Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Feliz Navidad! Mil gracias a todos ustedes quienes han optado por mis libros. Yo realmente aprecio esto de corazon. Desde nuestro hogar al de ustedes, deseandoles a todos ustedes y a sus seres queridos unas felices fiestas y un maravilloso y prospero año nuevo lleno de paz y alegria.
Mis mejores deseos,
P.S. Gracias Raquel y Yolanda!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I am trying to squeeze in reading time this month and cherish the utter joy of being able to read, something I used to take for granted. This morning before leaving for work I got in ten minutes of Allyson James's The Black Dragon. I'm halfway through. I finished DRAGON HEAT and loved Caleb and have been dying to read Malcolm's story. He's a very sexy dragon.
Next up is Linnea Sinclair's Down Home Zombie Blues and Loreth Anne White's new one.
Happy reading, everyone!
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
"A large shadow detached itself from a tree and approached. She smelled forest, pine. Nicolas. A band of moonlight caressed his naked body.
Her hungry gaze roved over his powerful chest, the sculpted muscles banding his arms and legs.
“What are you doing out here?”
His deep voice seemed thick and husky. Maggie stood and faced him.
“Waiting for you.”
She knew what would happen. Though she was a little afraid, her instincts urged her forward.
“Are you ready for me?” she whispered.
The dark hunger on his face gave her the answer.
Nicolas held out a hand. “Come inside, Maggie,” he softly ordered. “It’s time. It’s long past time.”
He waited, his palm outstretched. Maggie took his hand as he led her inside. Nicolas closed the door behind her. Turned around, an intent expression marking his face. Dark, hungry. His body taut, coiled energy ready to spring.
A little shiver went through her. He meant to take her. Tonight. Here. Now. He would not be denied his mate any longer. " From my Dec. Nocturne, THE EMPATH. Saw it last night at Books-a-Million. It's out! Also available on e harlequin and Barnes and Noble.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
So we decided to mate pirates with sheikhs and our new venture is a sheikh who sails the sands and ends up wandering the shelves of a large mass market merchandiser as he searches for himself. We're calling it PERILS OF THE WALMART.
Just kidding. But we ARE celebrating the anniversary of our debut books. So we're running a very special blog contest.
All you have to do is list in either this blog's comment section or Jennifer's blog comments section the name of the heroines in each of the following debut Dorchester author books:
Forecast by Jana Tara
Grace by Deneane Clark
Divorced, Desperate, and Delicious by Christie Craig
Star Crash by Elyssa Hendricks
To give you a hint, here's a link to Dorchester's new releases page.
One lucky winner will receive one free book from both my backlist and Jennifer's. For my backlist, this includes the Spanish copies of either THE FALCON & THE DOVE or THE TIGER AND THE TOMB.
As a bonus, Colleen Thompson has offered to throw in one of her backlist books as well. Book lists can be found at Jennifer's website and my website and Colleen's website.
Contest ends November 30. Happy hunting!!!
I'm near Orlando now, spending the night after doing the Romancing the Holidays booksigning. DH was supposed to join me, but had to work. The booksigning was fun. I met the fabulous Ana from RBL romantica, and two readers, Jann and Ellee from Ocala, and lots of other people. I got to spend a little time with the fabulous Linnea Sinclair and her hubby, Robbie. Linnea won the RITA last year for paranormal and has a new book out the end of the month, THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES. Check it out.
So I spent the night in Altamonte Springs, because I was exhausted to drive home. Here I am in this cheap motel with cardboard walls and the couple next door is having moaning, groaning headboard banging sex.
I tried turning up the TV. the louder it is, the more they moan. Right now it's the travel channel show on Glastonbury, England and country fairs v.s. OHHHHHHHHHHH, OHHHHHHHHHH, DO ME BABY!
Not that I mind headboard banging sex. But when I'm on deadline with a book, exhausted from driving almost four hours yesterday and doing a 3-hour booksigning, homesick and trying to write a very dark scene involving the hero of my book telling the heroine about his tortured past, headboard banging sex is really annoying.
Such is the glam life of a romance author.
Tomorrow Jennifer Ashley and I are running a month-long blog contest and giving away one book from each of our backlists. Anything the winner desires. Check in tomorrow for details.
AMENDED: 8:43 a.m.
OMG, I saw the couple who was in the room next door having the headboard banging sex at 6:30 this morning. They left their room and walked ahead of me as I went to get coffee. They're, like in their early 70's!! There's some kind of senior citizen get together here, a group of older people.
OMG. I had to bite my mouth to keep from laughing. GO GRANNY!!!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
We woke up at 5:30 a.m. and I came into the kitchen and she was dead.
She spared us from having to put her down. My instincts told me last night she was dying. She stopped eating yesterday, and was listless. Kept lying down. I picked her up, held her several times. She seemed to like that, me holding her in my arms.
Rainey died from cancer on Halloween. Tia was gone from cancer just before Christmas. I hate the holidays.
