Monday, January 29, 2007

Share my Excitement! Meet Author Kim Howe

Have you ever strolled under a beautiful fruit tree and had the good fortune of having a deliciously ripe and juicy treat fall into your hands?

Such was the cyber-meeting of author Kim Howe. I'm tickled pink that not only was I able to ask her ANY question I wanted to, I also had the privilege of doing an INTERVIEW!

For the excerpts that had me revved and excited, check out her website.

http://www.kjhowe.com/

Folks, you know me by now.
I luurve my romances.
In them, I look for action or intrigue, emotional depth and the ability to connect with the characters as well as a sense of humor. But most of all, I look for my
all-important HEA.

Equally exciting is finding a new author and being able to share the thrill with you.

Today, I get to SHARE!!! *grin*

Come with me to meet author Kim Howe.

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M: In Red Diamond, the excerpt showed that you had a firm handle on the maneuverability of the plane. Your descriptions were precise and the visuals clear. Have you ever flown as a pilot?

KJ: My father is a private pilot who enjoys aerobatic competitions. I’ve been up in the plane with him in rather dicey conditions! I have taken a few flying lessons, but I haven’t pursued my pilot’s license yet—I’m hoping that I will in the future!

M: I found the initial meeting of the "priest" interesting. Right away, I had a sense that all was not as it appeared. The description of a man as "long and lanky" and his stride "swift and powerful" led me to anticipate an upswing in story intensity.
Those words have no part in describing any friendly parish priest that I ever knew. LOL!

KJ: Carson Lockwood definitely isn’t “priest” material. He’s a rakish anti-hero, the bad boy you can’t stay away from. He’s tracking down heroine Sierra Lazarus, but his demons aren’t far behind!

M: Is there a description that you'll use for a hero that is your personal favorite? Do you visualize an actor in the role of your male character heroes or are they pure imagination?

KJ: Every hero is unique and distinct for me. I visualize scenes (like a movie) in my mind that help bring the hero to life. Creating the hero is one of my favourite parts of writing. I love giving him a “Grand Canyon” size wound that only the heroine can heal! Sometimes an actor might come to mind, like Matthew McMonaughey, for example. J

M: You have your heroine in a violent part of the world where atrocities are common place. Why there? It truly felt as if you knew the subject, the politics, the risks. How'd you get the inside track on such a volatile and emotionally charged part of the world? Why choose to write about that?

KJ: I lived in Kenya for three years when I was a kid. Although there has been incredible political strife, the people have an amazingly resilient spirit. They are warm, caring, and hopeful, even in the most trying times. The simple things, like smiles and food are what matter to them. Africa is a magical place. When I returned to visit this summer, my love for Kenya was renewed and I knew that I wanted to set a book there.

M: Do you speak a bit of Swahili yourself from your time in Kenya? If not, what do you mostly use, people or books for your research or does it occur in equal parts?

KJ: I can order a cold beer in Swahili, but any in-depth conversation is beyond my skills! I use both books and people to insert language snippets into my novels. I always ask a local to look over my work to make sure I honor their language properly. Just like English, there are colloquialisms that only a resident would know.

M: As for False Dawn, DANG! That was heart wrenching! What inspired you to write that scene with the little boy? How hard was it to see that in your mind and put it into words? Does he live?

KJ: Mamadou, an eight-year-old boy from Chad, captured my heart. He made money for his family by selling sodas to the soldiers guarding a food depot. Desperate for money, he traipses out into the night to visit the soldiers. What he doesn’t know is that the soldiers are on guard, expecting an attack from rebel soldiers. In the blinding sandstorm, he is accidentally shot. The scene was heart-wrenching to write. I was trying to show that mistakes happen easily in a trigger-happy, war-torn place, even to good men. It still brings tears to my eyes when I read the scene. Mamadou doesn’t live, but his death changes the hero’s life forever.

M: I can only imagine everyone serving in Iraq and Afghanistan being able to relate to the patrolling scene...the sand, the discomfort. Indeed, the sand in the eyes scene had my own eyes hurting in sympathy pangs. How did you know?

KJ: My father worked in telecommunications, so we traveled a fair bit. In Saudi Arabia, we experienced several sand storms. As a Canadian, I’m used to white-outs, but brown-outs are a whole new experience. The sand is a lot grittier and harsher than snow! The sand bits are also smaller and get into everything. After a sandstorm, your front hallway will be covered in dust. It seeps into your mouth, your nose, everything!

M: The Mamadou scene is written from a guy's perspective. Did you bounce the ideas off of someone or interview a military guy? How far do away does your input come from? Local or across country or across the world? When it initially comes from your own mind, how do you imagine what a guy will say in reality? I wonder about that a LOT as men and women not only view a situation differently, but react to it differently AND their dialogue is diverse. Male dialogue is a stumbling block for me. Perhaps because I drive my DH nuts with MY "logic". *grin*

KJ: I grew up with two brothers and an adventurous father who included me in all the wild and crazy activities. My husband was in the military as well. My hero, Stille Rutger, is a French Foreign Legionnaire and I did a lot of research into that organization and the type of men who are drawn to it. With respect to point of view, men are visual creatures and they tend to live in the moment more than women. For some reason, I’m more comfortable writing from their perspective than my heroine’s! Maybe we should trade off? J

M: Where does the title One Shot, Two Kills come from? How about the phrase "Pig-ugly"?

