Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Crafty Christmas at the Green House

Well, two more holiday parties down.

We had a party at my Mom's on Saturday and it was a blast. All three of my brothers, my sister, my sister-in-laws and my nieces and nephew were there. My boys had a riot having a Nerf war with their cousin and uncle. There was hiding behind cabinets and furniture, diving rolls across the floor. Walking between them was like being trapped in an action movie.

On Sunday, we went to my Dad and Stepmom's place for another party. It was fun, but the roads were awful. A one hour drive turned into two because of all of the ice, wind, drifting snow and whiteouts. But everyone made it there and back - safe and sound.

Unfortunately, I now have the plague - a holiday gift from one of my daycare kids. So in lieu of thinking coherently, I thought I'd share some pictures of holiday craftiness from the Green home.

The picture up above is a Christmas castle that my Gram knitted for me the year I got married. She'd made one for each of my aunts and uncles the previous year and she'd planned on making one for each of the grandkids as they got married. Unfortunately, I was the only one to ever get one because she died before the following Christmas. It's one of my most treasured possessions.

These are our stockings hanging on the living room archway...along with various masks and mobiles. There are closeups below.

Here's Killian's stocking. In case, it's difficult to make out, it's Santa riding a dragon. I'm pretty proud of these since I made up the patterns as I was going along.

his is Corwin's - a dragon peering out of his cave at his little Christmas tree.

These are mine and Matt's. I made them the first year we were married. I'd just learned to cross stitch the year before and was a rabid addict. Matt's is a dragon sitting by his gifts (there are little knights in the foreground) and mine has faeries and a unicorn...cause, yeah...I'm a nerd like that.

And last but not least - this is our tree. It's a hodgepodge tree of ornaments the boys made when they were younger, faeries, dragons, castles, moons, stars and lots of Winnie the Pooh - both Classic and Disney. I love me some Pooh Bear.

Well, that's it for the crafty Christmas tour. I'm off to make some tea and cwtch up under a blanket and maybe take a nap. I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful holiday and that those that don't have a lovely time as well.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Tis the Season...

Well, the first two holiday parties are down...only six to go. family is insane when it comes to holiday parties, but at least we don't have to travel longer than an hour (depending on the weather) for any of them.

Saturday, we had our local writers group party and it was an absolute blast. I love this group of women - they're so supportive and funny and just a joy to be with. There was good food and Barnes and Noble gift cards all around. As an added bonus I got to snuggle with a dear friend's baby girl. Ah baby lust...I had it. Of course, now that I'm out of the proximity of the cuteness that is the baby, it's vanished. Which is good. I can't imagine having another baby at this point in my life. Seriously...yikes!

Also on Saturday, we had my husband's work party. He works for a largish international company that throws ridiculously lavish holiday parties. Unfortunately we had to go because it's mandatory for managers. Blech.

The people were all very nice, the food was good (particularly the chocolate sleigh centerpiece filled with truffles) the booze was free and there was even entertainment, but honestly I would have rather stayed home. I'm not comfortable in that kind of corporate atmosphere. When asked what I did for a living, I said I was a writer. Each time the response was a quizzical head tilt as if the questioner had just discovered some sort of exotic bug. After a while, it was kind of funny. Hubby and I were amused, anyway. At least we got to sit at the 'nerd table' with the rest of the IT department. Those guys are much more my speed, as opposed to the ones from the marketing and sales departments.

A friend sent me this picture. It actually looks like a more svelte version of our cat Rowan...who keeps happily eating the artificial needles off the Christmas tree and then vomiting them back up. Yeah...thanks Rowan.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Guest Blogging

Hey, I'm guest blogging on the Oh Get Get a Grip blog and I'd love it if you'd come visit. I have to go to my husband's work party. Ick. And also grrrr.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The One I Have

I was driving Corwin to school the other day when we had the following conversation.

Corwin: Gray (his bff) used to have a crush on Madeline.

Me: Really? Madeline who?

Corwin: You know...the one in France...with the nuns. From the books.

Me: (muffled giggling)

Corwin: (in a sad little voice) I don't think he'll ever find love again.

He's so sincere and sweet. I don't know why the kid has to trot this stuff out while I'm driving. Giggling maniacally makes it very difficult to steer.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Introducing...Kim Dare!

I'd like to introduce one of Total-e-bound's newest authors, Kim Dare. Kim is 25 years old and lives in the UK, in a small town in South Wales. Over the last few months, she's contracted numerous books with TEB and she's got more in the works. Kim is an absolute delight and I'm thrilled to be able to help her celebrate her first ever release day with an interview and a peek into her writing space. Congratulations, Kim - I wish you much success now and with all of your future books!

What's a typical day (and night) like in the life of Kim Dare?

There's no such thing as typical really. One day it's non stop fellatio, other days it's all about the leather and the whips, and then there are the ménages that crop up now and again - just in case anyone is getting bored with the one-on-one action. On the other hand if you want to know about the things that actually go on outside my head, the answer is far less interesting. I'm fortunate at the moment, in that I'm able to devote most of my energy to my writing. I write best at night, so I try to be sensible and spend the days editing and re-writing stories, before getting stuck into whichever first draft I'm working on in the evening.

You primarily write M/M and BDSM. What draws you to these subgenres?

Unlike most m/m writers I know, the very first erotic romances I wrote were about two men. I didn't get into writing anything involving a woman until about a year later. I'm not sure what drew me to the m/m in the first place. As far as I remember, the characters I wanted to write about at that time just happened to like guys more than girls. I didn't think about it too much, I just went wherever those characters took me. I had so much fun writing about them, it went on from there.

As for the BDSM elements of my stories, I never set out to write them either. Although, I soon realised that even if the characters aren't kinky when I start writing them, then by the end of chapter one they'll all be whispering in my ear that they've always wanted to try such and such. Looking back, I think I first fell in love with this type of story when I saw the intensity and honesty of characters reactions to the different kinks they indulge in. Now, even more than that, I love the way the characters react to each other, the trust they need to put in their partners, regardless of whether they are dominant or submissive, and the depth of connection that builds between them still fascinates me. I have tried writing vanilla once or twice, but the characters pouted so much I had to give in and let them do whatever they wanted, so I’ve stuck to BDSM, in all it’s different forms, ever since.

Having had the privilege of reading advanced copies of many of your books,I find your characters to be absolutely fascinating. How do you go about character creation?

It usually starts with a little snippet of conversation. I'll get a phrase in my head and I'll start wondering who said it, and who they said it to. The characters grow from there. I like to get to know them as I write, so I don't sit down and think about them too much before I start the story. I'll admit that quite a few of them have shocked the hell out of me half way through the book, revealing aspects of their characters that I didn't even know existed until I saw the words appearing on the screen as I typed.

How did your writing path evolve?
I’ve always wanted to write. Two years ago I made a commitment to myself that I would write every day – and I would actually finish some of the dozens of stories I’d started. For the first time I stopped trying to write something I thought other people would like to read and I wrote what I wanted to write. At the time I didn’t even know there were publishers out there who would accept m/m erotic romances, but they were the stories in my head and so I wrote them down. Earlier this year I stumbled upon a few e-publishers who were actually publishing what I was writing, so I decided to take some time out of a degree I was studying for and see if I could send something off. And here I am.

