Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, USA!


Good morning, everyone!

With July 4th looming at the end of the week, I just felt...patriotic today. I look at the news here in the US and around the world and it's pretty easy to feel in the doldrums. The economy, the wars, the lunatic politicians (here and globally)'s enough to make you feel like catching the first ship to Alpha Centuri.

But...if you look around, there's a lot of good in the USA, actually more good than bad. The core principals this country was founded on are still in place and the people are still strong. If we stay true to that, we can be proud.

So on July 4, Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Jacquelyn Frank

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank is a native New Yorker, loves cats to the point of insanity, and is branching out from her popular Nightwalkers thanks to her meandering muse. Media is her life's blood and she loves to draw inspiration from the music of Sarah McLachlan, Maire Brennan and Evanescence's Amy Lee, not to mention tracks from Buffy and Angel. As for books, she loves paranormals, historicals and eroticas...including the ones like she pens that make readers flush. In movies she prefers disaster flicks that reveal a raw honesty about the end of the human race as we know it and watching the human race persevere through horrible situations thanks to their best qualities. Then there is that charged moment of romance that springs up in impossible moments of desperation. And sometimes it's a tie between watching people bite the dust of their arrogance or because they're TSTL.

In the past Jacquelyn was an ASL interpreter as well as a substitute teacher and health aide. Though ever since her teenage years she's wanted to be a writer. She thought things really did stop at that first kiss until she got her hands on an introductory copy of Loveswept! Ever since she saw what was between those pages, she's been writing romance and gobbling it up as a reader. When she isn't working on a manuscript, or chipping away at her TRB pile, she champions literacy and animal advocacy.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jacquelyn at a local RWA chapter meeting. She'd just moved into the area, give or take a few miles, and was looking for like minded "folk". The first time she popped up on the loop, she was helping a family in need who'd lost everything in a fire. From that point on I realized one of her "trademarks" is helping others, though she has her own challenges. As a fellow RWA member she jumped into help our growing chapter and was eager to do her part, eventhough she was super busy with her Nightwalker series.

We were so delighted that she joined our group, and that she had such success with her "men". I regret that I didn't get to spend more time in her common, because she is so witty and tech savvy. But I know she has her hands full with bigger projects--can you say another series? If it's as electric as the first, her schedule is going to be hectic for quite a while thinking up new ways to make us, her fans, blush. Kudos go out to you Jacquelyn! Keep those hot (yet troubled and endearing) guys coming!

What traits do you feel will help your fans embrace the Shadowdwellers as much as they have the Nightwalkers? How did their story allow you to branch out into something new?

While the Shadowdwellers are from the same world as the Nightwalkers, they are a very insular society and don’t interact much with the outside world. Although, when they did in the past it was to cause mischief. But they have come through a sobering civil war recently and are ready to take their place among the more mature Nightwalker clans. You won’t see much in the way of crossing over between these worlds in these early stories, but I have a feeling that will change by the time I get to the fourth story in the Shadowdwellers series. As it is, I have to finish off the Nightwalkers series with one more book!

With heroes manly enough to headline their own novels, how do you create heroines that compliment, and yet are equal to, them?

I honestly don’t know “how” I do any of this. I just do it. I create the characters first then look at them like puzzle pieces and think, okie doke, how do I fit these two together? And you can’t tell me they don’t go together because I will force them to if I have to…which often makes the best parts of a story.

Do you know how many books fans can look forward to in the Shadowdwellers series? Are there any characters that appeared in ECSTASY and/or will appear in RAPTURE that you're itching to bring to life in their own novel?

I think we’ll have four books in the Shadowdweller series, but I am learning never to make that a solid promise. I said five for the Nightwalkers and now look at me! I have to do a sixth or fans are going to kill me for not taking care of some things in the last book! There are three characters that I am itching to get my hands on from this series, but I don’t know if I will get to them all. We’ll have to see. The thing about the Shadowdwellers series is I can’t talk much about the next book in the series or I give away important details about the book before it. Like, if you read Rapture before ECSTASY, it spoils the entire plot of the first book.

Out of all the characters you've created, is there one you wished you could meet in flesh and blood reality?

Magnus, the hero of RAPTURE. He just rocks. He’s also insanely sexy.

When you're using movies as inspiration, what's the latest flick that has you wanting more?

Star Trek. I LOVE it when you turn things on their head in a story, be it written or film. I was dying for more. Of course, I’m a full on Trek geek so…I may be biased!