KJ: My heroine Kenya Alexikova is a former U.S. Army sniper. One shot, one kill is the sniper motto. I played with it a bit to come up with One Shot, Two Kills. The title has significant meaning later in the book (I won’t ruin the surprise!).

Pig-ugly is the way Kenya describes the designer duds the tourists wear when they charter her scuba diving boat for the day. She comes from the Army, where high fashion means the dress uniform. The phrase helps characterize her in the reader’s mind. This girl prefers Glock over Prada!

M: Do you believe in an HEA for all your books?

KJ: Absolutely. Life is full of harsh realities and I try to capture them in my novels, but I read for escape and adore that feeling at the end of the book where everything is finally okay. Happily ever after will definitely be a guarantee with my novels. It might be painful for the characters to get there though. J

M: On your site, nowhere, that I could see, is there ordering info. The first chapters or prologue grips the reader which I'm sure you are glad to hear. But where can we find out what happens next? Will there be any contests for ARC's in the future besides the contest that is going on now?

KJ: I have signed with a wonderful agent—Evan Marshall—and we are working together to find my romantic suspense novels a home. I will definitely have different contests and giveaways on my website. In fact, to celebrate making the final four of the American Title III Contest, I’m having a KILL ME OFF draw. To enter, all you have to do is send me an e-mail via my website www.kjhowe.com with KILL ME OFF and your name. The lucky (???) winner will have his/her namesake meet an untimely demise in my next novel. I promise to make it an interesting event!

M: Will you be having a video commercial done to promote your book(s)?

KJ: Excellent question. I’m very interested in video commercials, podcasts, and all the other wonderful tools technology can offer.

M: The webpage banner is a work of art. Did you design it or have input in its final stage? My perception is that it captures the heat and intensity of your stories. Was that the goal or did you just like the look?

KJ: Thanks for the compliment. Shelley Kay from Web Crafters is my designer and I would highly recommend her. She read my work, had me fill out a detailed questionnaire, and designed a website that reflects the international/romantic/suspense aspects of my novels. The blue silhouettes inside the countries represent the mysterious side and the orange bursts reflect the adrenalin!

M: On your links, I saw Tess Gerritsen's name. Have you ever met her?

KJ: Yes, I had the pleasure of meeting her at Thrillerfest in Phoenix last year. She was also a guest speaker at Seton Hill University where I just graduated with a Master’s in Writing Popular Fiction degree. Tess Gerritsen is a warm and generous person who freely shares her ideas on writing. Her blog is also quite entertaining.

M: Do you mostly write solo or do you have a critique group that you bounce ideas off of?

KJ: My husband is my first reader, but I do have a few fantastic critique partners including fantasy writer Maria V. Snyder (Poison Study, Magic Study, LUNA), suspense expert CJ Lyons (upcoming Berkley medical suspense), and the prolific Debra Webb (Traceless, Nameless, St. Martin’s Press and many, many Harlequin Intrigues).

Thank you for inviting me to M’s Favourite things. I appreciate the lovely hospitality. If you have a moment, please drop by the American Title III Contest at http://www.romantictimes.com/news_amtitle.php and read the dialogue scenes... maybe my sniper heroine will be able to earn your vote?

Warm regards,

Kim/KJ

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Thank you SO much,Kim, for your patience and graciousness in letting me pester you with so many questions. :-)

I had as much fun meeting you and doing the interview as I had reading your excerpts.
I look forward to seeing your stories on my bookshelves soon.

Good luck with the American Title III contest!!

All the best to you,
Michele

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pass this post if you don't like reflections


This is my rendition of the window we let people look through to see us. (pretty sad, I know)

Most times, we're zippered up pretty tight.
Very rarely do we let people see our hearts. The flame that is our soul, for those that believe in God.

Yep, I'm talking about faith. Not preaching.
Nope.
Sharing.

Today was our learning as a family and group about the Stations of the Cross. Never really knew much. And I'm not telling you anything about it except to say that at Station 10, Jesus has his clothes taken away. At the event, they had it acted out in REAL LIFE. The guy who played Jesus was... well... yum.
But I digress.

At the moment when they disrobed him, I was struck quite forcefully by the sight.

There was this man, covered head to knee and suddenly, he is standing there with nothing on but the loin wrap.

It made an impact. Once the reinactment was over we were given a task.

We were told to write a "moment of reflection".

We had 20 minutes.

I was inspired. The world faded away. By the time 20 minutes was up, I'd covered the page.
They had spotters in the audience and saw what I was doing ... taking it seriously.