I'm going offline until Monday. Monday Jennifer Ashley and I are starting a new blog contest to help out new Dorchester authors. But for now, I just some private time.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Also, stay tuned to this blog. My friend Jennifer Ashley and I were talking and because November is our 5 year anniversary of our debut books with Leisure, we're going to run a cool blog contest. We're still working out the details, so keep watching.
Five years ago we both got published. I totally forgot. I remember how excited I was when I saw The Falcon & the Dove on the shelves of bookstores. Seeing a dream realized is very cool.
Rainey is... hanging in there. My dog is blind now. It's heartbreaking to watch her. but her other senses must be kicking in because she seems to be managing better now than 3 days ago. She's barely eating. Showed no interest in food, other than a hot dog. I think it's because she's dying and also she can't see the food. So I bought her Hebrew National hot dogs, all beef. She ate some. My kosher Shih Tzu.
I suspect she won't make it until Thanksgiving and we'll have to put her down soon.
Such is life. We're just trying to keep her comfortable and keep lavishing love on her. It's all we can do.
The writing has picked up pace a little. The next Nocturne is due in four weeks and I'm not done, but I'm making some progress, which is better than nothing. I was supposed to be in Guatemala this week for the day job, instead I'm just going to the office each day. I opted out of that trip because Rainey is so sick and I couldn't leave DH alone all week to deal with a dog dying from cancer. I forgot how much work it is... giving her all the meds, trying to find food she will eat, and because she's on prednisone, she has to pee every two hours or so. So constantly, she's going outside. And she's having accidents. It's okay. This is why we have a rug machine.
Now Tropical Storm Noel, which is predicted to grow into HURRICANE Noel, may bump our coast. Or come on shore and say howdy. Noel already killed 20 people in the DR.
Tomorrow is Halloween and we get Noel.
I have no energy to do anything hurricane. Hopefully DH can get some gas for the generator just in case the power kicks out. But other than that... I'm not doing anything. It's already very windy here, expected to be at least 30-40 mph today. I bet the dudes on the beach with their kite surfing are having a grand time. They're probably zipping along the coast and the crashing waves. I can envision it now, one big guy taking his kite and next thing you know, he's in Jacksonville, looks around and mutters. "Whoa dude. How did that happen?" :-)
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Did you know that ultrasound is more efficient in diagnosing a mass that may be cancer than a mammogram? A mammgram shows there's something there. Ultrasound shows if the something is dark, meaning it could be cancer, or clear, which is probably a cyst.
I found out because I went to get both because of the lump I found.I finally worked up the nerve to go to my MD. She says it's probably nothing, but ordered the tests. My aunt died of breast cancer, so I have to be very careful. I had the tests done and will get results back soon. And I hope and pray it's nothing.The tech told me next year they're going to recommend women get a yearly mammogram followed by ultrasound six months later.
I'm trying not to think about the lump, and the test results. I'm already so stressed about having another dog with cancer, and trying to keep her as comfortable as possible and trying to figure out the best course of action. But at least I had it done. And my cousins and I had made a promise to always get our yearly check-ups. Our mothers died of cancer. It's a horrid way to die. Neither of them went to the doctor to get checked.
Am I scared? Yeah. Any kind of abnormality scares me, with my family history. But ignoring it won't make it go away. I remember years ago a co-worker, who had a masectomy, swore she'd never again go through that. She knew something was wrong. Finally she went back for the re-check she had put off for far too long. They found something. She got scared and just took off. Ran away.
Finally she came back. They removed her other breast. But it was too late. She died of breast cancer. Cancer sucks. But they say if you can find it early enough, your chances of survival are very good. I'm thinking of a friend who found a lump when she was only 40. She had it removed, and radiation therapy and is cancer free today, years later.
Two words that are beautiful put together: Cancer-free.
And ignore that part in my interview about me growing up as a werewolf. Yeah, childhood could be a little hairy at times and I did love full moons, but I was a perfectly normal child. Except for that one time when I bit the neighbor's ankle...hmm...
Monday, October 08, 2007
The vet gave her 6 weeks without chemo. The cancer is malignant.
I really am not in the mood to post anything and I still have a book due in December and the day job. Life goes on despite bad news. I'm also awaiting test results for myself.
Last week I found a lump. With my family history (my aunt died of breast cancer), I went to the doctor. I will find out results this week.
So I'm going offline for a while. Best of luck and I hope your days are full of nothing but good things.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Anthony Bourdain just said he's having some kind of bean curd crisis. He's in China and called a dish "looks like jellied mop water."
He's a smart ass food tour guide who exposes other cultures and food in a way that makes raw pork seem... appetizing.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
She remembered the Big Bad Wolf, wanting to eat the little girl.
“No key. No one dares to come here. The magick wards off all intruders, but Draicon.” He set her gently down on her feet, stroked her hair. “Which proves my point, Maggie. If you were not one of us, you couldn’t enter. As soon as you reached the driveway, you’d become so violently ill you’d be forced to turn around. The suggestion of food poisoning would erase any suspicion from your mind.”
