong vein of Spanish on my maternal grandmother’s side. I was educated at various schools before completing Sixth Form College at St Peter's Huntingdon. I somehow managed to collect A levels in English, French and History and I subsequently won a place at Sheffield University where I decided to read Classical Civilization. Much to my mother's horror, I gave up my studies and went to London to begin a course as a canine beautician. In 1984, my first husband and I parted ways amicably and I decided to visit the Ionian island of Corfu to celebrate my new freedom. It proved to be a life-changing decision. I still remember to this day, sitting in a cafĂ©-bar, overlooking the crystal clear azure sea and saying to my friend. “I never want to leave here.” Writing has become my passion. I have always been a "Romantic", often accused of not living in the real world but who wants to do that? I like to call my work Romance with a quirky, humorous Brit twist and I am always striving to make my characters real, characters we can all relate to. I hope you enjoy my world.



Links:



http://corfu-author.tripod.com/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Viviane-Brentanos-Author-of-Womens-contemporary-Romantic-fiction/78109311746

http://myspace.com/chicholina

http://viviane-brentanos.blogspot.com/

http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=170&category_id=69&manufacturer_id=28&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1



Saturday, July 9, 2011

Greetings from Alaska

Yes, I know Kelly and I were supposed to be back in Tennessee by now, but we can't seem to escape the pleasure of good friends, pleasant weather, and the vacation we've never had.  Ann and Mike have been the most graciious of hosts, and I've developed a love for her wonderful cooking (which I don't need) and K-Cup coffee.  I'll be buying a Keurig as soon as we get home.  :)

Honestly, I cannot thank Ann enough for changing my life.  I had never heard about bio-identiical pellet therapy until she explained the need for the body to have sufficient hormone levels in order to thrive.  As some of you know, I've been a mess for the past two years, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like a new person.  Sadly, I don't look any better, but having my hormone levels back where they belong without fear of the big "C" has...in my husband's words,"given back the wife he hasn't had for years."  That honeymoon we never had...well...okay, I know TMI (as my son Brett would say.)  I never knew that women needed testerone and men needed estrogen.  What a different a few pellets implanted in my butt cheek have made.  Yes, Kelly has them too. 

Anyhow, we are loving our time here with our friends.  We'll now be staying until the 26th of July and although I love it here, I know for a fact I'm not the type that would like the winters.  I'm just amazed at how it stays light for so long.  When we first arrived it was almost 24 hours a day, but now that the summer soltice has come and gone, daylight is decreasing a little each day.  I'm sitting here in bed, typing this and I can still see everything clearly beyond the balcony....and it's midnight.  Here's a picture I took from the bedroom.

We went to Wasilla for a BBQ with Ann's Ex and his wonderful wife, Kathy.  Everyone was so hospitable.  Here's a bit of the beauty we saw on the way.


More

On the way back, we stopped at the river and appreciated some of the beautiful flowers that are blooming erverywhere.  I'd do fine if the cottonwoods weren't shedding right now.


Me trying unsuccessfully to hid my fatness behind Kelly.  :)

I already have the inspiration for my next historical.  On the return trip, Ann took us to see the Eklutna Spirit houses.  I've been doing research on the tribe and took this picture to share with you.  Facts:  During the winter time, the ground freezes and people could not be buried until the earth thawed.  To keep the bodies safe, family and tribal members erected small houses over the deceased, and decorated them with personal belongings.  This picture is a house for someone recently deceased, but the cemtery is filled with houses of all colors, shapes and sizes.  I have more pics I'll share later, but this one was amazing...curtains in the windows, flowers, the whole nine yards.  Almost made death pleasant.  Almost!!!




I'll keep snapping pictures.  I have some of the cruise we took through the Kenai Fjords.  Saw some awesome wildlife and glaciers.  This is definitely God's country and I'm so happy I have a friend who wanted to share it with us.  The good news...I heard the Cicada's have left Tennessee.  Those are some ugly ass bugs.

Hugz,
Ging



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