I had to read it aloud to the audience!!!!!

This is what I wrote.

The figurative window through which we allow people to view us is protected.
We hide our vulnerabilities and wear the clothing, demeanor or use societies rules like armor.

When Jesus' clothes were taken from him, it struck like a spear into my own vulnerabilities. They were not just clothes that exposed the body of a man.

It was a ripping away of all that we cover ourselves with that hides our fears, insecurities, failures and guilt.

All is known to the Lord our God, even though we consciously or unconsciously end up forgetting that.

Upon viewing station 10, it forced me to confront my humanness and the fact that I can be just as vulnerable no matter what I say or do.

But Jesus didn't falter. He had the strength of his faith and love from and for his Father.

We too have that love. Even though our faith flectuates as we go through this journey of life, God's love is constant.

We need times of reflection to remember that being vulnerable is nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

Jesus experienced the ultimate exposure. He did it for us. For love of us.

Can we do no less?
*****************************************

There was no time to edit. No time to proof read. Heck, when they nominated me, I hadn't even written the last two lines. Talk about finishing deadlines!

Afterwards, I got two thumbs up from the Deacon. Guess I did OK. I 've never written anything for public presentation, and I wasn't this time. But I'm glad it ended up being this way because it proved something to me.

I CAN write!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Book Review time

You'll never believe this, but I had an ENTIRE post written and just as I hit send, the book I was raving about slipped from my fingers, fell onto the keyboard, AND SHUT OFF MY COMPUTER!!
I lost everything. And NOW, Blogger won't let me upload pictures --- again!

Say it with me now ... "Grrrrrr!"

Three books. All recommends on various levels.

#1 level is a tie between DARKFEVER by Karen Marie Moning and Shards of Crimson - an anthology with Liz Maverick, Patti O'Shea, Carolyn Jewel and Jade Lee.

#2 Level is Your Planet of Mine? by Susan Grant.

DARKFEVER -Karen Marie Moning

Karen's book is about two main characters told in the first person POV. Mac and Jericho - man,I love that name. What they both are, we're never quite sure. What I do know is that they are characters that grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. Karen had many inspired and LOL one-liners coming from Mac that I fell in adoration (*ahem* Love a guy, adore a female - call me quirky) with her character. Her journey is only beginning - which makes sense in that this is the first book in a new series . Already I can see hints about the person Mac will become, and I like it.

By the time the book ended, which may I say, was waaaay too soon, I was flipping pages furiously,eager to know what came next. Stayed up to midnight reading this one. It was worth the loss of sleep.
Sure, there is plenty of woo-woo factor, action and perplexion but there is also a delightful death-by-sex fae which I hope to see more of. *wink*

And do you know what else? Karen put in a Glossary at the back of the book. I had just as much fun reading that as the book itself. Leave it to Karen to make all aspects of her book fun.
This one delivers.
KEEPER!!

The second in the #1 tie is Shards of Crimson.

I have enjoyed my past visits to Crimson City and this one is no less riveting. It picks up with some characters that you have met in previous books and provided some much appreciated HEA's. Only one story gave me a "burp" on the believeability front ... that occured in the first three pages of the story. (Not saying which one ...nya-nya!)
From then on it smoothed out and ended up being an enjoyable and satisfying read.
School Bites by Jade Lee was truly inspired. Love the twist she put in with this... and the spice. LOL! Oh wow, what fun! - I'm thinking of the "conversion" process and it makes me giggle. THAT scene alone is enough for me to call this anthology a keeper.
The DX by Carolyn Jewel? Can we say YUM? As in, I would LOVE to see a pic of the man that inspired the description of Jaden. **sigh**

One word goes through my mind as I read this book: keeper-keeper-keeper.


#2 slot goes to Your Planet Or Mine? by Susan Grant.

I typically enjoy Susan's books and that includes this one.

Cavin is an alien visiting Earth with his Dad. Jana is an Earthling. They accidently meet when they're kids and fall in love within a few days time. But he leaves - hey, he's a kid and he did what his Dad told him to. Sort of.
Twenty three years later - they meet again. Only Caven's visit has much more important ramifications than just getting his girl back. There's a BIG picture involved. I also enjoyed Susan's version of Area 51. Nice twist.

The story is sweet, amusing and I enjoyed the dynamics of Jana's family. That was the best part for me, her family. Susan even had me feeling sorry for the bad guy.

I can't say this is a 'keeper' for me, but it is a must read. A feel-good read.
Susan usually gives the sweetest HEAs. In that, this one is no different.
********************************************************
So folks, that's the scoop. It is NOT the exact post that I'd originally wrote, but it'll do .
Happy Friday to you. OH! And for those that aren't into books, may I offer:
********************************************************
A Very Short Story

Man driving down road.

Woman driving up same road.

They pass each other.

The woman yells out the window, PIG!

Man yells out window, B I T C H!

Man rounds next curve.