Maggie ran a hand up his chest, relishing the hardness beneath her fingertips. He’d done so much to keep her safe, putting her needs before his own. The wolf inside her howled with a different need than to run wild and free. Her fingers slipped up the strong curve of his neck, testing the hard pads of muscle on his thick shoulders.
His big body was like chiseled marble. Suddenly she wanted to test his weight, feel him mount her and be inside her.
Nicolas pushed her hand away. His eyes were tormented.
“Go inside, Maggie,” he said thickly. “Make yourself comfortable. I need to check the property.”
“This time of night? I thought you said it was safe.”
“It is. I’m not.”
Swallowing hard, she watched him start to tug the shirt over his head. “Inside, now,” he growled. “I need to run with the moon before I take you and release this wildness inside me. It’s your first time and I want to be gentle.”
Taken aback, she stared. “How… did you?”
“I can tell,” he said shortly. “I can’t smell another man on you.”
Instead of entering the cottage she watched him remove his shirt. Moonlight gilded the rippling muscles of his biceps, the thick hair on his chest. Stubble shadowed his jaw, though he had shaved before they left this afternoon. He kicked off his shoes, removed his socks. Nicolas growled again and turned his back as he tugged down his jeans. Fascinated she saw the outline of his heavy testicles dangling between his outstretched legs.
“Go inside,” he said in a strangled tone.
Maggie watched the smooth halves of his muscled ass as he loped off toward the forest.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Shiver me timbers but there be a fine arse! He could drop his anchor on my ship and fire his cannon anytime.
Speaking of which, the great website, talk like a pirate, offers these Top Ten pickup lines for laddies to pick up a lass or two.
"Top Ten Pickup lines for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day
10 . Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
9. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
8. Come on up and see me urchins.
7/ Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.
6. I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon.
5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?
4. How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?
3. Ya know, darlin', I'm 97 percent chum free.
2. Well blow me down?And the number one pickup line for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day is ...
1. Prepare to be boarded."
Monday, September 17, 2007
Customer service rep: Hello, ____ county property appraiser's office.
Me: Hi, I live out of the area and own land there, and I lost the form to pay my property taxes. We looked all over for it last night but can't find it. I need to know what to do to pay my tax bill.
CSR: Um, the tax bills haven't been mailed yet. They don't mail out until the middle of October.
Me: You mean I lost a bill that hasn't been mailed yet?
Me: And I'm trying to pay money for a bill I don't owe yet?
CSR: (Giggling) Yes, m'am.
Me: Ok, thanks.
Me: hanging up, muttering to self: I need a vacation...
Thursday, September 13, 2007
He was suspected of shooting 4 police officers this morning, killing one, in Cutler Ridge. Armed with an AK-47 and wearing a bullet-proof vest, he opened fire after police pulled him over in his car for weaving erratically in and out of traffic. They were searching for a burglary suspect.
It was all over the news. Police cordoned off the entire area in Miami where the shooting took place, not letting residents back into their homes while they search for evidence. Then they cordoned off a warehouse near my home, where local news reports say he was last seen. His mother works there. Hundreds of cops from agencies all over S. Florida combed the streets, looking for him. Police closed a major on-ramp to I-95 near my house.
They found him shortly before midnight in Pembroke Pines, hiding in an apartment complex. Police exchanged gunfire and he died.
The dead officer, Jose Somohano, 37, leaves behind a wife and two little kids. He was only doing his job to protect the public. Now he's dead.
I have friends who are cops. This is freaking scary. This is the third cop killing this year down. WTH is this with people on the street carrying semi-automatic weapons? Why should the bad guys be better armed than the street cops?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
If you're in need of a hero, go see this movie. It's got violence, but not gore, just guns shooting and one squicky scene with a fork that I closed my eyes to. But it's worth every penny.
We need more movies today with heroes in them.
On another note, my eyes are doing better. I was on meds all last week and now I'm slowly catching up. I have a book due in 11 weeks, my second Nocturne. Yikes. I'd rather sit here and stare at Bale. Bale me out, lol.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Have a great weekend! Mine will pass in a blur, lol.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I FINALLY finished the book!
The Scorpion and the Seducer is DONE. FINI! COMPLETED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's printed and in a box, ready to be mailed.
I cried when I read over the ending. Oh, it was soooo sweet. I felt like Joan Wilder in that first scene in Romancing the Stone, crying as she finished her book.
Then again, maybe I cried with relief because I was finally finished. LOL! Yeah, that's it. The book sucks. NO, it doesn't. Yes, it does. No, it doesn't. It IS different from anything I've written, and has more of a tone that Panther and the Pyramid and Cobra and the Concubine had.
Enough, enough. It's FINISHED. Ta, book! Now at last I can take a small break. Maybe I'll just collapse on the sofa and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz for a while...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
It's very quiet and peaceful here. I'm so thankful we're out of Hurricane Dean's path, but I keep thinking about Jamaica and Haiti, though. Jamaica is going to take a direct hit, unless some miracle happens. And the storm will be a cat. 5 when it hits.
Loss of life, huge property damage.
