Monday, June 30, 2014

You Got Chocolate in My Peanut Butter!

Anyone else remember those old Reeses Peanut Butter Cup commercials?  Someone has a chocolate bar and someone else has a jar of peanut butter, and after some minor catastrophe, the two end up together.  And both people decide the mix is good.

But sometimes, throwing two things together doesn't end up so good.  For me, mixing sex with action rarely works.  I realize right now there are dozens of you ready to beat me over the head with a set of salad tongs. After all, there's a whole genre devoted to mixing romance with suspense.  But please understand... I'm talking about FOR ME.  As a reader, I can't marry the idea of two characters running for their lives or evading tragedy or escaping doom who suddenly have time for a quick roll in the hay.  And as a writer, I can't make it work so that I feel I have suspended disbelief.  (If I can suspend my own, how can I hope to suspend yours?)

I'm not saying it never works.  As I was typing the above paragraph, the love scene from the movie Terminator popped into my head.  In that case, there was a logical break in the action and the tension of running from Ahnold melded them together. Plus, she had to conceive at some point or the plot would've fallen apart.  And there they were stuck inside a house being moved with nothing much else to do except stew over when the terminator would find them, so they had plenty of time to enjoy each other's company.

I just don't see it working like that very often otherwise.  For me, I'll be reading along, enjoying the plot and then suddenly, the hero and the heroine are sexing it up.  Sometimes it's so sudden, it drops me out of the plot.  Most times, I just flip past the pages of sexual description until I can pick up the plot thread again.  Every rare once in a while, I read the whole scene because there is actually something crucial to the story woven into the scene.

But maybe it's just me.  I used to inhale sex scenes in novels, pouring over every word.  Now?  Meh.  These days I'm just as content to have the writer hint that they're having sex and then close the door on the scene.  I'm happier when they get me right back to the plot.  And as a writer, that's what I hope to do.  You know, if I ever have my characters in a place where sex right then is necessary to the storyline.

In my unpublished suspense, Dying Embers, the heroine knows she wants the hero.  Hell, I even got them both in the same hotel room.  But as I wrote the scene I realized her mind was totally wrapped up in finding a killer and he was too tired to make a move anyway.  In the end, the story felt more real with her thinking about him rather than jumping on him.

Like I said, though, maybe it's just me.  Time for you to chime in.  If you're a reader, do you find sex scenes in action settings believable?  Do you even care?  As a writer, how do you manage to weave the intimacy in with the tension and make it work? 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fab Photo Friday - Nighthawk

As you all know, I'm a bird nerd.  Lucky for me, the other day I saw a rare sight and had my camera with me.  Below is the common nighthawk - roosting for the day at the top of a light pole.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A flash of inspiration

I recently had a flash of inspiration about a story idea.

My heartbeat sped up. My mind raced. I was filled with a sense of euphoria.

I probably did a fist pump.

Because here's the thing: Inspiration doesn't show up all that often for me. When it does, I welcome it with open arms.

So it was awesome that inspiration came calling.

What was less-than-awesome was the fact that it had nothing to do with my story, my book, my writing.

It was all about a story I've been helping a talented friend brainstorm.

So in that respect, it was kind of disappointing.

I'd much rather ride a wave of inspiration than do my daily slog, but that wasn't meant to be.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you depend on inspiration to get things done? Writing?  Cleaning your house? Crafting? Exercising?

Or do you just do the work because it's on the schedule?

I'm currently working away at the second Matchmaker Mystery…and waiting for inspiration to come calling.  ;-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teaser Tuesday -- Matchmaker Mystery 2

Sharing another quick look at my current work-in-progress:

She'd just drifted off to sleep when she was startled awake by heavy footsteps climbing the stairs toward her apartment.
Leaping off the bed, she grabbed the baseball bat leaning against the wall. Grasping it firmly, she held her breath, waiting to hear who it was that was visiting her.
The rap against the door was sharp and quick. "Sandy?" a familiar voice called. "It's me. Let me in."
Exhaling the breath she hadn’t even been aware she’d been holding, she tossed the bat on the bed, crossed the room, and unlocked the three locks on her front door.  “Hey, Diego. What’s…?”
The question died on her lips, as, yanking open the door, she got a good luck at the man on the other side.
Normally tall, dark and handsome, Diego was hunched, bleeding and in pain. 
Wordlessly, Sandy stepped aside, ushering him inside. He stumbled to one of the chairs in her kitchen and sank down onto it with a groan.
Sandy closed the door and threw all three locks, knowing full well that the locks hadn’t stopped the thieves who’d broken in and stolen her stuff and surely wouldn’t be a deterrent to whoever who’d done this to Diego. She cleared her throat, endeavoring to sound calm as she asked, “You want me to call 9-1-1?”
“As if,” he teased weakly.
Shaking her head, Sandy moved to her bathroom, snagging the First Aid kit she kept under the sink before joining him in the kitchen.
She got a better look at him under the glare of the fluorescent lighting. His T-shirt was dirty, the collar torn . His lower lip was swollen and there was a trace of blood smeared across his chin. A nasty-looking bump bloomed over his eyebrow.
“What happened?” She put the kit down on the vinyl tablecloth-covered bridge table that served as her dining area and went to the freezer.
“Classified.” Diego fumbled with the latch on the kit.
Sandy shot him a dirty look as she cracked the ice cube tray. She spilled blocks of ice into a clean dishtowel with undue vigor and then thrust the combination at Diego.
He took the improvised ice pack from her and pressed it against the knot on his forehead, a move that revealed a long cut, slicing down his forearm.
She took a minute to wash here hands, using the time to compose herself as the shock of his sudden appearance wore off.  She turned back to him. “You look like hell.”
“It looks worse than it is.”
“That’s what you always say.”
He did his best to grin at her, a maneuver that was normally charming, but now just looked painful.
She stuck her tongue out at him and then opened the First Aid Kit.
He chuckled, “You look tired, Dee.”
“Don’t try to make it like I’m the one with a problem here.” She pulled out a packet with an antiseptic wipe and tore the foil open, the sharp scent filling the air.  “You’re the one who shows up after a month of no contact looking like you’ve gone a couple rounds with Rocky Balboa.”
“You think I could last multiple rounds with Rocky? I’m touched.”
“I think you’re dumb enough to try.” Flicking the wipe open, she moved it toward his injured arm.  “Ready?”
He nodded. “I’m sorry about being out of touch.” The last word came out as a pained hiss as she swiped the wound with antiseptic.  “But you know if you ever need me you can call that number.”
“I know.” Sandy wiped away the dried blood. “This isn’t too deep, but you should cover it.”  She reached for a roll of white gauze in the First Aid kit.
Leaning forward, Diego grabbed her hand, stopping her. “Seriously, Dee. What’s wrong?”
She looked from his hand covering hers to his dark eyes, fringed by impossibly thick lashes, and saw the concern shimmering there. “Nothing, ‘Go. I’m just tired.”
He squeezed her hand gently, then released her. “You’ve been working extra shifts at the hospital.”
She plucked the gauze out of the case and unwound a bit. “Is that an educated guess?”

He shook his head. “Just because you didn’t know where I was doesn’t mean I didn’t know where you were.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wait! That's not Mine.

So a while back I wandered out to the mailbox and found it fuller than it needed to be.  As I walked back, I sorted through it to see what was important, what was fun, and what was junk.  And none of it even belonged to this address. 

Turns out we had a substitute mail person, and she must have been flummoxed by the numbers on the boxes or something out here in BFE.  All of the mail in our box belonged to the guy one driveway south of us.  (And no, our mailbox wasn't in the mailbox to the north.) 

So, Hubs took the packet of mail and trudged next door (not a short walk, btw) and left their mail where it actually belonged - in that guy's mailbox.  Did the same thing last year when we got the other neighbor's mail shuffled in with ours. 

Back when we were in Colorado, we would often get other people's mail.  Sometimes it was the previous renter's.  Sometimes it belonged to the people across the street.  On occasion it would be mail for an address somewhere else in town.  In those cases, if I knew the person, I would take them their mail.  If I didn't, I would drop it in the big blue postal box so it could be delivered properly.  And if the mail was actually for our address but not for us, I would cross the address off, write 'return to sender, no such person' on it, and give it back to the USPS. 