How did you manage to find the time to host the Authors After Dark Para

normal Weekend with two bestselling series?

Luckily Stella PRice and Bianca D’arc are doing a LOT of the heavy lifting for the event. I am wrecked with deadlines, new series, new characters…so I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. Plus I am honored so many wonderful paranormal authors have said yes to my invitation. I only wish I could have gotten through to more of them to extend the invite.

Since RWA Nationals is around the bend, will you be attending and/or doing a seminar? Is there any ot her news your fans need to know about coming up this year?

I won’t be attending RWA, nor will I attend RT next year. I am going to keep it to the smaller weekend events. My health is simply not cut out for week long events. The only news I have is that I am throwing my own weekend, the Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend the weekend before Halloween. All the information they need is at

For more about Jacquelyn and her books, check out Also as promised, one lucky person who posts a question or comment (here or at will be entered for a chance to win the signed copy of RAPTURE, which won't be in stores until June 30th! So get to typing!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Belated Father's Day

I know Father's Day was yesterday but I thought I'd talk about it today too. My dh got a grilled Angus beef hamburger cooked to perfection on our outdoor grill. (He loves Black Angus beef and I was lucky to discover my meat market had it.) The kid got him a new fire extinguisher (it's what he wanted). Even though she doesn't live here and she was in the process of building a pergola for her back yard, she made a point of coming to celebrate Father's Day for a while. That made her dad happy. And it made me wonder what kind of memories she would have of her father in the years ahead.

I'm positive she doesn't remember that when she was born, her dad had broken his ankle. That didn't stop him from trying to walk and carry the poor little darling (who had colic very badly). He even tried singing to her...Jingle Bells, the only tune he could remember the words too.

I'm sure she doesn't remember furping up formula on him as he lifted her high over head (and it wasn't even the last time he did that, lol). Or the way he sat through each dance school recital or school concert half asleep because he worked midnights and that was his bed time.

I know she does remember that it was always Dad she went to whenever she found a dead baby bird or other unfortunate critter who needed to be buried. Or that it was him who helped her learn to ride her bike without training wheels. And it was Dad who always glowered whenever she came home late from a date. We're all fairly sure it was only because the Law wouldn't have liked it if he'd killed anyone of her boyfriends that any of them actually made it out of the house. But then again...

Dads do a lot for their kids, a lot more than just bringing home a paycheck. And good Dads are precious to all of us. So, even though I'm a day late, I just want to take the opportunity to send all you Dads a heart felt hug. Hope you all had a great Father's Day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cancelled...for This Week

I know you showed up today for the Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview, but unforeseen circumstances have prompted the need to reschedule for next week. So same URL, same day, but next week :0)

Nevertheless I do think the topic of cancellation is a valid one. I went to a book signing this week to support a friend, Mary Margret Daughtridge, who writes Navy SEAL contemporaries. When I showed up at five minutes until the start there were only four attendees, and two of those were running the camera equipment. I was like "Oh, no! I hope they don't cancel the signing/reading." I know generally you can have two people and the show still goes on...but it does make you wonder how many times the bookstore will keep putting it's time and efforts out there if no one is going to show. Plus it never helps when the weather is nasty outside and there's road construction in the vicinity. Though I'm glad to say that merely pushing the start back 15 minutes meant five times as many people were hanging on every word as Mary Margret read from SEALED WITH A PROMISE. (I loved it because she read a scene about a wedding...and I don't even think she knew I was engaged. Not to mention that it had humor, which always makes a read fun. Let's face it, sometimes too much angst is well...too much.)

The term "cancelled" also brings to mind the wishy washy way tv is going these days. It seems like we're about to be inundated with reality shows. Don't get me wrong I love to watch good reality tv, including seeing just what people will do--like catching the most huge insects with their hands in 30 seconds to win $20,000. (I for one would not win that event!) But it seems that all the good dramas are being gobbled up by what the stations think is popular. Can you think of any paranormal shows that are on a major station, that isn't cable? I bring cable into the mix because a hot topic this past week was the return of TRUE BLOOD on HBO. I got hooked on the first season, and hope the writers can keep up the momentum for this second installment. I'd hate to see it fall apart like HEROES. And I just remembered the trailer I saw for VAMPIRE DIARIES, which I think we can all attest was inspired by TWILIGHT (though info says it's structured according to a series penned by Kevin Williamson) . Even with hit shows like FRINGE and SUPERNATURAL, you have to wonder how long they'll last when their time slots are switched continually and they're pitted against other "headliners". I can say I'm happy to see cable networks will pick up the discards, like Sci Fi's announcement to show MOONLIGHT.