What type of research do you do for your books?

I have a few different websites that I seek out if I need some specific information on some weird and wonderful new kink one of my characters has taken a fancy for. But, strangely enough it’s the innocent questions that are often the hardest ones to find the answers for. How long does it taken an elevator to reach the fifteenth floor? What does a software engineer actually do?

From what or where do you derive the most inspiration for your stories?

From random things usually. Little phrases or snippet’s of overheard conversation. That and the complete certainty that whoever wrote what I’m watching on TV got it all wrong – there should always have been a happy ending – and quite often the guy should have ended up with his best friend and not the girl.

Tell us about your upcoming releases?

The Gift is out today – a seasonal release as part of Total-e-bound’s Christmas Spirit’s collection. The next one to come out will be Secret Service in February – another seasonal release as part of Total-e-bound’s My Secret Valentine collection. That’s quickly followed by Whispers – my first m/f title, which is part of Total-e-bound’s Night of the Senses BDSM anthology.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have two BDSM series starting with Total-e-bound next year – Collared starts with Turquoise and Leather in March. And Perfect Timing starts with You First in April. I’ve got lots more titles to come in each of the series so I’m currently finishing those off and editing them up. I’m also working on the first title in a new series that’s still very much a work in progress.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like least?

I like lots of things, like that first moment when an idea arrives in my head and I know something exists now that didn’t exist a moment before. I like looking at a blank screen when I start a new project and knowing that anything could happen next – and in my stories it frequently does…

I like it when a character comes to life as I write about them, or when they do something entirely unexpected and I only find out about it as I type it in to the computer. And I like being able to write a world where I know good guys will get to live happily ever after in the end.

What I don’t like? The never being able to tell if a story is any good until someone else reads it – it’s just not possible to tell with something you’ve written yourself, and every single story takes a leap of faith before you share it with the real world.

What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
Even if I wasn’t writing any stories down, I can’t imagine not spending all my time making up stories in my head. So, my ideal would probably be a nice quiet job where I could sit and daydream about the characters that live inside my brain without too many people interrupting me and actually trying to get me to do any work.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

Reading – although I’ve been so focused on my writing I’ve barely read anything anyone else has written for months! Crafts – particularly blackwork and patchwork. Visiting different places when the opportunity arises. I’ve also really enjoyed studying a whole variety of subjects over the last few years – mostly with The Open University.
kOf all of the characters you’ve created, who is your favourite and why?

I tend to fall in love with whichever character I’m writing at the time, but there is one character that always makes me smile no matter what – Eric Jordan from Turquoise and Leather. He’s in way over his head as soon as he meets the dominant George McAllister, but he just doesn’t seem to realise that. He talks away at nineteen to the dozen, throwing himself into everything he does without any hesitation or thought of the consequences.

He’s a natural submissive too, but he hasn’t quite caught up with the fact that submitting to a dominant man means you don’t get to have your own way all the time. All that said, he also proves himself quite capable of running rings around George – at the end of the book you just know he’s going to drive the older man insane, and they’ll both enjoy every minute of it.
Do you find it difficult to keep love/sex scenes fresh and interesting?

I do find there are times when I find myself going back to stories I’ve written before and checking that I’m not writing the same scene over again with too few differences. The thing is, no matter what you do – there are certain things that damn near everyone does when they have sex. The most interesting bits to write, and read about, are those that are unique to each character – their individual preferences and psychology. Everyone might do the same thing, but they can easily think different things or do things for different reasons, so I try to look for those differences.
What genre of books least appeals to you and why?
I never have been able to enjoy reading anything with an unhappy ending. I can live with crying in the middle of a book if I have to, but I have to know I’ll be smiling at the end or I don’t want to read it. Apart from that, I’ll read anything that’s good.
Do you listen to music when you write or do you need quiet? If you listen to music – what kind?

I don’t have music on, but I do a lot of my writing in the middle of the living room while other people are watching TV or playing games on the computer, so there’s usually a bit of background noise of one sort or another. The only thing I really need silence for is editing – that’s when I retreat to my writing room.

When I do listen to music I go for lyrics first and foremost and I usually end up listening to either country music or songs from the musicals. Although, at the moment, it’s Christmas carols and nothing else until January – I’ve always loved anything to do with Christmas, so I make the most of it throughout December.

What makes a man sexy?

Being who he really is. I’ve never have one idea of sexy in my head. Anything can be sexy if the man is the right man. Dominant, submissive, tall or short, rich or poor, it’s all about someone who is confident in being an individual. Spending your whole life trying to be something you’re not is one thing that doesn’t scream sexy to me.
For my characters, I tend to write people who are perfect for the person they are going to live happily ever after with at the end – and that’s far sexier to me than someone who is generically perfect.

Do your family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?

My family do know and they’ve been incredibly supportive of my writing – even after they found out exactly what I write, lol. I haven’t told many of my friends – although that might well change now that I’ve actually got something on sale!
What’s your favourite food?

No one favourite, but I’m very basic when it comes to food. Sausage dinners. Fish and chips. Ham sandwiches. Mixed Grills. Crisps (what you’d call chips in America). And chocolate of course. And you can’t beat cawl (a welsh soup recipe) followed by Welsh Cakes.

Do you have any bad habits?

I’m a bit (completely) obsessive. I’ve never worked out how to do anything by halves, so I tend to throw myself into a project and work myself to the point of exhaustion before I remember to take a break and just relax now and again.

If you were stranded on a desert isle, what five things would you want to have with you?

A lap top (a solar powered one that reacts well to salt water, obviously). I get a bit weird if I don’t get story ideas out of my head on a pretty regular basis, and being dyslexic means my spelling and my hand writing are both appalling if I try to do anything with pen and paper so the lap top has to go wherever I go.

After that luxury, I’m a pretty practical person. John “Lofty” Wiseman’s “The SAS Survival Handbook” has a whole chapter on surviving on a desert island, so that should prove useful to take along with me.

Apart from that, someone, or a few someones, who are good at coping in a crisis would be nice to have along side me too.

Do you have any pet peeves?

Prejudices and intentional cruelty have always made my skin crawl.

What do you like about where you live?

I like that I live in the same town where I was born – somewhere I and my family have roots and a sense of history. I like living in a valley, where the geography seems to wrap around the town and keep it safe. I like living in a house that’s just old enough to have the sort of character a house can only have when it’s been around a while. I like living in the middle of a town, but only needing to walk five minutes to be in the middle of the countryside.
If you could travel back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you visit and why?

I love the idea of going back to see how things really were, but I’m sure I would hate it if I ever actually did. As much as I would like to write a series of stories set in an historical era, I still think History is probably best viewed through rose tinted glasses, and from the comfort of a present day where, in some countries at least, there’s a degree of freedom, equality and (never to be underestimated) in-door plumbing.
That's it for my interview with Kim, please check out her blog and website and her very first release at TEB!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Let me sum up...

You know that line from The Princess Bride? The one where Inigo says, "Let me is too much. Let me sum up?" Well, I'm about to sum up.

The last two weeks of November are a blur.