Crashes into a HUGE PIG in middle of road and dies.


Thought For the Day: If only men would listen

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dueling Oldies and Theme Songs

I can't believe I'm thinking of doing this.

I already went this route with Bailey.

Dueling musicals.

I think we bandied back and forth our knowledge of the lyrics to songs from Finian's Rainbow and Paint Your Wagon. Did we do the Sound of Music too? I don't remember.

What I DO remember is what a hoot it was.

The old show tunes are songs that stick with you and in various times in your life, you find yourself humming them. They drag you back into a point in your life that usually is pleasant. Most music is equated with positive things .... if your old EX was a jerk - the break up song was still positive - you escaped with your pride intact, right?

I cannot relate because the only guy I was actually ever serious about and who had the power to affect me is the guy I married. So, music for me is all good.

Everyone has music for the themes in their life:

Music to drive by -
music by Hair is good, Austin Powers *gg*, The old TV themes are great too , Magnum PI comes to mind, Starsky and Hutch, Hawaii 5-O , SWAT, Mod Squad - man those bring back memories, .

Inspirational -
Sound of Music, Paint your Wagon, The King and I, Meet me in St. Louis, Wizard of Oz, Xanadu, Oklahoma

Goofy -
Thoroughly Modern Millie, Finian's Rainbow, Singing in the Rain, Wizard of Oz

So, along the lines of music being a fun thing in your life, I thought of doing a crazy thing.

I Challenge you to name some song titles to match these headings:

Mine are:

The strangest name of a song?
Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Na (1958)

The worst song to drive by?
Transfusion

The cutest song about something horrible?
The Blob

Songs about clothes ?
Short Shorts and Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dotted Bikini

The stupidiest tragic love song?
Leader of the Laudromat.

Most confusing song title?
25 or 6 to 4

Worst song about eating?
Maneater

Song most likely to convince you to do the wrong thing?
Let's go all the way

Best Geek line in a song?
Good Golly Miss Molly

Best advice in a swamp?
See you later, Alligator

Best song when you have ants in your pants?
The hippy hippy shake

The song sung after a virgin's wedding night?
Love Hurts

Song to sing after closing down a bar?
Double Vision

Theme song for Turtle sex?
Slow Ride

Want to contribute any?? Different criteria or answers?
I'm all ears.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Quiz for Oreos

We cannot just eat Oreos in my house.

Nope.

You have to earn your dessert.

What kinds of questions win you your cookies?

Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?

Name the Three Stooges.

Who's a famous trumpet player?

How many pennies make a nickel?

Who was the first President of the United States?

Even Mom got an answer right: How many states made up the first Colonies?

What sweet rewards when you get more than one right!
*************************
Right now, we're watching THEM!!! They've just discovered the kids in the Los Angeles drain pipes. Oh no! James Whitmore discovered the Brood Odor.,. Condition Red!!!
LOL

Love that movie... you know, the one with the giant ants in the desert, mutated by the residual atomic radiation from the first underground bomb testings in 1945?
James Arness, James Whitmore, and guest spots by Leonard Nimoy and Fess Parker.
What a classic!
Doesn't this look like fun????
















What a delightful day today was.
I didn't relax that much, but I'm OK, because for the first time in ....*cough* years, I have absolutely NO laundry to wash or hang pending for Monday. The day in mine! Mine, mine o' mine!
Woot.

I found the latest in the Crimson City series by Liz Maverick. I was so excited to find it. Plus there's a new book of the Sazi. Can't remember the name right now... I hid the book as I wasn't supposed to buy any today. *mischievous grin* and I'm typing in full view of everyone so let's be on the QT. OK?

But, I can't wait to read them!


Hey, I have a great nonsense tidbit that only parents with kids who play the Star Wars Lego Gamecube or Xbox-like computer games will even understand.

In the first Lego game, remember that scream the ship emits when you knock it out? - my kids do it on purpose because they think it sounds silly...

Guess what?

That sound is OVER 50 YEARS OLD!! How do I know that? Because James Whitmore just did that ARGH Squeal when the Ant got him!! 50 YEARS AGO AND THEY HAVEN'T COME UP WITH A NEW SOUND!

Can we say CLASSIC HORROR SOUND?
Here we are, watching a horror flick and we're laughing our butts off, including the kids.
"Hey! It's from the Lego Star Wars Game!!"

Isn't it great how old things are NEW??
*giggle*

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Did you know?

Peanut butter can Kill.

That statement sounds dramatic doesn't it?

Well that it should because death is dramatic, traumatic and heartbreaking when it occurs from anaphylactic shock due to exposure to Peanut Butter.

Such is my worry and fear for my little one.

FYI - Plain M & M's are NOT safe. Even though they don't have an actual peanut in them, they are processed on equipment that has made products with peanuts in them.

Factories do not clean their equipment/machinery between batches of candy, cookies and various forms of processed foods. It would not be cost effective and I understand that.
But as a mom with a peanut sensitive child, they make it very hard to protect him.