I've also heard the sad news that some authors' series are stalled in limbo. Because of the economic downturn publishers seem to be hesitant to publish or even acquire what hasn't been consistently selling. Which means some of the characters we love might not have their time in the sun...or moonlight. If there's a book you're dying to see written by a favorite author, then please write the publisher or even the author's editor and ask (beg) them to consider pushing the project on! When they're so busy watching the bottom line, they can't always pay attention to what readers want (especially when we're a section of the romance horde). But having more than one person advocate a project could make that light bulb go off and give them a great idea to make money!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

What I'm Reading: How it relates to writing

One of my pals loaned me a boxed set of Nora Roberts books, The Sign of Seven trilogy. I finished book 1, Cal's story, in two days. Now I'm on Fox's story, and about a quarter of the way through. What can I say? Ms Roberts' rarely disappoints. Therefore, I'm looking forward to finishing this series.

I can remember, way back when, I first read one of the esteemed Nora's books. Ahem, wasn't too impressed but that was early in her career and it was a Harlequin in I'm not mistaken (nothing wrong with Harlequin, mind you, but they're shorter and they're not woo-woo books that makes a difference to me).

What I want to really point out though is that first book had a major bad-boy, alpha type hero (always popular) but, to me, he wasn't too likable. But the heroes in the last year or two of Nora books are, while still definitely masculine (in a whoo hoo sort of way), they're over all NICE guys. Decent, honorable, maybe a bit messy (guys will be guys after all) but there are men you wouldn't mind knowing.

That sounds like it would be easy to accomplish but I don't think it is. I think it's a real balancing act to get that sort of masculinity and 'niceness' to work well together. Even her 'bad boy' heroes have a deep core of essential goodness or niceness about them. I enjoy reading them and I'm jealous of their heroines, lol.

However, I will say, there are passages where the guys really 'talk' and seem a bit too in touch with their feelings. Maybe this is because they're 'modern' men? I don't know. Also sometimes, I lose track of who's speaking - the hero or the heroine. I think that's because their voices aren't too well distinguished.

But...I'm still enjoying the stories and the characters. And that's the real measure of reading any book, isn't it?

-- Lynda

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Business or Personal?

Have you ever reserved a hotel room online? If so, you know that they usually have one of those little check boxes to ask whether your stay is personal or business. I think there’s one thing you need to stow away regardless of which you check—books!

As you know I took my first grown-up flight about this time last year. As I sat there interested in everything going on, I also found myself anxious….and admittedly a little bored once we got in the air. I was so happy I’d thought to stow some romances in my carryon! I still recall reading paranormals by Jenna Black and Kelley St. John while I was flying through the clouds :0) It got a little steamy between those pages! Are you like me and sometimes glance up for a quick sec to see if anyone’s watching your expression?

This time of year is also notorious for the beach/summer read with lists pouring out from all the main gal magazines. Usually “beach read” refers to a tongue-in-cheek contemporary that’s easily put down and picked back up. But I think that stereotype has evolved (or perhaps mutated) over the last several years as the markets have changed. I know I pack a variety. A traditional “beach read”, something sexy, a paperback with novellas and a paranormal (or two). These don’t necessarily have to be hot off the presses….many times they’re old faves or books from my TBR pile that I’m finally getting to. Personally, I think novellas are a great way to find new writers or authors I haven’t read before. And being in a new, different place also helps me have a more open mind because I’m not trying to cram reading time in.

This little bit of escapism comes in super handy when I want to beat boredom or drown out the noises/actions of others and relax. That’s not to say I zone out the whole time with my nose in a book, but during the heat of the day, or at night when we’re “doing our own thing” it’s nice to unwind with some endearing characters. Having someone to share that time with, especially if you’re on a business trip alone, can be a great option besides staring at the boob tube.

I haven’t decided on what to pack for the honeymoon, except some lingerie that would make a heroine jealous. The thought of some erotica has crossed my mind. In keeping with the theme of my wedding, some naughty fairy tales to read to each other may be just the ticket!