Friday the 21st I went to see Twilight, with Brynn and her oldest son and my oldest son Killian. Cleverly, Brynn and I had both of our kids three months apart so they're very close in age. Apart from the super annoying fan grrrrrrrls in the audience, we had a great time.

Saturday the 22nd I went to see The Boy in the Striped Pajamas with Killian and many other kids from his former eighth grade class and his former teacher. She read the book to them at the end of last year and then Killian brought it home for me to read...because apparently he's a sadist. It's an excellent book, but it's gut wrenching and heartrending. Think children during the Holocaust. The movie is probably the best book to film adaptation I've ever seen and yes...I sobbed my freaking eyes out.

Also Saturday the 22nd my Mom and I drove up to my sister's college to take her out to supper and to see her in one of the seven One Act plays that were being performed. The theatre program at her college is excellent and the majority of the performances were great. Do I think Cait was the best? Absofreakinglutely. She played Betty in Sure Thing and her good friend Josh played Bill. It's a hilarious show anyway and their performances were perfect - the crowd (which was sold out for the second night in a row) ate it up and we were proud, proud, proud.

Sunday the 23rd I was trapped at the baby shower from hell for almost four hours. Okay...honestly, I've probably been to worse, but I'm not a shower person unless it's the bridal shower Brynn and I threw for Jen Armintrout which involved a bizarre cake made out of Twinkies and that weird moldable frosting and a psychic...but this, unfortunately, was not that shower. This one had annoying shower games, the slowest present opening in the history of mankind and disturbing little sandwiches cut out in the shape of children and the bread was dyed bright screaming blue and yellow. I felt vaguely cannibalistic eating them...

Monday the 24th - Wednesday the 26th I only have vague memories of running to the grocery store constantly, doing laundry and trying to get far enough ahead on my day job so I could leave town for a few days.

Tursday the 27th - I made two green bean casseroles (the only dish I'm allowed to bring to family functions - Yes, my cooking is just that bad) in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner at my brother's house. Killian and Corwin and I hopped a ride with my Mom and Cait (hubby - had to work - stupid international company) and we drove three hours to Detroit...crammed in a Saturn Ion.

It was still fun. Cait insisted that all car trips must begin with ABBA (that girl can do some mighty fine seat dancing while driving) and continued with our family's annual listening of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant (it's just not Thanksgiving in our family without it) followed by tons of songs from the 70s. Car trips in our family involve a lot of loud singing by me, Cait and Mom while Killian tries desperately to ignore us with his mp3 player. Good times...good times.

We had a great meal with about 20 other random family members - including a bunch of my sister-in-law's family, played another hilarious game of Apples to Apples which I almost won, listened to my niece complain that she was the "Princess Monster" and the rest of the kids weren't appreciating her destructive qualities.

Friday the 28th - I didn't go shopping - mostly because we were 3 hours from home and I LOATHE shopping and I really loathe shopping on Black Friday. We drove home, I snuggled with my honey and collapsed.

Saturday the 29th - We put up our Christmas tree which is always a production...mostly because I'm the Christmas tree nazi. I get cranky when ornaments are too close or if like ornaments aren't spaced evenly. Killian made up a little song about OCD Mama. It was pretty funny and pretty much mostly true - lol.

Sunday the 30th - Laundry and doing end of the month stuff for the day job.

Monday the 1st - the kids had a snow day and I went to Bynn's to make cards.

Tuesday the 2nd - the dumbest day in recent history - from 7am 'til 10:10am I drove three car loads of kids to school (one set had a two hour weather delay which is why it took so long) then went home for ten minutes to send an email, then went for a blood draw, then went grocery shopping and dropped off the food at home, then met my daycare kid and her mom at her school and followed them out to a high school they're considering (I think it's really sweet that they're involving me in their school decision) then back to the high school to pick up Killian and his friends then to Corwin's school, then to the orthodontist, then to the fabric store for Christmas present supplies...and then finally home.

Today I've mostly been a lump, catching up on the day job and working on writing...and Christmas presents. I can't believe Christmas is only 22 days away! Better get back to work!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

7 Random Things About Me And Books

I've been tagged by the marvelous Kelly Marstad for this meme on writing.

1. The Witch of Blackbird Pond became my first comfort book when I was in the fourth grade. I'd read it whenever I wanted to escape from real life. When my elementary school closed (the one where I spent fourth grade, anyway) I discovered they were having a book sale and managed to snag my beloved copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond for ten cents.

2. The first book that ever made me cry like a lunatic was Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. As soon as I finished it, I turned around and re-read it and sobbed my heart out all over again. Apparently I've always been a glutton for punishment.

3. In high school, together with my dear friend Margaret and some other friends, we created a student written and produced journal of poetry and prose...and got in trouble by the administration for it. Yes indeed...creativity and freedom of expression were frowned upon by that fine institution.

4. I've written twelve books - three of which will likely never see the light of day.

5. I'd always intended to write Young Adult and Children's books, but I got distracted by Erotic Romance...go fig.

6. I carry a book (or two) with me at all times - right now I have Changling by Delia Sherman in my purse. Really, really need to get one of those e-readers.

7. No one ever wants to help me move because I have too many books.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Please Come Visit Me

Hi Everyone,

I'm over at Hitting the Hotspot with a virtual tour of my office. I'd love it if you'd come visit me. I'm lonely...sniff...sniff. ;)

In other news, I had a wonderful time last night with Brynn Paulin, Carol Lynne, Dakota Rebel and Cindy Spencer Pape. We went to an Irish pub near Cindy's and had my new favorite food - Irish nachos. Think kettle chips, cheddar cheese, blue cheese crumbles, bacon green onions with sour cream and/or horseraddish ranch sauce. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmy.

Also, Brits in Time releases on Monday from Total-e-bound! Yay!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Five Things I'm Doing On Friday...

It's Friday...finally.

I don't know what it was about this week, but I swear it's lasted a year. But it's Friday and today, five things I'm doing are...

Hanging out with Brynn Paulin and Carol Lynne.

Laughing at...with...Brynn's husband.

Prepping my faery story for submission to an agent.

Making some kind of cream cheese mints with Brynn and Carol this afternoon. Yum.

Tonight we're going to visit Dakota Rebel and Cindy Spencer Pape and go out to dinner with them.

So...what are you doing today?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Books and Babies Everywhere

There must be something in the water. A lot of women I know are either pregnant or just had babies. (Happily, I remain immune.) Most recently, the fabulous Jennifer Armintrout gave birth, and in her and her baby's honor, I'm blogging about childrens books. Girly books, in particular.

When I was a kid, books with strong female protagonists weren't as plentiful as they are today. I loved fairy tales, but I was always disappointed because the princesses never seemed to do much to change their unfortunate situations, they mostly waited around for someone to do it for them. Of course, these were the watered down versions they gave kids in the 70s - as I got older, I discovered that the orginal versions were much more to my liking, but I digress.

One year, my Great-Grandma Green sent me a collection of fairy tales from Wales. At the time, I remember thinking that I was getting a bit old for a picture book, but I sat down and read it anyway and I was thrilled. In the collection was a tale I'd never heard and it was my first introduction to a heroine who was strong and willing to fight and sacrifice for what she wanted. The character's name was Gerda and the story is The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.