I hope our guys who were supposed to head down there this morning are going to be okay. I just read that the Hilton is taking all the guests and putting them into the ballroom for safety.
I keep thinking about all the projects we have there on the island, and our huge warehouse, and all the people... and the storm surge... the flooding will be horrible.
By tomorrow we'll know for sure. It's very odd to sit here, look at how peaceful and calm the ocean is and know that far south of me, it's a far different story.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I'm really worried about the islands where we work. Dean is now a cat. 2, may be a cat 4 when it brushes the DR and Haiti and Jamaica may take a direct hit. We're sending a team down to Jamaica tomorrow to be on the island Sunday when it hits. We'll be standing by to send emergency relief supplies like food, water, etc.
Hopefully the island won't get a direct hit, but it doesn't look so good right now.
I have this horrible feeling it will be bad. Very bad. Any time a hurricane even brushes Haiti, there are floods and mudslides. People die. A lot of people may die from this one, in Haiti and Jamaica. I hope I'm wrong. It's very weird because I'm so damned relieved we're not getting it here here in S. Florida and yet I'm watching the news with this same terrible sinking feeling I had when Katrina passed us and slammed into New Orleans. Like watching a slow moving disaster in the works.
For now, all I can do is sit, watch, wait. And pray. I hope it won't be bad.
But I have that sinking feeling it will be. Very very bad.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
My good friend Linda Broday is part of a new author blog called Petticoats and Pistols. Go check it out here.
Linda has a new book out next year with Kensingston in an anthology with Jodi Thomas called GIVE ME A TEXAN. It's a Western. Yee Haw. Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Here we go, again. I have two weeks to finish this Dorchester historical and they say we might get a hurricane? A big weally weally BIG one?
I'm sick and tired of hurricanes. After Wilma in 2005 dumped a tree on our house and caused lots of damage, I decided I've had enough. We have the brightest and best minds in science in this country, so why can't we invent something that keeps them away from my state?
Face it, Florida sticks out into the Atlantic and the Gulf like a giant, well, penis. South Florida, where I live, is the tip and Tallahassee is the balls. Considering what politicians do in Tallahassee, they do have plenty of ... balls.
It's like the whole damn state is dangling out there like manly parts, taunting hurricanes from August to October, the busy season, saying, "HERE I AM, WITH MY BIG GIANT MAN FLESH, COME AND GET ME!"
But hurricanes transmit the deadly STD. Storm Transmitted Disaster.
Now, using the analogy of sex, if Florida is a giant dick, then what do you need to protect a giant dick from an STD?
Why a giant condom, of course.
I suggest scientists invent a giant condom to wrap around the state of Florida for hurricane season. Magnum sized.
Maybe then I can chill during hurricane season.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Burn Notice is my new favorite show. It's great seeing the S. Florida scenery looking resplendent. I can pick out various settings and places.
Next month I'm going to Jamaica and a very violent slum. There was a church caretaker murdered there a few days ago. Who knows why. It's too dangerous to go there now because of elections, which means all the gangs are out in full force. I'm going there to interview a priest about how we're helping him try to change the area by building homes for poor families. Hopefully things will be calm by then, but at least I'll have turned in the Dorchester book so if I get shot, I don't have to worry about that deadline.
I can see it now, me in the slum yelling at the gunmen, "Don't shoot me! I'm on deadline." Priorities, you know.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I wrote about this today and it’s pretty damn depressing, but at least I can try to make a difference. I have a photo of this kid on my desk to remind me what’s really important in life to me. When a child perishes every 5 seconds in the world from hunger, it puts everything into perspective for me.
In other news, I’m turning to the dark side; my writing. I have serious deadlines to meet and I’m a serious deadline person. So I’m not blogging for a while, except for my monthly post on Unusual Historicals. I will be posting an excerpt of my December Nocturne on my website as soon as I get through these deadlines.
On a lighter note, a reader emailed me yesterday that she found The Falcon & the Dove for $3 at half.com. Yay! So if you’re searching for that book, don’t give up. The book is due to go back to print, but I haven’t a date yet. I love used bookstores. And I don’t care if that’s politically incorrect for an author, I just love ‘em. When a reader who wants to read a book can finally find it and not have to pay a ridiculous price, I say here’s to the UBS!
What’s important to me:
The work I do in the Third World.
And rum runners.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I think the hardest part of this trip was the visit to the HIV orphanage. All the children are HIV positive. They have a strong family bond among each other because almost all of them lost their parents to HIV. They are on drug therapy, thank God, but still.... Carlos told us on one visit, when a child was asked what he wanted, he replied, "I want to live longer."
I feel like I almost don't even care anymore... and maybe it isn't worth writing romance. Even the day job... do I really make a difference? Does anyone really care? I work and work and work and I need a break, but I can't take one because I have two books due and I have a day job.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
An iconoclast who was a POW during WWII, (you know, the big one?), he was against censorship, was for saving the planet (he once suggested writing on the wall of the Grand Canyon, "we probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard... and too damn cheap," as a message to aliens who might landed there) and soul-growing society through diffuse art to block the increasing numbing of America through TV.