So what do you have stuck in your purse, carryon, or luggage from your time away from home? You know RWA Nationals is fast approaching and that means book overload and some smart packing :0)

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Guest - Judi Fennell

Good morning everyone! Today we have the imaginative Judi Fennell visiting us. She'll be talking about how she came up with the idea and the location for her book In Over Her Head.

And she's offering a free book to one lucky reader. Read on to find out how you can be that lucky reader :-D


In Over Her Head is the story of a Merman (Reel) and a woman (Erica) who's afraid of the ocean. A bit of a twist to the traditional mermaid stories, and, definitely a twist to The Little Mermaid-but that's about the only resemblance to the children's fairy tale you'll see.

I had a lot of fun with this story because I could build my world any way I wanted. And I love mythology, so you'll find some Norse, some Greek, some Atlantian, a couple of legends tossed in for good measure. I also love language - I was a Spanish major in college - so you'll also see twists on clichés, puns, plays-on-words; all things I love to read and play with.

I love writing paranormal stories. I can use magic, make my characters do things that you wouldn't expect (talking fish anyone? Dive-bombing albatross?), create an economy based on diamonds... I can let my imagination run free.

I'm afraid it went on a walk-about with this story.

The thing with my Mer series, however, is that it is based in reality. Okay, I know, you're saying, "How can a story about Mers be based in reality? There are no such things as Mers."

True... or are there?

I mean, the Bimini Road had to come from somewhere, right? It's a little too perfect to be accidental. The legend of Atlantis has been around for how many years? Wishful thinking or truth?

Therein lies the beauty of paranormal. I could take those events and use them to create a world that could happen. But I had to build it in a way that would be believable. And now, thanks to Google Earth, I really had to stretch my imagination because there is nothing off the coast of the US in the North Atlantic - until you hit Bermuda and all any reader would have to do was sign on and check it out.

But, hmm... if you follow the trajectory of the Bimini Road, guess where it ends up?

You got it.

So, bingo, that's where I set Atlantis.

Beneath Bermuda.

And if you do a bit of research on Bermuda, you'll find out that Bermuda is known for its beautiful underwater caves for scuba diving. So... what if (writers just love the What If?) there was another cave under there? Bigger than any Humans could possibly imagine? What if it was too far down for divers to go, but could fit inside the volcano that makes up Bermuda?

What if Atlantis was in there?

In my world, it is. And, oh, the fun I had creating it.

In Over Her Head will be followed by Wild Blue Under, which is the story of Reel's twin brother, Rod, the heir to the Mer throne, makes its splash November 1, 2009, followed by their sister, Angel's story, Catch of a Lifetime, in February 2010.

To celebrate the release of each of her books, Judi and the Atlantis Inn ( and the Hibiscus House ( bed and breakfasts are raffling off three romantic beach getaway weekends. All information is on Judi's website, as well as excerpts, giveaways, reviews, a link to her blogs, and fun pictures from reader and writer conferences at You can also friend her at,, and at

In Over Her Head
Sourcebooks, June 2009
ISBN # 9781402220012

When Erica Peck, one terrified-of-the-ocean marina owner, finds herself at the bottom of the sea conversing with a Mer man named Reel, she thinks she's died and gone to her own version of Hell. When the Oceanic Council demands she and Reel retrieve a lost cache of diamonds from the resident sea monster in return for their lives, she knows she's died and gone to Hell.

When they escape the monster and end up on a deserted island, she amends her opinion - she's died and gone to Heaven.

But when Reel sacrifices himself to allow her to return to her world, she realizes that, Heaven or Hell, with Reel, she's In Over Her Head.

About The Author:

Judi Fennell has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to "get outside!" instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did--right into Dad's hammock with her Nancy Drew books. It's no wonder she likes to write tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted paranormal romance. Her debut book, In Over Her Head, is a story about a Merman and a woman who's terrified of the ocean. It is available now and will be followed by Wild Blue Under (11/01) and Catch of a Lifetime (2/10).

Judi's publisher, Sourcebooks, has generously offered a free book to one lucky reader. See below to find out how you can be that winner.


-- Lynda Again

I hope you've enjoyed today's guest. To enter the drawing for a copy of Judi's book (sorry, this drawing is only for those who live in the USA or Canada), please send me an email - -with In Over Her Head in the subject line. Be sure to put your snail mail addy in the body of the email. I'll have my fluffy buddy, Wookie, pick the winner, then Sourcebooks will mail it to you. How sweet is that? :-D

Hope to hear from you!