My scanner is misbehaving, so I can't show you the actual book, but I can show you a newer version illustrated by one of my favorite artists.

Another great book featuring a butt kicking female character is Wild Robin by Susan Jeffers. this fairy tale is loose combination of my three all time favorite tales, Tam Lin, The Snow Queen and The Wild Swans. Robin was a wild boy and much to the annoyance of his older sister, Janet, he refused to do his share of the chores at their family farm. He runs away and falls in with the Queen of the Fairies and it's up to Janet to save him.

The Paper Bag Princess is on my top ten list of favorite books of all time. Elizabeth is a typical princess in love with a prince named Ronald - unfortunately a dragon smashes her castle and carries off Prince Ronald leaving Elizabeth with nothing more than a paper bag. She puts on the paper bag and goes after the dragon to get Ronald back...only Ronald isn't quite who she thought he was.

When my sister Cait was in preschool, I was her "special person" and got to hang out with her in class. At the end of the day, I read some books to the class. Cait insisted that I absolutely had to read Gypsy Girl's Best Shoes and The Paper Bag Princess, so of course, I did. I remember at the end of the story, the majority of the kids sat there looking at me with puzzled expressions on their sweet little faces while Cait was crowing, "Doya get it? Doya get it? They didn't get married after all!" while Cait's teacher just stood there quietly shaking her head.

The Wild Swans is another hans Christian Andersen tale that I adore. It's the story of a young princess and her eleven brothers who are cursed by their evil (of course) step mother. The boys are trapped in the bodies of swans by day returning to their human form at night. Their sister discovers the only way she can free them is to silently knit them all swears from stinging nettles. If she speaks, the spell will be fixed and they'll be forever trapped as swans. Unfortunately, she gets tried as a witch and will not speak in her defense in order to protect her brothers.

Ah...Princess Smartypants. Princess Smartypants has no intention of getting married. Despite her dedication to remaining single, her mother lines up one prince after another, but Smartypants outwits them all in this delightful story.

Noble-Hearted Kate is another book in my top ten. It's based on the fairy tale, Tam Lin. Kate and her beloved stepsister, Meghan, (gotta love a book where the step families aren't trying to curse one another) wake up one morning to find that Meghan has been enchanted by a wicked fairy and now has the head of a ram. Meghan is understandably distraught and Kate comes to her rescue, bravely battling and outwitting the fairy queen to free Meghan and also a prince that comes to be Kate's true love.

Some of these books may be out of print, but well worth the search, if you're so inclined. So, what were your favorite books when you were a kid? Are there any books you'd add to this list of stories with strong heroines? I'm always in the market for a new book. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So I'm waiting in line to vote today, and behind me are my neighbors - a mom, dad and three of their adult children all voting together and planning on making popcorn and watching the election results together tonight. I thought that was pretty freaking cool.

Then there was the asshat in front of me who announced loudly that he wasn't voting because one of the candidates was a republican and the other was a (racial slur that I can't bring myself to say.) Then the asshat looked around proudly as if he expected others to agree with him. I honestly just about fell over.

The little old ladies running the polls shut him down pretty quickly, threatening to make him leave if he didn't shut up, but the whole thing was absolutely unfreakingbelievable.

Anyway, I hope those of you in the US who are voting today remain blissfully asshat free.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama Doesn't Love Me's something of a miracle. I finished my Halloween sewing two days early. This is pretty much unheard of in my house - but I'm not complaining.
I'm amazed, but not complaining.

In other weirdness, I had another bizarro dream this morning. Did you ever wake up from a dream where something made you angry in the dream and you wake up absolutely furious? Well, that was me this morning.
I dreamt that Barack Obama asked me out on a date, so of course I accepted - what am I, dumb? Apparently so, because he was taking me out to the Celebrity Rehab place to have dinner with Gary Busey (who frankly scares the bejeezus out of me) only when we got there, Gary was no where to be found. Instead, those girls from that show The Hills were there. After looking around, Obama said, "It's not clean enough to eat here."
So we left of the campaign bus and traveled sixty-some years back in get an ice cream cone. We had a lovely time eating ice cream and chatting and just when it seemed like he was about to kiss me...he confessed how much he loves his wife.
I woke up right then and oh my God, was I pissed!!! Irrationally enraged. And then I laid there for a minute and thought about how ridiculous it was. It's not like I have a crush on him or anything...and yet there I was all cranky at 5 am because Barack loves Michelle more than me. My husband, however, thought it was hilarious.
I don't think there's any deep underlying meaning here - I think it just means that I'm on election overload. For another author having even better Barack Obama dreams, check out Jen Armintrout's blog.
Tuesday can't come soon enough!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sewing like a mad fiend...'s that time of year. T-minus six days 'til Halloween and I've been chained to my sewing machine. This year, I don't have as many costumes to make as usual.

Corwin wanted to be a Clone Trooper more than anything, so he saved up his birthday money and bought the voice changing Clone Trooper helmet while I tried to figure out how to make the armor. Luckily, we already had a blaster. This is what I came up with. Yep...the utility belt actually holds stuff. After all, what good is a non-functioning utility belt?

Killian, bless his heart, only needs a salt shaker and a knife - he's going as "Assault (a salt) with a deadly weapon."

Now I just have to make a pair of dark faery wings for B, an 80s outfit for Jess (since when did the clothing I wore in high school become relegated to the land of costumes?) and an Edwardian frock coat, fit for a vampire for my sister, Cait.'s time to hit the sewing room again.

Anybody else out there making costumes?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brits in Time Contest

It's time for another contest (hey - there are two of them) Quick! Enter! Tell your friends!
Help us celebrate the release of Total-E-Bound's new anthology of Historical Erotic Romance and win a Ten Pound Gift Certificate!
You'll find 6 Brits in Time contest questions below - one from each author in the anthology. Visit the links of each Brits in Time author and somewhere on their sites you'll find a blurb or an excerpt with answer.
Authors' Questions
Lisabet Sarai: What Shakespearean play provides the backdrop for Shortest Night?
Saskia Walker: In Brazen Behaviour, a seduction takes place on a train. In which direction is it heading?
Brynn Paulin: In which story does King Edward give the hero 'the castle of death' as a punishment?
Cindy Spencer Pape: Name the village where Georgie lives in Georgie and the Dragon.
Bronwyn Green: Which story is set in a mythical kingdom in Britain?
Aurora Rose Lynn: In To Conquer a Lady, after Lady Isabelle makes love to Edmund De Montfort, what two things is he forced to choose between?
Now go forth...and win stuff!!! And don't forget about the Things That Go Bump In The Night contest - there's free stuff EVERYWHERE! Now go get some!!!

Lisabet Sarai -
Saskia Walker -
Brynn Paulin -
Cindy Spencer Pape -
Bronwyn Green -
Aurora Rose Lynn -

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mist and Stone

I've got a new story coming out with Total-E-Bound and I thought I'd share an excerpt - particularly since there's a contest running. :)


Knight of the Round Table, Sir Gareth of Orkney has fought for Arthur and Britain for years. Now he is called to serve his king and his country in a way he never anticipated. King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake have resurrected the ritual of Beltane and Gareth is expected to oversee the rite. His ability to perform his duty is tested when he discovers the identity of the maiden chosen for the sacred ritual. He wants her for his own and balks at having to select a man to perform the ceremony with her.