Years ago, after we'd moved, my mother wrote our new address wrong.  We were at 619, and she wrote 519 on our Christmas cards.  You know the Christmas cards that your mom sends with checks inside??  Yeah, those ones.  They were never heard from again.  We never got them.  She never got them back.  And luckily, the checks were never cashed.  I guess the people who lived a block down from us threw them out. 

Kinda rude, if you ask me.  Especially since we were the only Sandersons in town and my husband was a public figure.  It wouldn't have been THAT much trouble to find us and give us the cards.  :shrug: 

So, now I ask you, Killer Chicks, what do you do if you have mail in your box that isn't addressed to you?  Do you go through the trouble of finding the rightful owner, or try to at least get it back to the sender, or would you throw it away?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Edie Ramer and Candace Carrabus MUST LOVE PETS

Still featuring MUST LOVE PETS which is STILL just 99 cents!

Check out these great stories by Edie and Candace.

Christmas at Angel Lake - Edie Ramer

A kitten saved her…

Broke, pregnant and deserted by her boyfriend, Maddie Barrymore swerves to avoid a kitten while driving in a Wisconsin blizzard—and her life takes another turn. Like Puss in Boots, she stays in an empty house. She has the baby, the kitten, gets a job and a degree…yet every day she’s ready to flee if the real owner shows up.

Five years later, he does…

Dumped by the woman he loves, film producer Logan MacLeesh’s heart is as dark as one of his movies. He plans to hole up in his grandmother’s old mansion and throw himself into his work…until he discovers the sexy squatter and her four-year-old son. Before he can call the sheriff, Maddie’s tale of how she ended up there entertains him. They make a deal that as long as she tells him a story every night, she and her son can stay. Even the cat, though Logan’s always been a dog person.

A dog in need of saving…

Far away in another state, a homeless dog lifts his head, sniffs…and smells him. The human who’s meant for him. As he heads through the snow toward the scent, his journey seems impossible, even though it’s Christmas, a time when miracles happen.

The Man, The Dog, His Owner & Her Lover - Candace Carrabus

To Stephanie O'Hanlon, 40-something workaholic, a blank to-do list is crazy-making. When she gets laid off and rescues a huge, smiling dog from a shelter - a dog her friend insists is inhabited by Steph's lover from a former life - she discovers the true meaning of crazy.
Gabe Fagen, handyman and crazy-in-love with Stephanie since they were teenagers, sees Steph losing her job as the chance he's been waiting for. But will she notice he's alive with a mysterious giant dog acting as her guardian angel?
A portion of net proceeds from the sale of this audiobook will be donated to animal shelters.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dale Mayer and Zoe Dawson -- MUST LOVE PETS

This week we're all about MUST LOVE PETS: A Romance Box Set.  Still only 99 cents!

Here's a little bit about 2 more of the included stories:

It's a Dog's Life - Dale Mayer

It's the first day of Ninna's job in the local animal shelter...and a dog is talking to her. Not just any dog...a fat, old, smart-alecky Basset Hound who says his name is Mosey.

She can't quit, she needs this job. And then there's the yummy vet who turns out to live across the street from her. He has a house big enough to hold a few animals - including the mouthy Mosey. With all this going on, she doesn't have time to worry about the rash of break-ins and the sense of being watched. She's too busy worrying that she's nuts.

When Ninna agrees to dog sit for the cute vet from work, she sees it as a trial at being a pet owner and a way to build on her budding relationship with the vet. For Mosey, this weekend means time to get to know each other. 

For the stalker who's tracking Ninna's movements, it means…opportunity.

Groomed for Murder - Zoe Dawson

Can a dog have a bad hair day?

Brooke Palmer owns Pawlish, an exclusive doggie spa and grooming business in upper Manhattan, but when a client’s champion poodle gets a bad poodle cut and has to undergo therapy to recover, the client sues. The lawyer they send is drop dead gorgeous, but Brooke won't be wooed by a corporate shark in a sharp suit.

Corporate lawyer Drew Hudson has better things to do then take on this ridiculous lawsuit, but since he works for the client’s husband, he has no choice. After meeting the beautiful, sweet-tempered owner, he can’t keep his mind on the silly case. But when the client turns up dog gone dead, Brooke may be a conflict of interest when she’s charged with the murder. All Drew wants to do is prove that this sexy entrepreneur is not dangerous, except to his heart.