My Website:
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Book Review - In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell

Judi Fennell
Sourcebooks Casablanca
June 2009

Erica Peck is no little mermaid. Even though her family has owned a seaside marina, she’s been terrified of the ocean since she was a little kid. Then, in an attempt to conquer her fear, she tosses her father’s ashes into his beloved sea without knowing that her skanky ex-fiancĂ© had hidden some very valuable diamonds in the urn. Before she knows what’s happening, her ex forces her to dive into the ocean on a futile search for those diamonds. When she surfaces without the gems, he shoots her and speeds away. Just as she loses consciousness, she feels an exploratory ‘bump’ by a shark. Luckily, the shark isn’t the only creature in the water.

Reel has had a fascination with Erica since he first saw her when both he and she were little kids. When he sees Vincent, the shark, preparing to make a meal out of her, he intercedes. But the woman is out of oxygen and she’s too far below the surface for a rapid ascent or she’ll die of the bends. It doesn’t take much effort for Chum, his remora companion, to convince him to commit the ultimate crime of changing her so she can breathe underwater.

Reel knows this will make him responsible for her because she doesn’t know how to survive under the sea and he knows his father, the king, will be just as angry as any member of the council who all think of him as a wastrel. He doesn’t care because for once he has a purpose beyond being the spare son who won’t inherit the kingdom or immortality and whose lack of a proper tail sets him apart from all his kin and companions. He doesn’t count on the council sending Erica and him to find those diamonds and, in doing so, facing the monster who has them.

IN OVER HER HEAD is a delightful, quirky blend of humor, adventure and passion. Erica, once terrified of the ocean and everything in it, slowly overcomes her fear and becomes the heroine she’s always wanted to be. And Reel demonstrates some wonderful heroic qualities even while he retains his boyish playfulness. All in all, this is a fast, fun read and a great way to spend a snowy afternoon or a sunny day at the beach.

-- Lynda
By the way, I'll be offering contests on my readers group every month. All you have to do to win is to be a member and to follow the instructions I send in my group messages. To become a member, send a blank email to

This is a very low volume list so you don't have to worry about getting your email box flooded. Hope to see you there :D

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Wakin' Up in Vegas

You know that new song by Katie Perry? While I was stuck on the interstate, I seriously stopped and thought about hopping a plane to Vegas like Drew Barrmore in WEDDING SINGER. No matter how much we've paid in deposits for the wedding vendors, by this past Friday I'd had enough. Nothing had gone right and everything (big and little) was a struggle! I'm like why can't one thing work out without a hassle? I guess because any time I make a plan, something gets in the way to mess it up.

So this was my line-up. Monday we went to meet with the wedding photographer. Great guy who loves his wife and kids, has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor and promised that he'd take care of everything. He's a pro and his work is top notch. After this one-on-one I hired him in less than half an hour. It helps that he said those magic words! But I wasn't alone, my fiance was impressed. He hasn't been wowed by anything wedding related, and seeing the photographers shots made him say, "He's good." Yay!

Tuesday was a writing group board meeting that started late and meant I had to rearrange standing plans. But I got to half watch WHOSE WEDDING IS IT ANYWAY? and the meeting was over in an hour and a half....a record for us. Though some of the bigger items had to be tabled for later discussion. And since we need fodder for the newsletter, I now get the job of calculating hits on member articles and awarding a prize. All in all, it shouldn't be too bad. And of course with the new month, that also meant fighting my spotty computer connection to send out the latest issue. Finally the planets aligned and the members got their Final Draft.

Wednesday was supposed to be a day off wedding wise, but wouldn't you know it! The preacher asked if we'd decided on scripture. I had looked over some passages we found together online, but hadn't decided on anything. My fiance hadn't even really read those printouts, and sure hadn't been snuggled up with his Bible. So I promised her I'd get something together that evening. I worked for hours trying to find a way around using 1 Corinthians (since my twin used it), and put some pieces together. I came back from my grandmother's elated that I'd made something work only to hear my fiance said it was okay, that he wanted to pick scripture and that he wanted to use 1 Corinthians. So the next day, I gave the info to the preacher and cc-ed my back-up with the express warning to take this under advisement but not to set this in stone.