Willow, an initiate of Avalon, accompanies the High Priestess to Camelot. She never imagined she’d find the man who had sparked her fascination as a child. More disturbing is the realisation that her childhood adoration has grown into something deeper, more sexual. However, duty to Avalon forces her to sacrifice herself to another man in the upcoming Beltane ritual.

Can the fragile blossom of love survive the rite of spring or will it be crushed beneath the yoke of honour and duty?


“Touch her, and I will geld you before you take your next breath.” Rage filling her vision, Willow stepped in front of the young priestess at her side and blocked the advances of the man before them.

His thin lips peeled away from his teeth in a poor facsimile of a smile. “Mayhap, I will touch you instead.”

As he reached for her breast, she drew her dagger from the sheath attached to her kirtle and pressed the blade against the man’s groin. Unprepared for her bold move, he gasped and froze in place. She did not bother hiding her smile as she pushed the blade upwards bringing him to his toes.

Hooves clattered over the courtyard’s stones and a rider dismounted, but she refused to look away from the man in front of her.

The rider moved beside her and locked a warm hand around her wrist.

She turned to glare at the second man. “Have you come to protect your brother in arms from my blade?”

Recognition hit her low in the gut as familiar eyes, blue as a bright autumn day, crinkled with poorly concealed amusement. Gareth.

A crooked smile quirked his lips as he ignored her question as well as her barb. “While I am tempted to allow you to make good on your threat, I do not think the King would appreciate you spilling the blood of one of his knights.” He paused and eyed the man at the end of her dagger.“No matter how much he likely deserves it.”

“Release me,” she demanded. She refused to allow either man to think she was a helpless child.

In response, Gareth grabbed the other man’s tunic and gently, but firmly, pulled her weapon from its intended target. “The priestess is none of your concern, Maleagant. You will give her a wide berth or Arthur will hear of this.”

The other man narrowed his eyes, rage bright in the icy depths. “They are pagan whores.”
Yanking free of Gareth’s grasp, he stumbled backwards. “God does not care for them. Why should Arthur?”

Willow shook with anger as he disappeared from view. She turned her scowl on the man who still held her wrist, caressing the underside with a callused thumb. A shiver worked down her spine as he continued to stroke the sensitive skin.

“Ever the protector of the weak, Sir Gareth the Brave,” she scoffed as she shook her hair from her face, taking care not to reveal how his slightest touch affected her. Though she had taken pains to pretend otherwise, her childhood infatuation had never truly gone away. If anything, it was worse than ever. However, it was difficult to rectify the noble knight before her with the boy who had pushed her into mud puddles and put frogs in her hair.

Gangly, red-haired Gareth had become a knight to be envied. Gone were the knobby knees and clumsy feet of a boy. In his place stood a man, tall and broad shouldered. If the heavy mail covering his body was any indication, he was also thickly muscled—he would have to be to support the weight of the metal as if it were no more cumbersome than his tunic. His hair had darkened to a russet brown, and his voice had deepened, though it still held the rich accent of the Orkney Isles. Only his eyes remained unchanged and right now they bored into hers.

She attempted to tug her arm free of his grasp, but he held firm, pulling her closer until she needed to tilt her head to meet his gaze. The heat of his body surrounded her, chasing away the chill of the spring morning.

“You have made a fierce enemy in Malaegant,” he growled.

She shrugged. “I do not fear him.”

“You should.” He tightened his grip on her wrist. Plucking her dagger from her fingers, he slipped it into his belt.

How dare he appropriate her weapon as though she was a child who could not be trusted to handle sharp objects? Her irritation deepened.

“You have humiliated him, and he will not soon forget it. If ever.” Lifting her chin, he forced her to meet his gaze. “You must take heed, Willow—especially while you are at Camelot. He is a dangerous man.”

She leaned closer and gently lifted his hair from his forehead, enjoying the sensation of his silky locks sliding through her fingers. Squinting, she peered intently at him as if searching for hidden secrets.

Frowning, he caught her wandering hand and pressed it to his chest. “What do you play at, woman?”

“I play at nothing. I am simply searching for hoof prints.”

His brow furrowed and confusion spread across his features. “Hoof prints?”

She bit her lip, stifling the smile that threatened. “Your solicitous behaviour is so unlike your usual treatment of me, I can only assume your mount has kicked you in the head recently.”

His firm lips twitched, but whether in amusement or annoyance, she was unable to tell. She fought the urge to smooth her fingertips across them.

He leaned toward her, bringing his face so close she could feel the warm flutter of his breath upon her skin. Was he going to kiss her?

Holding her gaze, Gareth slowly raised her palm to his lips and brushed a kiss across the centre. Nervous excitement trembled through her middle as he raised his head slightly. “Have a care, Willow, lest I feel the need to remind you that Malaegant is not the only dangerous man nearby.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Any Dream Interpreters Out There?

So I woke up this morning saying WTF?! (I’d like to preface the telling of this dream by saying I in no way hold any ill will toward either Portia Del Rossi or Ellen Degeneres. In fact, I love Ellen.

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled dream insanity.

In my dream, Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi had a baby – unfortunately, Portia died and somehow I was given the task of raising this child. The baby and I had to stay in the hospital while hospital workers tried to extract breast milk from Portia using an Easy Bake Oven and ‘reverse gravity.’ Yeah...don’t ask – I have no clue.

This was no normal baby. He grew from an infant to a toddler overnight. He was incredibly active and kept breaking his only toy. When we’d go to visit Ellen, I mentioned it to her and instead of helping us out by replacing the toy, she just showed me where I could stand in line in the hot, hot sun with a cranky toddler to get it fixed using chewed gum and scotch tape.

Later I took the baby and my other kids to visit my mom – I thought she’d want to meet her new grandson. Instead of her neighbourhood, she now lived at the end of a two-track in the woods. Unfortunately, the road to her house was riddled with piles of hot tar and burning tires so I had to utilize stunt driving techniques I didn’t know I possessed.

When we got there, my brother’s girlfriend was hurling shoes (one of each pair that she owns – which holy cow, in real life is a metric ton – in the dream, it was never ending) at my brother and my mom. She stopped briefly when I came in with the kids, took one look at the baby, screamed and ran away.

So...thoughts? Comments? Apocalyptic prophesies?

Anyone? Anyone at all?

Oh hey!! Don't forget about the Halloween contest! Free books, people! Free books!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?

I've been ridiculously busy with the day job - mostly because the work schedule has changed. GRRRRR I've also been trying to get ahead so the holidays are slightly less insane than usual. A girl can hope, right?

Don't forget about the Halloween contest! It's super easy and there are lots of great prizes!

All you have to do is between October 6th and midnight October 20th, click on the following links and find the Jack O'Lantern each author has hidden.Send an email to with the name of the author and a description of what is depicted on their pumpkin, as well as your name and email address.

On Wednesday October 22nd a winner will be selected at random from the correct entries.
Winners will be notified by email, and announced on each of the sites listed.Good luck and Happy October!

Here are the blogs to visit.

And here is the list of authors donating ebooks.