Can she take a chance on him? 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Theresa Weir and Barbara Samuel MUST LOVE PETS

This week we're all about MUST LOVE PETS: A Romance Box Set.  Still only 99 cents!

Let's learn a bit more about two of the included stories.

Girl with the Cat Tattoo - Theresa Weir, NY Times bestselling author & Rita award winner

For cat lovers everywhere, this sweet, quirky, and delightful romance is about a young woman and her matchmaking cat. 

A little bit of mystery, a whole lot of whimsy. 

About the book: 

When a matchmaking cat takes it upon himself to find his young mistress a new mate, he accidentally stirs up memories better left forgotten. 

Melody’s husband was murdered by what seemed a random act of violence. Two years later, the killer hasn’t been caught, and Melody is coping in unhealthy ways. During the day she’s a mild-mannered children’s librarian, but at night she’s a party girl, hanging out in bars, drinking with new friends, and often bringing home strange men. Although acquaintances have tried to keep in touch, Melody has cut herself off from most of the people in her old life. Max, her eccentric cat, doesn’t approve of her new friends, he’s tired of the parade of losers, and he finally takes it upon himself to find Melody a new man. 

Walk in Beauty - Barbara Samuel, seven-time Rita award winner

Once, Luke Bernali’s proud Navajo blood and strong carpenter’s hands made genteel Jessie Callahan love him with youthful abandon. But, to his endless regret, Luke faltered and he let Jessie down. Hurt, Jessie left, with a broken heart…and unaware that she was pregnant with Luke’s child.

Now, eight years later, Jessie was back—with a darling daughter in tow. Luke was older—and wiser—and determined to recapture the beauty lost. Could a fierce, desperate long-ago love soar anew on the delicate wings of a child?

Monday, June 16, 2014

MUST LOVE PETS -- Boxed Set -- 7 Authors, 7 Stories -- Just 99 Cents!

Since my story, THE MUTT AND THE MATCHMAKER is part of the MUST LOVE PETS boxed set, B.E. has graciously allowed me to plug the set all week.

NY Times, USA Today, Amazon and B&N bestselling authors!
Love dogs, love cats, love romance! Seven tales of love for 99 cents for a limited time!

Girl with the Cat Tattoo - Theresa Weir, NY Times bestselling author & Rita award winner
For cat lovers everywhere, this sweet, quirky, and delightful romance is about a young woman and her matchmaking cat. When Sam the cat takes it upon himself to find his young mistress a new mate, he accidentally stirs up memories better left forgotten. A little bit of mystery, a whole lot of whimsy.

Groomed for Murder - Zoe Dawson
Brooke Palmer's exclusive doggie spa, Pawlish, is sued when a client's pampered champion gets a bad poodle cut. The client's lawyer is drop-dead gorgeous Drew Hudson, but Brooke won't be wooed by a corporate shark in a sharp suit. This frivolous lawsuit is Drew's chance to advance to partner, but things get complicated when he finds that the side he's rooting for isn't the side he's fighting for.

It's a Dog's Life - Dale Mayer
Ninna's new job in the local animal shelter includes a yummy vet...and a dog who talks to her. Not just any dog...a fat, old, smart-alecky Basset Hound who says his name is Mosey. With all this going on, she doesn't have time to worry about the rash of break-ins and the sense of being watched. She's too busy worrying that she's nuts.

Christmas at Angel Lake - Edie Ramer
In a heartwarming tale of love, producer Logan MacLeesh, dumped by the woman he loves, lets squatter Maddie Barrymore, her young son and cat stay in his grandmother's house... as long as she tells him a story every night. Far away, in another state, a homeless dog begins an impossible journey to find the man who's meant for him...

The Mutt and the Matchmaker - JB Lynn
Private investigator Tom Hanlon is investigating a string of home burglaries when a pushy matchmaker sets him up with his main suspect - quirky dog walker Jane Bly - and her foster mutt, Calamity. Tom's trying to catch a thief, but it may be his heart that's stolen.