Go to the grocery store and check out the cookie packages. More than 90% have the warnings.
Same with candy.
I don't buy ANYTHING edible made in China. There's been too many slip ups and they don't consistently follow USA safety standards. If they can get away with it, they do.

I remember the Gel Lollipop (like a jelly bean consistency) that had peanut oil in it a couple of years ago. There was no allergy warning label and of course someone had to be rushed to the ER because of it. (They are also infamous for lead content)

Some, not mine Thank God, are so sensitive, the AIR borne proteins in a room would be enough to initiate anaphylactic shock. That's why airlines have to be SO careful and parents need to notify them prior to flight.

The oils left on a table where a PB & J sandwich was eaten is enough to cause a problem too.

The cross contamination occurs in jelly beans, generic pancake mixes, certain ramen noodle type packages, animal crackers, ALL of the store brand cookies I've ever seen, and movie theater popcorns.

This is just a pinky nail's worth of my check list.

How did this come up? I was visiting Brandy and left her this HUGE comment on her blog, a portion of it explaining about the play date that is happening this morning.

I much prefer a nonallergy child to come here to play so I can know My child is safe. I can't control his safety outside the home in a place where the parent, no matter how much I repeat the warnings, JUST DOESN'T GET IT!

I cannot nor will not except the excuse "I forgot" or "I'm just not used to thinking about that" or "It's OK, I had them eat at opposite sides of the table".

I understand it's not their normal routine, however, my child's life IS on the line. I cannot accept these excuses.

What about medication?

Epi-pens go everywhere he goes. How many people are educated in the application of an Epi-pen? Why should they be if they have no one around them that has food allergies? How many parents want to be taught just so this child can come over to play with their child?

I'll tell you something. If you don't know anyone now, you will. The increase of food allergies among children is rising at an alarming rate and no one understands why.

Schools are adopting Food Allergy policies and that is a step in the right direction. I belong to a group of mothers who have done that in our school system. We do it not just for OUR kids but for all the youngin's coming after.

We want our children to have a future and we're doing what we can in our little way to insure that.

Food Allergies are not the same as seasonal Hay Fever.
It has the potential to be more than hives, sneezing and itchy skin.
It is nothing to laugh at and say "Deal" or "he/she'll out grow it." Most never do, at least with Peanuts.
Unlike tree pollen or rag weed, Milk, Tree nuts, Peanuts, Wheat and Soy have the power to kill.

Of anything from my post, I hope that I've made you aware and perhaps understand.

Thank you for reading this. It is a topic very important to me for obvious reasons. I just felt the need to spread the word.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Update on Dog trouble

All your well wishes are being answered. So far, so good. It doesn't look like an infection has set in the bite puncture. We are still monitoring it as it is so close to the eye. But I'm liking what I'm seeing. No swelling. No extraordinary redness.

The dog handler called me at work.
I spoke with the pediatricians office at home.
Spoke with the head of the Children's Services at the Libary.

This event has motivated a lot of people to make changes in the program. I seriously hope that Gus the dog will not be "decommissioned" as he is generally a well mannered and patient animal. The circumstances that preceeded the incident were unusual and unexpected.
There's only supposed to be a one to one ratio - dog:child. When a dog didn't show, instead of disappointing a child, they thought they'd double them up.

Well, no one took into account the fact that first graders, especially ones that have no experience with animals, don't understand that their version of 'playing' was actually teasing. Also, their energy levels are higher when they feed off of each other and get goofy.

After six kids in two hours, poor Gus had had enough and he "Woofed" his complaint. Tragically, my little one was at the wrong place/wrong time and a woof made with an open mouth (which is LARGE on a Sheperd) exposed a tooth in direct contact with my son whose face was angled low in place for the point of impact.

That's as near as we can figure. So many are concerned, are caring and proactive in this situation. I am very pleased with how its being handled.

On a good note, my little guy, after hearing us talk about what 'might have happened' last night, must have thought about it because he came to me this morning.

"Mom, I'm kind of feeling sorry for Gus."

I'm like... awwwww. This is a good thing as it means he's not only calmed down, but he's on the way to forgiving the dog. So MY fear of him being terrorized by dogs for the rest of his life has a good chance of not happening. AND he did not have any nightmares last night.

*whew!*

So, hopefully that fills in all of you who have shown such support and voiced caring words on my blog. Thank you!!

ON A LIGHTER NOTE:


As a trucker stops for a red light, a blonde catches up. She jumps out of her car, runs up to his truck, and knocks on the door. The trucker lowers the window, and she says "Hi, my name is Heather and you are losing some of your load." The trucker ignores her and proceeds down the street.

When the truck stops for another red light, the girl catches up again. She jumps out of her car, runs up and knocks on the door. Again, the trucker lowers the window. As if they've never spoken, the blonde says brightly, "Hi my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!" Shaking his head, the trucker ignores her again and continues down the street.