Brynn Paulin
Bronwyn Green
Carol Lynne
Cindy Spencer Pape
Dakota Rebel
Kaenar Langford

Good Luck Everyone!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Anybody Hear That Choir of Angels?

That was me turning in my latest book. I didn't think that thing was ever going to get finished! Thankfully, it is and can move on to other obsessing about my new haircut.

I got seven inches hacked off on Saturday...on a whim. So my hair is now up to my chin. I'm assured by my dear friends and family (except for my kids and day care kids) that it looks good. It just takes me a while to get used to change so I keep squinting at it whenever I'm in the bathroom.

Anyway, I'm off to work on a book that should have been done ages ago. Don't forget to enter the Halloween contest and while you're blog hopping be sure to check out Brynn Paulin's post on Alpha Males on the Get a Grip blog!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Contest Time!


Yeah, you.
Wanna win free books?

It's super easy. All you have to do is between October 6th and midnight October 20th, click on the following links and find the Jack O'Lantern each author has hidden.

Send an email to with the name of the author and a description of what is depicted on their pumpkin, as well as your name and email address.

On Wednesday October 22nd a winner will be selected at random from the correct
Winners will be notified by email, and announced on each of the sites listed.

Good luck and Happy October!

Here are the blogs to visit.

And here is the list of authors donating ebooks.

Brynn Paulin

Bronwyn Green

Carol Lynne

Cindy Spencer Pape

Dakota Rebel

Kaenar Langford
Good Luck Everyone!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So I met this guy

when I was sixteen. He was trying to pitch those little red-hot candies into my cleavage.

I was not amused.

In retaliation, I dumped my coke on his open calculus book.

And the war was on.

Six years later, we married on my twenty-second birthday and have been happily married for the last nineteen (!) years.

Today is his birthday. Happy Birthday Matt - I love you!!!

I'm glad you have good aim, despite your poor decision making skills.

Friday, September 19, 2008

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day

I'd like to share some of my very favorite pirate-y books.

Long before The Pirates of the Caribbean hit the theatres, my kids, like many kids loved pirates. For a long time we were Pirate Mama, Pirate Papa, Pirate Cait, Pirate Grammy - well, you get the picture. We drank pirate tea and ate pirate bars (granola bars). Time outs were called walking the plank. They tied each other up, hid treasure all over the yard and house and constantly carried swords, daggers and hooks. In an effort to potty train my youngest, he received those little plastic doubloons for hitting the to speak. We also read the best stories - they're books that I'll never get rid of - I have so many fond memories attached to them. Plus, they're AWESOME story books. If you have any little pirates in your life (or older pirates who love picture books, may I suggest the following.

The Ballad of the Pirate Queens is by the brilliant Jane Yolen and tells the story of Mary Reed and Anne Bonney and Calico Jack Rackham. The paintings are exquisite and the story while likely not historically accurate is great.

Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail is probably one of my all time favorites. Edward, a little boy who loves to read spends all his time at the library with his nose in a book. One day he checks out a book about pirates. It's a special book because it tells the location of the pirates' treasure. The pirates know this, but they can't read so they sneak into Edward's room and demand that he tell them where the treasure is. Edward gives them more than they asked for - he teaches them to read. Best. Book. Ever.

Penelope and the Pirates by James Young is the story of a cat who longs for adventure so she convinces a sea captain that her markings are actually a map to a buried treasure. Unfortunately, some pirates get wind of this info and they kidnap Penelope. However, Penelope is a resourceful cat.

Sailor Song by Nancy Jewel is a sweet bedtime story about a little boy who's father has gone off to sea.

Grandma and the Pirates by Phoebe Gilman tells the tale of a brave little girl who must rescue her Grandma. Because of her great skill at cooking, the Grandma has been been kidnapped by pirates to serve as their new cook.

And finally, Tough Boris by Mem Fox - how I love this book. Boris is the toughest of all pirates and he never cries, but one day his parrot dies. This book manages to be a little suspenseful, sad and hopeful all at the same time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Cute - I Has It

This is Herne (white with stripes) and Rowan. They keep me company while I work. If only they'd do a little ghost writing for me, I might be further along.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Something I Never Imagined Myself Doing

I had the pleasure of spending my weekend with Brynn Paulin and Dakota Rebel who came for a visit. I had a fantastic time with these two. There was much food, even more laughter and there was the roller derby. I didn't even know Grand Rapids had a team - but we do, the Raggedy Girls and they're good. More surprising to me was the fact that I liked it. Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo not a sports girl, but despite that, watching the roller derby was insanely entertaining. Even better than the skating action itself was the people watching. I don't think I've ever seen such and interesting mix of people.

There were the skater chicks - tough and super competitive. Those women are absolutely amazing to watch. There were the refs - my favorite was the dude who wore an itty bitty gold lame bikini Ala Rocky in the Rocky Horror Picture Show during the first half and pink ruffle-butt panties during the second half. There were the skater groupies - both men and women, many of them heavily tattooed and pierced. Some were clearly family and others definitely groupies. There were people that looked like they'd stopped by after a PTA meeting and those who were heading to the biker bar afterward. There were little kids and one little old lady who was celebrating her 79th birthday by seeing her first roller derby bout.

After talking about the derby with several women I know, I discovered that many of them wanted to be roller derby skaters when they were kids. I wonder what it is about this sport that interests so many. So what about you? Did you ever have any burning desire to be a derby skater? Or to participate in any other relatively dangerous sport?

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm over at

Hitting the Hot Spot today. Please come and visit me over there. I'm all lonely and stuff.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another Special Day

It's a birthday bonanza today! Happy Birthday to Brynn Paulin and my sister Cait. May you both have years filled with love, laughter and all of the things that make you happy.

I love you both so much!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are You Going to Arrest My Mama?

Fourteen years ago today, I met one of my favorite people. Granted, we'd been previously introduced considering he'd been bouncing on my bladder like a demented circus clown for months, but this was my first real introduction to Killian. My life hasn't been the same since, but I wouldn't change any of it.

Happy Birthday Killian!!!

In honor of the boy's birthday, I'd like to share something I wrote a few years ago - yep...true story. You just can't make this stuff up.

I had no gossamer illusions about child rearing. I never once thought it would look anything like the glossy pictorials of celebrity moms romping through appropriately upscale parks with their offspring, the nanny discretely out of camera range. After all, any children in question would have sprung from the combined gene pools of my husband and me. While I expected parenthood to be the most rewarding vocation I’d ever have, I also knew it would be at times, hard, scary and overwhelming. Still, I never imagined the cops would show up on my doorstep – especially before the kids were even out of preschool. Clearly, I was naive.

Perhaps, I should have heeded the omens. My oldest son, like many kids, had a predisposition toward nudity. He was more interested in accessorizing than dressing. Capes, baseball gloves and high-heeled pumps were his usual wardrobe choices.

My youngest son, also a budding naturalist, stripped out of his diaper as often as humanly possible. Even the duct-tape, my husband insisted on using in an attempt to keep our son’s bum covered, was pointless.

In addition to raising my own exhibitionists, I also provided daycare for three other miniature nudists. Thankfully, their parents were laid back and also had trouble keeping their kids clothed at home.