The Man, The Dog, His Owner & Her Lover - Candace Carrabus
When Stephanie O'Hanlon, 40-something workaholic, gets laid off and rescues a dog inhabited by her lover from a former life, she discovers the meaning of crazy. Handyman Gabe Fagen is crazy-in-love with Steph, but will she notice he's alive with a mysterious giant dog acting as her guardian angel?

Walk in Beauty - Barbara Samuel, seven-time Rita award winner
A highly emotional tale of lost love and second chances. Long ago, Luke Bernali's proud Navajo blood and strong carpenter's hands made genteel Jessie Callahan fall heedlessly in love, but Luke let her down. Now, eight years later, Jessie is back and Luke is determined to recapture the heart of the woman he's never stopped missing. Can a fierce, desperate long-ago love soar anew?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fab Photo Friday - Beautiful Hitchhiker

The other day I was out and about roaming the yard with the camera and this friend happened to join me.

It's a Hackberry Emperor.  And here's what it looks like with its wings spread:

Personally, I think something so pretty ought to have a prettier name, like Beautiful Hitchhiker*, but I don't get to choose.

What would you name it if it were up to you?

* This species of butterfly likes to land on people.  Something about the salt on our skin.  Anyway, if you walk slow, they'll tag along.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eat Your Vegetables


Do you eat vegetables?

Which do you love?
Which do you despise?

JB:  I think "loving" vegetables is stretching it a bit, don't you?
I LIKE asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, red peppers, potatoes, onions, and spinach.
I tolerate most others.
I despise lima beans and brussel sprouts (which are NOTHING like sprouts of any kind).

B.E.:  Considering that for the first couple dozen years of my life, I barely tolerated most vegetables, I'm surprisingly more diverse in my diet now.  I'm with JB, though.  I still can't say I LOVE them.  I do enjoy broccoli and cauliflower, spinach (raw or freshly cooked and mixed into something to be stuffed inside something else) and asparagus.  I enjoy tomatoes (even if they are actually a fruit, I still think of them as veggies) and carrots.

I despise brussel sprouts, peas, and cabbage.  And I only like beans in soup or chili.  (Except for green beans... those are okay.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Let it go. Let it go"

Got the song stuck in your head yet?  ;-)

Within the past few months a few writing friends have asked me what I thought they should do about projects they've invested years in. For a bunch of different reasons these writers are no longer feeling the love for works they poured their hearts and souls into.

What should they do?

Except for the one I told to stop whining and get working, I told the rest to let their projects go.

Is there something you should let go of?

Here's my advice: Determine whether you're avoiding working on your project because it's hard work and you're scared/lazy or if it's because you really don't have the capacity to do it. (Maybe your life situation has changed drastically. Maybe it's your goals that have shifted. Maybe you've realized it's a shitty piece that doesn't deserve to make it out of the proverbial bottom drawer.)

If it's not the right time, let it go.

I'm not saying to toss it completely. I'm just saying to let the project languish. Let yourself off the hook.

After all, I'm pretty that when my friends asked my advice about what to do, they were really looking for someone to say it's okay to let it go. They wanted me to let them off the hook and I was happy to do it because I knew how much energy they were wasting worrying about it.

While I'm specifically talking about writing in this post, I think it applies to most of life.  If you don't feel like finishing knitting a blanket/training for a triathlon/reading the classics just let the plan go.  Trust me, it'll free up a lot of time and energy.

Tell me Killer Friends: What have YOU let go? More importantly, what are you hanging on to and working through now?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Teaser Tuesday -- Armani's Next Match

I just started writing a new Matchmaker Mystery yesterday. I haven't even named the book yet. 

I thought I'd ask for YOUR help.  Give me suggestions in the comments for the OLD LADY'S DRINK and your suggestion may make it into the book.  