That brings us to Thursday. With the rain pouring down and sky overcast most of the week, the blahs had hit. I called my engagement pics photographer back (my mom's bfs granddaughter) to see what she needed. It seems she'd finally figured out why I'd picked the spot I had and finally set a time to go with the day (which happened to be the following one) and then she dropped the bomb. She'd stopped by the library's front desk to talk to the head librarian, the only person who is allowed to touch the courtyard keys. Guess what? She was leaving early on Friday, and wouldn't give anyone else the job of opening the space for us for an hour. Are you sensing how I felt? After going back and forth with the photographer for almost a month and a half, everything I thought was nailed down fell apart in seconds. When I told my co-worker/bridesmaid once I got to work, I'll admit I started to cry. Remember how I said, it was one thing after another.

But it gets better! No, not the good way. (And yes, I did think I'd get a call from David's Bridal saying we can't keep your appointment because of flash flooding and the power being out. But that never happened.) So I called the head librarian, being plesant as possible (while thinking if only you knew the details) and we set the following Friday up, though when I called the photographer she said she might not be able to come then due to running errands for a benefit. By this time I was saying "It's only a 30 to 45 minutes!" But she did say she'd try to get someone to run the errands. Then I got an e-mail from the decor vendor to say that she couldn't meet us at the time we'd set that afternoon because there was a photo shoot and she wouldn't have everything set up. I was like why did you set that time if you weren't going to be ready? Then wait for it...she asked if we could meet her at 8:30 or 9 pm at night on a day when it was pouring cats and dogs. I'd also been talking to her for over a month, so we opted for Sunday afternoon.

After work I was pumped because all things were still go for Operation Nab Bridesmaids' Dresses. Then I got stuck on the interstate because of an accident. I was like I'm supposed to be at my mom's in 5 minutes! But we made it to Greensboro (45 minutes away) a few minutes past 6 (our appointment time). We signed in and the greeter pulled up my records and said my bridesmaid dresses were canary. I was like, "No! They're capri." So with a couple clicks he changed it. Yay! Then I helped my sis try on her dress for size, and she got to stay with a smaller one! Yay again. Then we ordered her dress and I ordered the junior bridesmaid's. Then we waited for my other bridesmaid/co-worker, who was 30 minutes late. We walked laps around the salon, and I did luck up and find a sixpence for my shoe. My co-worker/bridesmaid showed up...with her slightly ill looking hubby in tow. They were running late for a dinner with friends. When we got back from the loo, he yelled, "Did you know this was a final sale?" She said yes (since that's standard bridal protocol), so he scribbled his name, threw the pen on the counter and stormed out the door yelling they were late. Afterwards the consultant asked me if she'd made him mad. She'd been nothing but nice and super helpful, especially while my mom tried on dresses. As fate would have it, Mom finally got her cornflower blue dress!

So Friday, there are no engagement pics and it's was raining enough to express how sad I was about that. I'm 2 months behind in sending out save-the-date cards. Now I'm seriously wondering if I should even bother, though everyone has started asking me to remind them of the date. Since it was my early release day from my FT job, I spent the extra hours touching base with the florist about centerpeices; finding a sleevless tube top to get some sun without tan lines; and called the rehearsal location to see about a possible overlap with their usual Wednesday church group. But all that turned out okay...surprise, surprise! Except for the fact that the engagement pic photographer called me back at home (knowing I'd be at work) and left a message saying she'd hadn't found a replacement for those errands and to give her a call. I left the ball in her court, saying I really wanted to do the pics on the 12th, and would only call the head librarian back if she absolutely couldn't do it that day. So that's still up in the air.

In summary I'm pooped and am waiting for something to pop up that knocks things off kilter. I have a few more big things to take care of (including prepping for a meeting with my director), then it'll all be downhill and saving up money to pay the vendors. And scanning those barcodes for gifts. I'm so loking forward to something fun...and as of now not in Vegas! While it would be fun for the honeymoon and as a setting for a wild and crazy book, right now I have enough on my plate without adding an all you can eat buffet and Elvis inspired preacher.

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Congrats Winners!

Congrats to Beverly and Sara who've won the copies of Emerald Silk and Catch A Shadow.

Thanks to all who participated in the drawing! Hope you all have a great weekend!


Monday, June 01, 2009

Catching Up Monday

Good morning everyone! Happy Monday. Boo hiss, lol. I'm back to work after a week long vacation and like every other human being I'd rather be at home. We didn't go anywhere (I guess it's called a 'staycation' now) but we did get a lot of work done around the house.