We need more folk heroes like Vonnegut. Folk heroes who stand for intelligent debate, shock us with their brilliant wit and crude humor and make us think for a change. Instead, we have shock jocks whose main goal is to increase their ratings and in the process, say cruel and racist things. I seriously doubt Vonnegut would have called the Rutgers female basketball players, “nappy-headed hos.”
The whole Imus debacle makes me wonder about the so-called dumbing down of America. A few months ago, Dh and I rented Idiocracy. The flick (Ethan Cohen co-wrote it with Mike Judge) was hilarious, and disturbing. It’s about the true dumbing down of America. In the movie, (spoiler alert!!) people in present-day America are intelligent and evolved. In the future, they’re dumber than shit. Honestly. That’s the only way to describe it. The mega corporation Brawndo manufactures a sports drink that people use for everything, from flushing their toilets to irrigating their crops, which is causing a food shortage and they don’t know WHY the crops won’t grow. The Brawndo advertising slogan is recited like we used to mumble Sunday School cathechism.
The movie left me disturbed because although it’s satire, you can see flecks of it here and there in today’s society. When American Idol is the number one show, and newspapers are struggling to breathe (look at the Tribune take-over, I have friends who work for Tribune papers) and people are more concerned with what happens to Anna Nicole’s rotting corpse than anything else, will Idocracy become our future? Are we becoming more passive as a nation, nodding like those head bobble dolls at everything thrown at us?
I sometimes wonder if it’s because we’re trying to do too much, cram too much, work too much, play too much and at the end of the day, we’re so freaking tired that shows like American Idol are all we can stand. I work at an emotionally draining day job. I also write romance novels at night. There's bills to pay, family health problems, birthdays, dogs to care for, you name it and I have two more books due this year. And sometimes I’m so exhausted all I want is mindless entertainment.I too, am in danger of becoming a bobble doll.
It’s times like that when I need a good kick in the brain and remind myself make the effort to reach for something better. It’s times like that when I find myself weeping for the demise of brilliance like Vonnegut. We need more folk heroes like him.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
How am I going to write three books this year, work nearly FT, travel for the day job and have a life?
I forgot how exhausting field work is. Even a trip like this to Jamaica, where I'm not in the car for 4 hours straight, is wearing me out. I got back to the hotel today and headed for the shower to wash away the dirt and grime and dust and all I can hear in my head is the chant, "Three books to write!" Like some kind of tormenting gremlin invading my mind.
I actually did a little writing on the Nocturne book in the field while we were waiting on a local pastor to arrive and take us to a woman's burnt out house. He was 15 minutes late and I wrote while we were waiting. That's all, folks. I've been too exhausted to do much more than go out to dinner with everyone at night and discuss the day and then come back and fall into bed.
Three books to write and this job. How can I do it?? and my March book out soon. I can't even think about that book now... if DH were here, he'd be reminding me, "Remember when you were happy to have ONE book published?"
Ok, I get the message, dear, yes I love you honey, lol. I AM grateful for all these books to write. I just wish I could clone myself so I had more time to sleep and write. I go from being Bonnie the writer in the field writing about poverty to Bonnie the author writing about werewolves fighting off shapeshifters attacking them. It's very strange...
Speaking of people who are grateful, met this woman today whose house burnt down and her philosophy is "God will provide." She lost everything. Her elderly mother also lost all the cash the son had saved up to get his mother an operation. This house is nothing more than an old chicken coop. A good kick will send it toppling. It's infested with rats. But she has nowhere else to live, so there she lives with her little kids. She works hard but it's not enough to build a new house. Yet she kept telling me, "God will show me the way."
The faith of people who live like this always amazes and humbles me...
Quick post... heading out in a minute to the country.
Went out into the country yesterday to do housing stories. Got a couple of good cases. On the way stopped at a couple of schools. We're involved in a cool project that's a matching fund project to put flush toilets into basic and primary schools in Jamaica. Most still have pit latrines. I wonder what kids in the US would think of using a stinky pit latrine.
Photo is one of Jamaica schoolkids on recess playing games.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
"As the pack’s Alpha female, Alyssa has a lot of responsibility weighing on her shoulders. Most importantly, she must mate with the Alpha male and produce an heir. The child will usher in a new generation of Alpha warriors who will guard and fight for the pack. But Alyssa wants nothing to do with the Alpha. After ten of the strongest males fight over the privilege of bedding her, it’s Marcus who comes out on top. He’s her bodyguard and the only werewolf she can’t resist. But Alyssa has a secret, and she knows that her secret could contaminate the bloodline and bring ruin to her pack. So she vows to do everything in her power to keep that from happening, even if it means denying Marcus what he wants the most: her. But when Marcus comes home after six years of fighting in the Vampire Wars, he’s determined to claim his mate. And once an Alpha were sets his mind to something, he won’t be denied.