And then there was Betty. Betty the Biddy lives across the street, five houses down from my house. Betty never leaves her front porch. Unless she’s pissed. At me. We’ve discussed my shameless lack of yard morals, my front yard picnics and of course, my most grievous offense, my naked children. The last time the nudity issue came up, the kids and I were playing in the rain. It should be noted that I was clothed – nobody wants to see that!

She bandied about the words disgusting, immoral and lascivious. Foolishly, I tried to explain that they were small, innocent children who at this point had healthy body images and I wanted to keep them that way. More foolishly, I launched into a sermon about society’s warped view of nudity and sexualization of everything. She blinked at me several times before huffing and branding the naked rain dancing offensive. To which, I responded, “Not as offensive as the pink housecoat and fuzzy pink slippers you’re wearing.”

Now, if I had recognized these signs for what they were – Portents of Doom – perhaps, I might have avoided my run-in with the police.

Fast forward to a couple months later. A gentle, summer rain fell, and rainbows shimmered in the sky. My friend and her three children were visiting, and the kids begged to go outside and play. So off came the clothes and out went eight naked little bodies, none over the age of five.

My friend and I sat on my front steps and watched as the kids splashed in puddles, caught raindrops on their tongues and played a slippery game of “Rain Dance Tag.” We even left the porch to splash with our kids. While we were playing hopscotch in the puddles, a city police car drove slowly down the street and stopped in front of my house. Eight, naked children excitedly jumped up and down, oohing and ahhing at the shiny blue car with its flashing lights.

I approached the police officer fairly confidently, since I knew we weren’t doing anything illegal. After my last run in with Betty, I’d called both the Department of Social Services and the police station to make sure there weren’t any laws against small, naked children. I’d also gotten written permission from my daycare parents. So, with me standing outside the car and the officer tucked safely inside it, the conversation went like this:

Me: “Hello, officer. Is there something I can help you with?”

Officer: “Ma’am, are you aware that these children have no clothes on?”

Me: “Why, yes. Yes, I am.” (Insert uncomfortable silence in which the officer and I stare at one another. Finally, I broke.) “We’re not breaking any laws. I’ve already called the police department and DSS to make sure.”

Officer: “Well, ma’am, we’ve had a complaint from a neighbor.”

Me: “Who?”

Officer: “I’m not at liberty to divulge that, ma’am.”

Me: “Betty.”

Officer: “Why not have them play in the rain in the backyard?”

Me: “There aren’t any good puddles to splash in back there. The water soaks into the ground.”

Officer: (Looks at me as if I’d grown a second head.)

Ridiculously, I attempted to explain the body-image-warped-society connection. The officer looked at me as if I’d grown a third and fourth head.

Officer: “I’ll need to take your statement, ma’am.”

Me: “Why do you need a statement if it’s not illegal?”

Officer: “It’s an official call, ma’am.”

Me: (Big sigh.) “Whatever.”

So I gave the overly polite police officer my name, date of birth, social security number, names and ages of all nude children, etc. This went on for a good ten minutes while Betty spied from her porch.

Finally, my eldest son, Killian, said, “Hey Police Guy, are you gonna arrest my mama?” The man shook his head, to which my son responded, “Okay good. When she’s done getting in trouble can we look inside your car?”

The guy looked like an acrophobic out on a ledge. I pointed out that the kids had their fun interrupted and had been waiting patiently. With a horrified expression, he nodded slowly and rolled the window down a little further. From the abject panic flickering in his eyes, I surmised the man had no children of his own. I lifted one naked child up after another to look inside the patrol car.

Killian: “Cool! You have a laptop in the car! My mama has a laptop. Are you a writer, too?”

Officer: “Uh. . .”

Killian: “Is that your gun? Can I hold it?”

Officer: “No, I-”

Killian: “Will you make the sirens go? Are there any bad guys in your car? Take us for a ride, please! And go really fast. I like to drive fast!”

Officer: “Uh. . .”

Killian: “What’s that button do? Can I push it? Wanna play rain dance tag with us? It’s fun.”

Conveniently, his radio crackled to life. Never have I seen a man so relieved to trade a group of inquisitive children for the relative safety of a robbery in progress. As he drove down the street, he glanced at Betty. The Betty who stood at her porch window, obviously confused and distraught. The Betty who glared at me with impotent anger. The Betty who had been forsaken by the defenders of law and order.

With the supreme satisfaction of the vindicated, I grinned and waved. Then I jumped in the biggest puddle with my naked kids.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How did this happen?

The first week of school is almost over and so far, so good.

I can't quite believe it, but Killian, my oldest started high school on Tuesday. I swear it was just a month ago that I tearfully sent him off to kindergarten and now suddenly he's a high school freshman. High. School. How is that even possible? So far, he's loving it. One of his first assignments was to write about an important lesson that he'd learned. He chose to write about Karma - I was delighted. I'm interested to see what kind of a grade he gets on it.

My youngest, Corwin, just started fifth grade. He's had a bit of a rough summer. He had to get glasses and braces within several weeks of each other, but he's kept a pretty positive attitude about things. He's excited to be back in class with his friends, but he did mention that he hopes his table mate doesn't bring cow tongue sandwiches this year. GUH! I don't blame him! He and his friends have started planning their Halloween costumes already. He's also planning his first snow fort of the season - in great detail. He's got diagrams and maps and attack and escape routes. I just hope we get enough snow for him to build it all.

My baby sister, Caitlin, just started her senior year of college. I can still hear her little three year old voice announcing that my wedding was "booooooooooooooorrrrrring" and that she had to "peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee right now!" during the ceremony. (Think lots of marble and high, vaulted ceilings - I think everyone heard that she had to go.) I'm not sure how enough time has passed that she's gone from a flower girl to a soon-to-be college graduate, but it has.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the day to day insanity of life, I forget to stop and just enjoy the people around me. I know it's a cliche, but time really does go fast -- except when you're in a traffic jam and you have to pee, but other than that, it seems like it whips by at warp speed. I hope that I remember these present moments with the people that I love as well as I remember the past ones.

Time to make some new memories and write another book.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Kitty Learns a New Trick

I got up later than I'd intended this morning, because one of my cats has learned a brilliant new trick.

Angus is a ten-year-old orange tiger striped kitty and he's a mama's boy. One of our neighbor kids found him when he was a kitten and brought him to us because some other kids in the neighborhood were trying to swing him around by the tail - yeah, don't even get me started. I made phone call after phone call trying to find a place for him to live when my husband finally stopped me and said that the kitty had already found his home. I looked, and he was curled up on my husband's chest sleeping. We named him Angus and he's been with us ever since.

He sleeps with us at night and if I get up in the middle of the night, he follows me to the bathroom, patiently waits and then follows me back to bed. Since I usually get up after my husband, Angus stays in bed with me until I get up and then follows me downstairs and hangs out in the bathroom with me while I get ready and then sits on the arm of the couch while I work.