At the third red light, the same thing happens again. All out of breath, the blonde gets out of her car, runs up, knocks on the truck door. The trucker rolls down the window. Again she says "Hi, my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!" When the light turns green the trucker revs up and races to the next light.

When he stops this time, he hurriedly gets out of the truck, and runs back to the blonde. He knocks on her window, and after she lowers it, he says...

"Hi, my name is Kevin, it's winter in Ohio and I'm driving the SALT TRUCK!!!!


Have a Great Night!! And thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Men in Suits!!


I wanted to add more to my earlier post, but once again, Blogger stopped me from not only adding more that day, but stopped me from posting pictures for a couple of days beyond that.

Well, I'm a persistent kitty and here are the ones I couldn't post before. My personal fav, Nathan Kamp




AND



One of which is courtesy of Isabella.
She has VERY nice taste, don't you think?

The new Bond.

And now, a I'll share an email I received all the way from snowy Colorado.

Rumors ...... nasty little buggers.


Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you hear or
are about to repeat a rumor
.

In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely
lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher
came upon an acquaintance that ran up to him excitedly
and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard
about one of your students?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied.
"Before you tell me,
I'd like you to pass a little test.
It's called the Test of Three."

"Test of Three?"

"That's correct," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to
me about my student, let's take a moment to test what
you're going to say. The first test is Truth Have you made
absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man replied, "actually I just heard about it."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if
it's true or not. Now let's try the second test, the test
of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my
student something good?"

"No, to the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something
bad about him even though you're not certain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued,
"You may still pass though because there is a third test, the
filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my
student going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me
is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to
me at all?"

The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.

This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher
and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why Socrates never found out that
Plato was banging his wife.
******************************************************************

BTW- I believe I mentioned that my little one was going to read to the dogs? He is always SO excited about it. We even went to the library really early to get some extra books to read. It started off so well, ended in heartbreak. Dog bit my son in the face. Not a deep gouge, Thank God, but it's right above his cheek bone.

Now, he's terrified. I don't blame him, German Shepards are big. The woman was so apologetic, was horrified and fortunately, the mom of the other little boy that was there is the head of the library's Childrens Services. I don't have to explain what happened - she's going to initiate whatever process needs to happen when something like this occurs.

So, now I have to watch out in the next 24 hours for infection, have to file a report and have to contact the handler's insurance. What a fiasco! What heartbreak for my son. What a rotten way to end a Wednesday.

Hope yours was better!!!

Hmmm, maybe that's why blogger let me post pictures...felt sorry for me?

Naw.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winter! I saw evidence of Winter!

I saw flurries today!!
Real snow.
Fat floating flakes that disappeared like magic as soon as they touched a blade of grass grown unnaturally green from rains accompanied by mild to balmy temps more suited to warmer climes.

The air was a crisp but bearable 38 degrees when I headed off to work but as I watched out our little window, the winds whipped the trees and swirled the dead leaves to bring a surprise.

A teeth chattering, body shivering and "Quick, where are my gloves?!" panic ensued as soon as I took five steps out of the building. The temperature had dropped in five hours to 20 degrees and who knew what the wind chill was. I wouldn't be surprised if it hadn't been in the single digits.

It is now 10:30 PM and the wind chill is 4 degrees. Brrrrrr.

I had gone out earlier so I knew the only warmth I'd find was tucked inside my coat. You see, I'd ventured out to the library, hoping to get a hour or so of writing in. My quiet time. My escape. My focus.

The cold was more of a shock to my system than I realized. I arrived at the library with enthusiam only to be stunned by the fact that my notebook had been left at home.
Oh no! All my goals for today - shot.
What's a girl to do?

Go shopping. Seriously.

Last night, I was on a website for writers where I read that I should really have a handle on my backstory. Sounded like a good idea so I jotted down a few paragraphs to keep things in focus. Nothing is as confusing to a reader than finding that the rules of a story have changed in mid stream. Not that a book could get published with that blaring gaffe....

One odd thing about backstory is the idea you flesh out can be just as interesting as the story you are currently writing. My "few paragraphs" turned into three pages worth and, get this,

I solved the riddle of why Atlantis not only disappeared, but why there is no trace of it. **grin**

Did I set out to do that? No.
Did I know where I was going with it? No.
It took me on a journey I never expected.
Atlantis was never supposed to be involved. I'm still scratching my head about that one.

So, no writing today. I will do it tomorrow. Little guy is reading to the dogs tomorrow and that is MY time. How much can you write in a half hour anyway?
We'll see.

Stay WARM!!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

How Does a Drunk Chicken Get Home??

Savage Chickens: The Yelling Drunk Cartoon

I originally found this fun and off the wall humorous site via Markoos.

Now I visit on my own and I never know what to expect. This one tipped over my giggle meter. Check it out!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Men in Suits

This is geared towards the ladies who visit.