First item on my 'staycation' was putting in my garden. Well, it's not a garden like I used to do with long rows of veggies and hours of back breaking labor. It's a container garden and it's so much easier on the old back. It's particularly easy when the hubs does his thing -- he rotates the soil from one barrel to the next. This makes planting an absolute breeze because the soil is so soft.

This year, we're doing a Sweet 100 Cherry tomato plant (his fav...when he picks them it's one for the house, five for his mouth, lol), a Beefmaster (my fav...they always make it to the house because I'm too prissy, lol. I want my food washed.) Then I have a barrel with herbs - sage, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, mint (this one is chocolate mint, smells & tastes like the Girl Scout cookies Thin Mints. Yum) basil, and lavender. Then I have a barrel for brussels sprouts and one for kale. And because the tomatoes like green peppers and marigolds, we have a few of each scattered in all the barrels except for the herb barrel. I've always fancied myself as an organic gardener so I do try to do companion planting where possible. I avoid toxic chemicals like pesticides or chemical fertilizers. My daughter, who's turned out to be a sprig off the old mother plant, lol, makes a wonderful compost tea. The garden loves it! She sells compost tea kits on Craig's List. If you're interested, email and the kit is $50.00

Another job I got done was shredding mountains of old documents. You know the kind, bank statements, bills, statements from the health care provider, statements from the very sad retirement accounts. This was an all day job. I was so pleased when I finally got to the end of the pile(s). Until I found another pile but by that time my butt was totally tired of being chained to the chair beside the shredder. I just promised that I'd put that in the to-be-shredded pile and that I wouldn't wait until it was mountainous.

And the last heinous job I had was window washing. You know it's time to do this when you look out the window and think there's a heavy fog. At noon. On a sunny day. This year I tried a new product from I think she calls these Rags in a Bag (it's a mesh bag). Let me tell you, I washed these winders inside and out using nothing but these cloths and water! No soap, no glass cleaner. Just water. I did have to rinse the cloths between windows but, what the heck, that's no big deal. I dried the windows with another dry cloth. No streaks at all. I loved it!

I also had the opportunity to read a couple of very good books.

Emerald Silk by Janet Lane, Five Star Publishing ISBN:1-59414-682-9

This is a historical romance. Emerald Silk is apparently the second book of a series. It has an interesting premise -- what happens when a xenophobic knight meets a beautiful half-blood gypsy? Well, okay, we know what happens but how they get to their HEA is the trick, isn't it? :-D I found it a very interesting book with lots of fascinating historical details.

Catch a Shadow by Patricia Pott, Berkley Sensation,ISBN: 978-0-425-22119-8

An EMT's decision to help a dying man delivers her into the chaos of murder, treason, and international espionage and only one man, himself a convicted thief, can help her. Interesting and exciting, lots of tension. I enjoyed it.

The Flame and The Shadow by Denise Rossetti, ACE, ISBN: 978-0-441-01634-1

This erotic fantasy romance is by an author who is new to me. I have to admit I was impressed with her writing, her characters and her plot. The hero, Gray, is a mercenary and a sorcerer, who is actually two persons in one. Or is it one person and one rather sexy shadow? (Fantastic premise!) Gray had been hired to deliver Cenda, a fire witch, to the one man in the universe who can help rid him of his shadow self. But he doesn't count on falling in love... I'm keeping this one and looking for more in the series.

Heart Fate by Robin Owens, Berkley Sensation, ISBN: 978-0-425-22367-3

I'm betting we all know that Heart series and how terrific they are. This one is no different. It's a great read. Oddly enough, this one touches lightly on spouse/child abuse but Ms Owens treats it so delicately and gives the characters so much room to grow and to handle their problems that, really, the book is about hope as much as love. You can never go wrong with a Robin Owens book :-D

If you're a member of my newsletter group and would like Catch A Shadow or Emerald Silk, please send me an email ( with the title of the book you'd like in the subject line. In the body of the email, put your yahoo id or name so I can verify you as a member of the group AND include your snail mail address. Next Friday, June 5, I'll put all the names in a box and ask my Wookie-Baby to pull out a winner for each book. If you want both books, you'll need to send TWO emails, one for each.

If you're not a member of my newsletter group, please consider joining. I'd love to have you there.

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:

Wookie my big old fluffy kitten, loves picking winners so I hope lots of you will enter the drawing :-D

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