Ms. Valentine’s werewolves are unlike any mythical characters I’ve encountered in a book. They’re strong and sure of themselves, arrogant and supremely skilled in lovemaking and more violent pursuits. But it’s their unique sense of humor and charm that really sets them apart from the rest. Ms. Valentine manages to bring the world in which her werewolves exist to life through vivid detail and precise dialogue that always rings true. And the sex scenes? Oh… my. The sexual heat between Alyssa and Marcus sizzles from the very first page. Their first encounter is scorching, and things only get hotter from there. The more Alyssa tries to resist, the more Marcus turns into a true Alpha hero, one who knows exactly what to do to satisfy his mate. And if that wasn’t enough, an intense werewolf bonding orgy really sets this marvelously smart, sexy novel apart from others of its kind. With Captive Mate, Ms. Valentine has quickly propelled herself to the top of my “must buy” list." CLAIRE SKYE, JERR
You can find CAPTIVE MATE here.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
A delightful 74 degrees out and I'm writing the Nocturne book in the Florida room. Rainey wanted to keep me company so I threw this old comforter on the tile for her. Cold weather the other day made her frisky.
She started humping Tiger. Poor Tiger looked at me as if to say, "WTF?"
She's definitely the Alpha.
Writing Nicolas and Maggie's story is fun. Nicolas is definitely an Alpha even though his official position is a Beta. I'm heading into the home stretch with this story. Very hopeful I can get most of it written before I leave for Jamaica Monday. We're heading into rat-infested slums where there have been outbreaks of malaria and leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is caused by rat urine. Already some in Jamaica have died from it. There was flooding in the area where we'll be headed, which causes the outbreaks.
Speaking of rodents, last night I was leaving the pharmacy and as I passed a trash can outside, tossed in my receipt. As I threw the paper in, a rat jumped out.
A Rat. Jumped Out.
I didn't even flinch. I just shruggd and laughed at my reaction. I guess after the hellishness of last week, even jumping rats are nada in comparison...
Sunday, January 21, 2007
It's really coming together and if I can get the rough first draft done by next week, before I leave on my work trip to Jamaica, I'll be happy.
I read an interview a while ago with Karen Marie Moning in which she said she uses emotion to drive the plot forward. I made a note of that and try to employ her tactic while writing. Action-packed plots are great, but layer them with emotion and rich character development and you've got a story that gives you that wonderful feeling inside that says, "Hey, it's jelling!"
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Nearly one week since we adopted Rainey. This is Rainey in the old bed she had at the Shih Tzu rescue center. She likes sleeping here, but will switch to the carpet or the dog pillow. She's really adjusted to our home and likes walks with Tiger (who escaped his collar this morning, giving me a near heart attack as traffic streams past), food, glorious FOOD (I should rename her Oliver Twist) and lying at my feet. She loves attention. She gets along fine with Tiger, who actually is eating more this week and doesn't seem as depressed as he was.
So getting another dog so soon after Tia's death has been good for him. Not great for the rug! But so far, crossing my fingers, no more accidents on the rug.
She hates having her paws touched. She snapped and tried to bite DH when he examined her paws because she was licking them. Between that and the bald spot on her head where a bow probably was, DH and I came to the conclusion she had a very bad groomer who hurt her in the past. Fortunately, we have a very good groomer.
Today I'm making progress on the Nocturne book. Tearing up parts and rewriting, but it's shaping up nicely. I'm really feeling for Nicolas. I gave him more angst and much more internal conflict and it's working out nicely. Love torturing my heroes. He's very noble and courageous and inside, very lonely. Maggie is turning out to have a gentle strength. It's fun watching the characters evolve.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I bet she was one of those long haired Shih Tzu's who had her fur tied in a bow, and when her owner fell ill, the fur got terribly matted and Rainey's bow came off, along with her fur. Or maybe someone was just cruel and did her fur too tight in those silly bows. How terribly painful for the poor baby! I do know they had to shave her when she first came to Shih Tzu Rescue because she was such a matted mess.
I don't understand people...how they could be so cruel to animals.
Even if it wasn't done deliberately... I like Shih Tzu's because they are loving dogs. Not to dress them up for the Dog Show. Sheesh. The first time our groomer did that, and she's a great groomer!!! I looked at our dogs and sighed and took the bows off.
She's a fast learner. She's stubborn, but knows "inside" and "outside" already... when we go to let her outside. She follows Tiger. I think she's having trouble seeing as she walks/bumps into the sliding glass doors. She's patient when Frank does her ears, as he did again tonight but still hates having her face touched. I think she had huge grooming issues with a bad groomer.
But today when I came home she bounded toward me, tail wagging furiously. Maybe because she sees me as the Lunch Wagon. I don't know. I don't care.
I'm just glad we're able to give her a good home, with lots of TLC that every dog deserves.
Yesterday was a little better.
Today is even better. FIL is home from the hospital with strict orders NOT to exercise and I took Rainey to the vet. The Shih Tzu rescue people said she didn't need to go right away, but I wanted to play it safe.