There is something about a man in a suit that captures our attention and our imagination.
What is it about a suit? What does it do to a man that makes us take a second or even a third look as we pass them on the street, in a restaurant, office building or the ever popular wedding environment?

Maybe it's the lure of being the one to unravel that perfectly tied tie? To open the jacket, slip our hands in and find out what such fine cloth is hiding? Why do we trust a man with a suit versus one in low slung jeans? A man in a suit is just as likely to run a scam against you as the rebel searching for a clue.

So, I went A-Googling. Haven't done that in awhile. I found some men in suits that just about had me sighing in appreciation. I am no closer to the answer of "WHY", I only know that it does.

Look at these pictures and tell me why YOU think men in suits are hot.


Um, and perhaps even, why NOT. *gg*









See? Even way back then, a man was a man when he donned that suit and tie.
How serious he is.
How intense.
How commanding.

and handsome, can I say Handsome?





Ah, yes. the Fitting.
Not too sure exactly what type of suit this is, or from what country. It can't be in America.
England perhaps? Italy?

Either way, it's a very sophisticated picture.

The collar is strange, but the profile of the fitee is delish.






Oooh, yeah baby... the ultimate in macho suits is last. You cannot look me in the cyber-eye and tell me that these gentlemen aren't , what's the latest term? , The Bomb, in these chic duds.

I give you the Men in Suits that set the standard:


























So, this is the end of my journey. Yes, there were other choices. These guys are the cream of the crop. Mostly. Can't get over wearing a gallon hat with a suit. *gg*

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Quiz-aholic strikes again!

Oh, Gee, like THIS is a suprise? Actually it is. I read a fair share of erotica/romantica. I figured I'd be at least an "R"?? LOL

Hope you have fun if you take any of these.

Your Mind is PG-13 Rated

Your mind is definitely a little dirty. You're naughty, but not trashy.
You don't shy away from a dirty joke, and you're clearly not a prude.



This quiz does NOT do me justice. Nope, not at all.

Slow and Steady

Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy.

They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder.

It'd really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment.

They expect you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then usually decide against it.


Now, this one is more like it!!!

You Are a Centaur

In general, you are a very cautious and reserved person.
However, you are also warm hearted, and you enjoy helping others in practical ways.
You are a great teacher, and you are really good at helping people get their lives in order.
You are very intuitive, and you go with your gut. You make good decisions easily.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pictures! I have pictures!

Here is the book cover to Already Dead that I spoke of yesterday!


























Celebrate!! I can post pictures!!!











Ah, yes. How I felt about not being able to post pictures.

I swear, even chocolate couldn't have made me happy, but posting pictures?

Yes!!

Enjoy my joy!



And as for writing .... today I checked my word count. I'm up to 8,484 words!! Is this OK to qualify as a WIP??

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Book Blog Post without Pictures

CURSE BLOGGER ---- AGAIN!!

May the Blogger techs have hairy Cyber-fleas and power spikes on the ol' whazoo until they correct the glitches!!
Grrrrr.
Sorry, that's the best curse I can do right now, LOL.

Why am I griping instead of talking about a great new author?

I can't upload pictures. Says Error on page - dang it! It affects both my blogs - so no pictures until Bloody Blogger gets its act together.

I told you I'd do a honorable mention of the new author I discovered who writes about vampires in a way that has grabbed my interst and held it captive. He's written other books, but I'm a vampire book junky - sort of. Not Goth or anything, just like the mythical possibilities ....

Anyway.

His Name is CHARLIE HUSTON.

How did I find him? Strange story, that. I was at the library (where else?) and the librarian says to me,
"You read a lot of vampire fiction, don't you?"
-- "Uh, yeah, I do ..."
"Well, see that guy over there? He's looking for recommendations. Think you could talk to him?

So, she called him over and we proceed to discuss Laurell K. Hamilton and L.A. Banks - I figured that they were the grittiest I knew of - I mean, I was referring books to a guy and what guy wants to read vampire ROMANCE? I was trying to "think like a guy" ( lost cause *wink*) and I'm not sure how influential I was but he recommeded to ME, Already Dead. He actually went and got it for me, which I thought was really nice. I checked the book out, read it and was "Wowed".

Like I said, Mr. Huston's first vampire book is, Already Dead.
Wanna see what Mr. Huston Looks like? Click HERE

Interested in reading the Booklist Reviews 2005 August #1 ? Click (BOOKLIST)

I just picked up his latest - No Dominion. The Review is HERE

I haven't read it yet, but I can't wait.

I enjoyed this different (for me) take on vampires. Not sure if there will Ever be a romance between Joe and his ..... female interest but you know what? It's not necessary. (Well, I'm an HEA junkie too, so I like the 'anticipation' of the possibility *grin*)
The plot, the characters and the journey are entertaining enough which means that I'm not missing the emotional romantic roller coaster. Maybe in time, Joe might get a little gritty in the sleeping quarters but only Charlie Huston knows. Until then, I'm enjoying watching Joe and the things that get thrust upon him.