So this morning, I'm half asleep and I think I hear my alarm go off, but then it stopped, so I figured I must have been dreaming and fell back to sleep. This happened several more times until I was finally awake enough to open my eyes. Imagine my surprise when I saw Angus saunter over to the alarm clock and smack the snooze button with his paw, after which he wandered back and laid down next to me and purred seeming quite pleased with himself. I watched him do it three more times before I finally forced myself to get out of bed. I really hope he doesn't make a habit of this or I'm going to have to figure out how to kitty proof the alarm clock.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tag...I'm It

The lovely Sandra Cox tagged me and here are the rules:

1) Link to the person that tagged you.

2) Post the rules on your blog.

3) List six unspectacular quirks you have.

4) Tag six bloggers by linking them.

5) Leave a comment on each person's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

My unspectacular quirks are:

I hate hot dogs - haven't eaten one since I was five and there was an unfortunate incident involving me, a hot dog and the basement stairs.

I love candles - God bless Brynn and her Partylite connection.

I'm allergic to penicillin, codeine, latex and bleach - found all of those out the hard way - lol.

I have to have white noise to go to sleep - unfortunately the sound of my husband snoring and my kids babbling in their sleep isn't enough to do it.

I can't stand doing dishes - I find it the most loathsome of all household chores. Weirdly, I don't mind doing them at other people's houses.

I eat around the outside of a peanut butter cup first - all the peanut buttery goodness can then be savored.

I'm tagging Brynn Paulin, Jennifer Armintrout, Dakota Rebel, Lyn Cash, Cheryl Sterling, Molly Daniels

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wait...what time was that appointment?

Like a moron, I waited to schedule all of the appointments that needed scheduling until right before school. In retrospect, I realize I should have done it right after the kids got out for summer vacation. Hindsight is a lovely thing.

So last Monday, I brought the boys school shopping. We went with the girls I do daycare for and their mom. OMG. I had forgotten how much of a pain in the butt girls are to shop with. In every single store (even if they didn't get anything) it took the B and Jess for times longer than it took Killian and Corwin. It would have been a lovely little socio-scientific observation if I hadn't been ready to strangle them. I think their mom was even more annoyed! (For more on boys/men and how they think, check out Brynn's blog today - it's awesome!)

On Tuesday, I had to get my new bifocal contacts checked. (That's what I get for spending so much time on the computer!) and Corwin had to go to the dentist for fillings.

On Wednesday, the poor little bug got fitted for braces.

On Thursday, there were appointments at the doctor's office.

On Friday, I had to quick make a Pocahontas costume for my niece's birthday party on Saturday and then drive three hours to Detroit to go to the party.

We're back to Monday and I just got back from Killian's high school orientation (yikes!), Corwin gets his braces on Wednesday and school starts next Tuesday. Somewhere in here, I have to write a book - the deadline is bearing down like a freight train.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Magnetic Personality?

I don't know what it is, but I'm beginning to take it personally. I think nails hate me. Yes, nails - roofing nails, regular wood nails, all those different sharp, pointy pieces of metal that are meant to hold things together. They hate me.

Let me back up. I have a great little car - a Saturn Ion. Her name is Squishy (ala Dorrie and the jellyfish from Finding Nemo) and I love it. However, Friday at rush hour, I got flat while driving on a really busy express way. In Michigan, the speed limit is 70, which means that people typically go 75-85, myself included. I never really realized how scary-fast that is until I was standing on the side of the road watching the traffic scream by.

My jack had never been used before so the ratchet end didn't want to pop out, but a liberal application of sunscreen and a hammer cleared that right up. My sister and my kids were with me and Cait (cause she's awesome) started changing the tire...only, I'd just recently gotten the tires rotated and the bolts had been machined on a little too tightly...which meant I had to call the hubby. He came, changed the tire and was all around fabulous.

Cait, while tossing the flat in the trunk, pointed out the giant nail sticking out of the tire and I swore. A lot. This was the fifth nail to puncture one of my tires in the last two years. Seriously, I know people who've gone a lifetime never getting a nail in a tire. Maybe I'm just being pissy, but it seems like a lot.

I spent my Saturday at the tire place (Thank God I had the new Suzanne Brockmann book) waiting for them to either fix or replace the flat and I found out that it was not the fifth was the sixth. Yes indeed, embedded in my other front tire was another five inch long nail. Luckily, that one managed to stay inflated long enough to make it to the tire place.

So I'm annoyed at the seemingly overabundance of nails that have found their way into my tires. Is there some cosmic lesson that I'm supposed to learn from this (other than don't drive over nails - which, for the record, I don't do knowingly) Cait insists it's my magnetic personality, but somehow, I kinda doubt it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Check It Out!

I was interviewed by Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews and I'd love it if you'd stop by and take a peek. There's also a chance to win a set of 3 ebooks and a deck of tarot cards!

Here's the link if you want to take a look and enter the contest.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rocks and Husbands

I think I've mentioned in other posts that Lake Superior is one of my favorite places on earth. It never ceases to amaze me how it can go from this to the pictures below in a matter of moments. These top two pictures were taken at Whitefish Point. I've heard rumors that the lighthouse is haunted, but unfortunately, weren't able to get inside and check it out.

The day after the top two pictures were taken, we went to Autrain which is a small town that sits on the shore of Lake Superior between Munising and Marquette. I wanted to stop on a certain section of beach and pick up some rocks. Of course hubby's idea of the stones we should get were different from mine. I was thinking nice, palm sized rocks...however, Matt was thinking that boulders were the way to go. Sigh...

He wasted no time in finding a beautiful stone and started to unbury it while Killian and I looked for smaller stones and Corwin dug holes on the beach.

This is the rock Matt decided needed to come home with us, but before he could get it out of the sand, a storm blew in.

The lake went from completely placid to rough inside of ten minutes. Five minutes after that, we were battered by hail and pounding sheets of rain. The wind was so strong it blew my husband's glasses off his face. We ended up searching for them in the midst of a thunderstorm so severe, cars pulled off the highway. It rained so hard, the parking lot (which was dry when we pulled in) was covered in swirling, calf-deep water. We finally found them about thirty minutes later once the rain stopped.
I told Matt the storm was the lake's way of saying it didn't want him to take the stone, but he decided since we were already soaking wet and his shoes and glasses had been trashed that he wasn't going to let the lake or the rock get the best of him so he rolled it up the hill (it's about 150 pounds) and hefted it into the trunk of the car.
Men... Stand back ladies...he's all mine.
*rolling my eyes and shaking my head*

Monday, July 28, 2008

More pretty pictures

One of the things we did on vacation, was take a glass bottom boat shipwreck tour around part of Lake Superior - it was really cool. We saw a couple of wrecked schooners from the 1800s and a barge wreck from the late 1700s. In the wreckage of one of the ships we could see the captain's toilet and bathtub. Unfortunately, those pictures didn't turn out, but I do have some lovely pictures of the Grand Island Lake Superior shoreline.

These are sandstone caves along the shore.

This is the East Channel Lighthouse on Grand Island which is in the process of being restored. Over the years it fell out of use and people from the mainland used to use the ball on the top for target practice. Near the lighthouse is a pair of nesting bald eagles and we saw the babies take flight.

The following day we went to Kitch-iti-kipi. Translated it means the Mirror of Heaven. It's the biggest spring in Michigan and yep...the water really is that amazing shade of blue-green. The water was so clear we could see the huge trout swimming around 45 feet down. I could have stayed there all day.