Our vet, whom I last saw when we had to put down Tia, is the greatest, nicest vet. He didn't even charge us for this visit. He said she's in good health, and advised to take her to the pet eye doctor. Her tear production is low and her eyes are cloudy. We have to keep her on the U/D food and NOT feed her anything else because of the she's had urolithiasis in the past. (kidney stones). This can be fatal in a pet if not treated. He told me to start putting Vit. B?, have to check what he wrote, in her food, which helps.
He wished he had her records, but other than the kidney stone risk and the eyes, she's fine. Frisky. She barked at the vet's and was NOT a happy dog.
So I bought dry canine U/D and I"m feeding her kibbles of it as treats. She loves it. Just have to watch it so that Tiger and Rainey are fed separately.
Anyway, have to run back to work... tomorrow I'm working from home. I am hoping to get some writing done on the Nocturne book tonight. I am wayyyyyyyyyy far behind on my goal.
This is a photo I took of Rainey, who has claimed nearly every chair in the house. She's eyeing this one as a possible resting place.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
All these adjustments at work, the day job, and then a huge problem that was solved, but one that sent my blood pressure soaring with frustration... having to do with $$$ and work hours. Then I get a call on voice mail that FIL is in the hospital. One week after his angiogram, he's bleeding.
Ok. Dh is informed, he calls over there... and then a family friend calls me and tells me the bleeding is really bad.
I'm thinking, "gusher." ICU.
I'm chewing my nails, I have a sinus migraine. Finally DH is at hospital, it's not a big problem, they did a procedure, stopped the bleeding and FIL is in the hospital overnight, hopefully. He did too much. Of course. He thinks he can do everything and then he ends up in the hospital because he's supposed to TAKE IT EASY and instead he's doing what he wants.
He's got a mind of his own.
Come home. Rainey and Tiger come up to greet me (DH is still at hospital). They go outside, all is well, DH comes home, I'm making dinner. I feed her because she's really acting very very hungry. Then she's sniffing around like she has to go outside and fearing she'll whiz on the carpet, I let her outside.
She goes outside to the hibiscus bush, snatches a dead blossom off the patio and begins eating it.
I pry open her jaws, grab her and she snarls and yips and tries to bite me.
I scream, "FRANK!~"
Run after her, panicking.
why am I panicking?
This from an article about pet poisons: "After ingesting hibiscus, a dog willvomit persistently, may vomit blood and have bloody diarrhea. "The loss of body fluid maybe severe enough to be lethal in some cases."
Frank comes out and pries her jaws open, while she's snapping and yipping and trying to bite him, and he gets out the blossom. He shows me what to do in case I'm alone when that happens. Luckily she didn't eat any...
But my nerves are so shot, with this day, I go inside, and I start to cry. I was so scared. I had a feeling hibicus was dangerous, and I was right.
I think we need to cut down that tree. I love that tree because it survived the hurricane, and all the damage to the house, and it was like a symbol of strength.
I was so damn scared. she could have eaten it and died. Then I started thinking about Tia.
I miss Tia.
I miss her so much and I'm still grieving her.
Not that I don't love Rainey... it's just that I miss my Tia. We'll all adjust and I'm just too stressed out today.
It will get better. But wow... I sure hope tomorrow is a better day. I have a very stubborn FIL with a mind of his own in the people hospital, and a stubborn rescue Shih Tzu with a mind of her own who just barely avoided going into a pet hospital.
I need a drink now...
She likes the chairs in our house. She's claimed about three so far. This is her favorite, I think. She's beginning to settle in. Slept through the night Sunday and last night as well. Only a couple of accidents yesterday and it was my fault as I didn't make her go outside but thought, "Let me wait until I take a shower."
Shih Tzu she is, she sneaks off while I'm showering and does it on the carpet. So this morning as DH is getting ready for work at 5:30, I take her outside. She's looking at me in sleepy protest, but I was firm. Then she came back and found the dog pillow and she's sleeping again now. We walked both dogs last night and I think we wore them out.
The advantage of adopting an older dog is they are already trained, and they like to rest, which means you can rest. I think there's just an adjustment period on everyone's part.
She's a real sweetheart, very laid back, and was lying down at my feet last night when I was on the couch. She doesn't get scared at loud noises, even when my clock radio is blaring out rap music to wake me up. Tiger is still scared of her, but I think that will ease up as well. She likes bones, and loves to eat. Last night we had dinner and she was begging, but each time she tried to jump up, I firmly told her, NO, and she sat back down.
She's inquisitive and loves her comfort. Barks when she wants more food, and her favorite place is the kitchen. LOL!
Yesterday was the first day of work in the new building, and I had a new dog. Came home for lunch, spent my lunch hour taking care of her and Tiger, and then had to rush back. The drive is a little longer, which makes a big difference on your lunch hour. But yay! I'm working from home Fridays now, so that will really help.
The new building is gorgeous, but our area for the writers gets the sun all day long and it's so glaring we can't see our screens. I may resort to sunglasses today.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Some adjustments ahead, and we're getting to know each other. She barks when we eat and looks at you with these big doggie eyes but we don't cave in, as she's on a special diet. We took her to Pet Supermarket to get her a collar and ID tag. Tiger sniffed her, ran away, as expected. Rainey has a bone she likes and she's claimed this chair. She loves her comfort!