I say! If you like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden, you might really like Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt too. Really!

Dang, I miss posting pictures of the book covers.
*pouts*

Be that as it may, please make me feel better, humor me and click a link or two.

Better yet, give the book(s) a whirl!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Blah-blah/-blah~

Do you feel chatty today?

I do.

Went to see Night at the Museum today. EVERYONE loved it. I picked a winner for the whole family. Brandy had said it was good, Wow! She wasn't kidding. There were so many inspired moments of halarity, that when it comes out on DVD, it's getting added.

Never, Ever, Never Ever look up Chupacabra on Wikipedia no matter HOW much your child begs you to. Even if the badgering lasts for over an hour and a half, RESIST!!
Do not let them see the picture, read the fact that they've been seen all the way up into MAINE and that they suck blood. A word to the wise. Don't Do it!!!!

Advice - take down your Live Christmas Tree Before it drys out. LONG before it dries out. It's like playing with a prickly hedgehog when you are trying to get off all the ornaments that you convenienlty stuck Waaay inside so as to pick up all the pretty sparkling lights in and around the tree. Because, when you wait Too long, the branches droop down, get really stiff and horribly prickly/scratchy and make you regret that moment of "genius" when you decorated. Dried up branches do NOT release their treasures lightly, let me tell you. I have the rashes on my arms to prove it!

Finally, has ANYONE else had the priveldge of having been sent via email - and has viewed (numerous times), the pictures of the naked and painted cyclists?
I mean, HOW COME THIS NEVER MAKES THE NEWS CASTS?? Oh yeah, the "naked" part might be the reason.
Even the guy's dangly bits are painted pretty colors. I liked the blue and purple dangly, except, truthfully, no one actually dangled. They were cute "little" things. *wicked giggle* Piggies in a blanket?
The women look more artistic - like the naked pregnant lady with the giant sunflower painted on her very pregnant belly.

Well? Have you been sent it yet? Your eyes can't be the same again once you have. I mean, who does these things?

The better question would be ... HOW FLIPPEN EARLY DID THE PEOPLE LINE UP ON THE STREET TO GET THE "BEST" SEATS???
It was mobbed!
This Had to have been an event in California. Where else is it that warm that you can cycle naked and not become a giant goosebump?

Gee, maybe in New England this winter? It reached 70 degrees today. Is this nuts or what?
LOL. So much for the Farmer's Almanac.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Books of the future

I'm jumping in the readers pool and making waves with the books I want to surf my brainwaves on in the up in coming months.

Jaid Black, the Queen of Steam has no less than four books coming out in 2007. She has MORE than four and quite a few that will deal with her Trek series. Can I say EXCITED?

LKH has the Harlequin coming out later this year. And the buzz and hints she's been sharing has me positively chomping at the bit.

Samantha Graves/C. J. Barry has her first contemporary coming out in a few months. Yippee!

Warlord, the last in the Warprize trilogy by Elizabeth Vaughn is coming out in March. So, I am keeping an eye our for that.

Jill Monroe has one coming out in February but the word is out that it may come out sooner. Yeah! I have every one she's written so far, and this will join it's mates soon enough.

Jayne Ann Krentz has a cross over book coming out that I have been waiting for. It's the first of its type for her, so she's a tad nervous. I bet it'll do just fine.

Nina Bangs just told me that she recently submitted a book to her publisher. If all goes well, I hope to have a great time reading her latest towards the end of the year. She's never let me down yet.

J.R. Wards' Lover Revealed is coming out too. Michelle B at Romance By the Blog has read the ARC and she's all excited about it. Will she share hints and spoilers? Nope, not yet, although we keep schmoozing her to give us a taste, LOL. What a great buzz.

Lucy Monro has a new werewolf book coming out that is generating some awesome reviews. I love me my paranormal and since she is SUCH a romantic romance author, this book has GOT to be good.

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dream Hunter book is coming out any day. Lust drives me crazy over those Dark Hunters and their world.

I think there's going to be one final Crazy book from Tara Jenson .... or did I read it already. Geesh, now I don't remember. What a great series that was in 2006. Sad to think it might be over.

E authors, Lauren Dane, Daisy Dexter Dobbs, Savannah Jordon, Ann Cory, Jaci Burton, Megan Hart, Diana Bold, Rene Lyons, and quite a few others have some wonderful offerings that only enhance the reader experience. Makes me VERY glad I have a computer.

I realize that there are at least 15 more books whose titles I've missed, or authors left unnamed. That doesn't mean that they'll go unread.

2007 promises to be a year where I'll be glad I'm working - all the more to support my habit.
*VBG*

Oh! Did I forgot Karen Marie Moning's new series?
Christina Dodd?
Robin T. Popp?
Robin D. Owens?
P.C. Cast?

Lynn Viehl?

OH! And I discovered a new Vampire author - a guy! It's gritty and interesting and fun and dirty and scary and , and ..... I'll tell you all about it next post.

Bwhahahaha!!!!