“I need to talk to you.”
Brady, standing on line at the bar, waiting to get a drink barely heard the woman over the booming music being spun by the wedding DJ. He bent down, closer to the vivacious Latina. “Sorry, didn’t quite catch that.”
“I said, I need to talk to you. It’s important.”
Although they’d never spoken, Brady knew who the woman was. Everyone attending the wedding knew she was Armani Vasquez, the matchmaker who’d put his friend, Tom, together with his new bride, Jane.
As a rule, Brady scoffed at the idea of a matchmaker, but even he had to admit that Tom and Jane were a perfect match. He’d never seen his friend so happy.
“It’s important,” Armani told him. “Life changing important.”
“Okay, just let me get this drink and then we’ll find a place to talk.” Glancing down at her near-empty glass, he asked, “Can I get you a refill?”
She flashed him a beguiling smile. “Margarita on the rocks, por favor.”
“What can I get ya, buddy?” the bartender called.
“One margarita on the rocks and one OLD LADY’S DRINK.”
Brady was pretty sure the guy smirked, but he wordlessly poured the drinks and handed them over.
Brady moved to pass Armani her beverage, forgetting that the beautiful woman only had the use of one of her hands, the other, according to what Tom had told him had been injured, along with one of her legs in a Zamboni accident. 
She held up her empty glass, indicating she couldn’t take the full one.
“May I?” Mauricio sidled up to them, smoothly plucking the glass from Armani’s grip.
“Thank you.” Armani batted her eyelashes at him gratefully while taking the margarita from Bradley.
“Always my pleasure to assist a beautiful woman.” Mauricio made a slight bow toward her.
She grinned her pleasure.
“Don’t let the drink go to your head, buddy,” Mauricio teased, nodding at the umbrella-laden drink Bradley held, before strolling off.
Brady rolled his eyes. “Ha ha.”
“Is he single?” Armani asked as soon as Mauricio was out of earshot.
Brady watched his friend get swallowed up by the undulating crowd on the dance floor. “Widowed. But trust me, he’s not looking for love.”
Armani stared at the spot where Mauricio had disappeared. “Looking and finding aren’t always the same thing.” She eyed the OLD LADY’S DRINK distastefully before raising her glass to toast. “To a purple people eater.”
Brady stared at her. He’d heard she was eccentric.
She clinked her glass against the one he held. “To a purple people eater.”  She sipped from her margarita. “Drink up.”
“It’s not my drink.”
She chuckled. “Well, that’s a relief.”
“It’s my date’s and I really should get it to her.”
She scowled. “Trust me, a woman who drinks an OLD LADY’S DRINK is not the woman for you.” She leaned closer to whisper conspiratorially, “I know these things.”
Deciding it was best to play along with the slightly wacky woman, Brady agreed, “So I’ve heard.”
Armani flashed a self-satisfied grin. “My reputation precedes me.”
“So what’s this important thing you need to tell me?”
“I already did.”
Brady blinked. He considered himself to be a reasonably intelligent man, but he was struggling to follow this conversation despite that fact he’d only had one beer.
“Purple people eater.”
“What does that mean?”
“You have to find someone who can give you one.”
“What is it?”
Armani shrugged. “How should I know?’
Brady stared at her, totally confused.
“Keep asking and you shall receive,” Armani intoned. With that she limp-shimmied into the crowd of dancers, leaving Brady holding an OLD LADY’S DRINK and wondering what the hell had just happened.

Was the matchmaker trying to set him up?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Movies That End Badly

Every once in a while, we'll be surfing through the channels and see a movie we haven't tried before.  I'm a little leery these days after sitting through Pay It Forward, but I'm still willing to try.  Unfortunately, I sit through unknown to me movies wondering if it's all going to fall apart after they've sucked me in like PIF did.

Because I've been a couch potato for a lot more years than the Hubs, though, I try to vet the movies before I invite him to watch.  Not that he's still not gun shy.  Over the weekend, for instance, there was nothing else really on.  Golf was boring.  The baseball game was uninspiring.  We'd seen all the episodes of shows we liked.  So, I turned on the movie Matilda.  I knew he hadn't seen it.  (Hubs isn't one for kids' movies - not on his own.)  As we watched, he says 'this isn't going to end well, is it?'   I smiled and told him, 'I like this movie.'

You see, he already knows I don't like movies that don't end well.  In fact, if I know going in what the story's all about, I won't watch a movie that ends badly.  (Which is part of the reason PIF ticked me off so bad.)

For that matter, not too keen on books that end badly either.

Oh, I'm not such a Pollyanna that I think everyone has to survive every movie or book or whatever.  But for me, if someone integral to the plot has to die, there'd better be a darn good reason.  Take the movie Armageddon. Or the movie Space Cowboys.  Someone has to die in order for the planet to be saved.  Now, if that ain't a good reason, I don't know what is.