I think Tia would approve. I still miss my Tia. Always will.
We'll see how she does tonight with sleeping. Tomorrow is the first day of work at the new building, more adjustments for moi.
DH and I met her yesterday at Shih Tzu and Lap Dog Rescue of South Florida and fell in love. We had agreed we would only get another dog for Tiger, who has been very very lonely, if it were a rescue dog. A puppy? Forget it. Too much. Tiger would look at it and think, "turn this thing off!" He's 12 now and very nervous.
She'll be here at 1 p.m. so I have lots to do. I'll post pix when I have a chance. It's going to be an adjustment for all of us, but I hope a very good one.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I think moving our company is like herding cats.
I'll miss the old building in a way... so many memories there, good and bad. The new offices are only a little further away. Change is good for the soul, I keep telling myself.
I have a new toy that should make life easier. I bought a wireless air card for my laptop. I have internet on the go now, and I'm blogging from the Florida room. The new Cingular air cards have internal antennas, so no risk in breakage like the old ones. Now I can bring my laptop anywhere and not have to worry about hitting T-Mobile hotspots.
Only wrote one page so far this week. It's okay, I figure I will play catchup today. There's a crucial scene I need to rewrite and it will give the hero a chance to show his growing feelings for Maggie, as well as his tenderness and his concern.
Got my first review for The Sword & the Sheath from Historical Romance Writers. 9 out of 10, across the board, for general, history and sensuality. Yay! Lettetia wrote, "THE SWORD & THE SHEATH is passionate, richly detailed, action packed and fun, all rolled into one. Tarik and Fatima are antagonists that just won’t give an inch; neither wanting to reveal their feelings and give the opponent an advantage. They are well matched; the sparks leap off the pages whenever they are together. The author makes the Egyptian sands come alive on the pages in a way few can; allowing this reader to step back in time on a grand adventure. I highly recommend this book, and will gift several friends with a copy. Bravo!"
I'm glad she liked the book. Tarik and Fatima are two of my favorite characters. This book is less intense than Panther, my last Egyptian historical, and has more adventure in it. And more love scenes, too. :-)
Okay, must get back to work now. On my days off, I write. Saturday I have to work at the day job and there's a chapter meeting of my RWA group, and DH and I... may be visiting a Shih Tzu we might adopt. Maybe. We'll see.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
A Miami guy over the weekend drove his Chevy, not to the levy, but into into the gates guarding the Broward County Jail. He was trying to break in. Broward Sheriff's deputies immediately arrested him. A spokesman commented, "He wanted to get into jail and we were happy to accomodate him."
Glowing on the post-victory of my alma mater, University of Florida, winning the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP last night, I'm sucker punched with reality this a.m. FIL is going into the hospital today. Just a procedure, and they'll do the surgery at a later date... but at 8 a.m. I get a call from DH. We think FIL will be spending the night in the hospital.
"He's spending the night with us," DH informs me.
This as I'm leaving for work. We're moving this week at the day job and it's like the exodus. Moses trying to coordinate more than 200 confused, disorganized employees into a cohesive unit that will pack, then unpack and organize with brisk efficiency.
I Do Not Think So.
My stress levels are rising like, say, the ocean's temperature. No such thing as Bonnie's blood pressure rising or global warming. I'm trying to write 30 pages this week to meet my goal. I need to get the first draft of the Nocturne book done by the end of this month. I'm leaving for a week for Jamaica on a work trip and will take that week to let the book simmer, like a cook brewing a recipe.
Writing 30 pages when I have to cope with an elderly in-law living with us, and moving our offices at the day job seems like a major leap.
But I am starting to think of writing as if it's an obstacle course. Because that's life. The goal is the finish line, but in the way are the obstructions life tosses at you. Moving. Sickness in the family. Just like that movie, O Brother Where Art Thou? The blind trainman tells George Clooney, "You shall meet with many Ob-sta-cles."
Learning to be flexible is a good asset to possess as a writer. You're not always going to be able to produce that day you planned to write 15 pages. Or something will happen. The car gets a flat, a friend needs a big favor, a hurricane rips apart your house, your dog dies, a relative gets sick and needs medical treatment. Things happen. You work around them as best as you can.
How am I going to write 30 pages this week with all the current obstacles in my life? Just like I did last night... when I wrote one page. Section off time as much as I can, try to focus and just do it. Get words on paper. Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird said her goal is to write a shitty first draft. That's what a first draft is. So this week I'll try to write and turn off my internal editor. Just get words on the screen. Editing will come later. I'll get out my wolf book that I keep on the coffee table and study wolf photos for inspiration. And I'll write as much as I can, despite the Ob-sta-cles, the confusion, chaos and noise.
And if that doesn't work, maybe I'll smash my Saturn into the gates of the Broward County Jail.
I hear the cells are quiet, and the food isn't so bad.