Okay, now it's your turn.  Tell me a movie you were afraid would end badly but that actually turned out good.  Personally, I was sure Slumdog Millionaire would not end well, but I was pleasantly surprised.  And I pleasantly surprised Hubs with the movie Frequency the other day, when he was pretty sure someone crucial would die horribly.  

Or if you can't think of one, tell me about a movie that ended badly - so I'll know to avoid it in the future.  ;o)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fabulous Photo Friday: MUST LOVE PETS

Not really a photo, but I wanted to show off this great set I'm a part of.  I LOVE the cover. SOO cute!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

National Donut Day!

Tomorrow is National Donut Day!

What's your favorite donut?  And how do you feel about dunking?

B.E.:  Donuts!  (or Doughnuts - depending on who ya are.)  I love donuts.  My favorite is one I can't get anymore.  It was from this place up the street from where I used to work in Michigan.  A roll type donut, slathered in peanut butter frosting, then artfully criss-crossed with a line of chocolate icing.  Mmmm.  Nowadays, we're grooving on Walmart's raspberry-filled, cream-cheese frosted bismarcks.  :drools a little:  And I'm a no-dunker.

JB: Crullers! (and yes to dunking because that's what they're made for)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Woohoo! It's release day!

All reluctant hitwoman Maggie Lee really wants is to have a calm, normal life. 

She doesn’t want to go around killing people for money.
She doesn’t want her sister to be terrified of her ex-pimp.
She doesn’t want her Dad to disappear from the Witness Protection program. 

But Maggie rarely gets what she wants. 

Instead, she finds herself trying to keep everyone out of trouble. 

With the help of her ragtag team of supporters: her semi-psychic friend, a handsome, charming con man, her almost-lover cop/hitman mentor, her curious Southern Belle cat, her haughty lizard, and her sweet, but dumb Doberman, Maggie does her best to stay a step ahead of Law Enforcement, while helping those she loves. 

​But will Maggie end up being the one who needs to be saved?

I loved the first review left for it on Amazon. Thanks, Phyllis!

"Maggie, DeeDee, & God are back! And this time Maggie has cops popping up all over the place. That's not a good thing when you're a reluctant hitwoman who is trying her hardest to keep Rule #1: DON'T GET CAUGHT! But Maggie has her hands full trying to help her aunt keep her business, keep her sister's ex-pimp away from her, & keep her eyes open for her Dad who has given the Marshal's in the Witness Protection Program the slip. As always, Maggie & her crew of misfit animals are sweet & entertaining while getting the jobs done. Maggie is coming into her own & is learning to handle things on her own without running to Patrick, her mentor & almost lover. And she's learning to handle them without having disastrous results. This is another good one. I love this whole series & can't wait for the next one!"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Blink of an I

In keeping with the past few times I did Teaser Tuesday, here's a snippet from one of my 'not likely to be published' books...

Blink of an I
Seven colors, seven castes,
Created so our Union lasts.
Seven colors, Black and White—
Keep our Union future bright.
Violet heeds the servant call.
Indigos are helpmates all.
Management is left to Blue.
Health belongs to Greenish hue.
Yellow creates for Union needs.
Orange educates for Union deeds.
Leaving Red to shepherd all.
We answer our great Union’s call.
Beyond the colors, above the caste
Black maintains the laws they’ve passed.
Above all others, as is their right,
The Union wears the color White.
The shining light above us ever,
May the Union live forever.

Chapter 1
The twisted hulk stretched into the air above her like a man straining to grasp the hand of a loved one being pulled away.  On the opposite side of the strait, Mary could almost make out another someone reaching through the fog. 
Or maybe she was only remembering that it was there.  Every chance she got, she trekked the many blocks to stand on this strip of land between the ocean and the bay to wait.  Unsure of what she was waiting for, and yet still waiting.  On sunny days, she could see across the thick belt of water where a twin husk reached toward the city.  The two corroded towers between rose from the waves—silent guardians of a past she would never know.
Her fingers traced, yet again, the strange symbols rising off the brass plate at the base.  They probably told what the expanse was for, but their meaning was lost to her.  Below her the surf crashed against the rocks, and silently slithered back into the bay, whispering secrets in a language she wished to understand.
Turning her back to the mystery, she cast her eyes across the bay toward the hills and wondered if the upper castes who lived there knew what any of it meant.  Surely someone up there had been taught these things.  At some point someone thought this structure was important enough to build.  It ought to be important enough for someone to remember, even after all the years that must’ve passed.
But if anyone still understood, she knew they would never tell someone like her.  She was nothing to them.
Trailing her fingers through the rust, she tried to let go of the pain struggling against her station always brought.  In this place, her caste level didn’t matter.  The structure behind her didn’t care if she was a lowly Indigo or a lofty Red.  After her years in the foundling home, she found structures were better company anyway.  The wasted creation above never pointed and laughed at her questionable parentage.  It never shunned her because her jumper was a coarser cloth or a poorer color.  The warped and corroded metal simply stood, making her feel that maybe once upon a time people didn’t care about such things either.  Clearly if men could build such mysterious monuments, they wouldn’t have had time to dwell on origins and castes.
Her gaze drifted partway along the coast and a few blocks in.  Nestled inside the grid of streets was her other favorite place in the city.  Nothing more than sandy brick and dusty windows, without any outstanding characteristics to draw anyone’s attention, the building—whatever was within—was still prominent amongst the surrounding derelicts surrounding.  Like its brethren, it was worn with age.  Unlike them, it wore age proudly.  Though there was a cracked window pane here and a crumbling brick there, those minor details did nothing to associate the structure with the stolid sentinels around it.  None of the others would ever rise to the grandeur it must’ve once been wrapped in.
She never saw a pair of bright eyes peek from between the heavy draperies, but each time she watched, she was sure they were there.  Somehow she just knew there was a warm body tucked away, secure behind their folds.  She couldn’t imagine it any other way. 
Maybe tomorrow she would visit.  Perhaps then she would summon the courage to quench her curiosity.
If there was time.  Between work and sleep, there was never enough time.
From her perch above the city, she could see the first bright fingers of dawn, inching over the hills to chase away the mist.  Their arrival was her cue, and as much as she was loathe to leave, she turned her feet away from the mystery. 
The first dozen steps were little more than the shuffle of a child sent off to bed too soon.  She never wanted to leave this place.  The structure, whatever use had once served, was now a treasured friend.  When a bell sounded in the distance, though, her heart seized against her ribs, and her pace quickened.  By the time she moved another ten paces, she was running.
“Late again,” her superior would say with a terse shake of his head.  She would be shuttled into her cube, and set to do twice the work, if only as punishment for her transgressions.  If she worked very hard, she might be released to leave before the clock blinked twelve. 
Not until she reached the two-story building that held her workhome did she finally slow her pace.  She gasped for breath like the fish the Violet fishermen pulled from the bay with their great nets.  “Just a few more minutes,” she thought as she tried to right herself.  She cast a glance toward the sickly shell.  “They can wait a few more…”
“You okay?” said a rough voice behind her.  “Look pretty done in to me.  Sick maybe?  You want I should get some help?”
She opened her mouth to answer, but the dark purple of his coverall stayed her words.  One glance toward the vidcam above them, and she swallowed her reply.  She was in enough trouble already.  Talking to a Violet would ruin her for sure—if the Union Guard was bothering to watch the playback.  Most days they didn’t bother with the vidcams in her sector, but the way her luck always ran, today would be the day.  He’d probably get the worst of it, but she couldn’t afford to have another mark in what she was sure was a very thick Union Guard file.
Giving him no more than a quick nod, she pushed herself away from the lamppost.  His eyes narrowed and he reached out to steady her.  Shrugging his hands away, she hissed, “Get back to work before they see you,” under her breath as she staggered away.  One quick tug to straighten her own indigo coverall and she was as ready as she would ever be.
The Violet was still standing on the sidewalk staring after her when she closed the door.  His soft brown hair fell over one eye, and despite the fact those eyes were now clouded with hurt, she could see they might easily sparkle with laughter.  He looked like someone she would’ve enjoyed talking to in another world. 
But this was the only world she had to live in.