Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coming Soon!

I'm very excited to announce that I'm going to be interviewing author of The Spirit Walker Series: Cold Magic and Cold Fire, Kate Elliott!


I have not establish the day I'll have this interview up, but will announce it ahead of time. So, you'll just have to pay attention!

Do you know that she lives in Hawaii? I could use some warm sand right about now!

Tomorrow--Wednesday--I will be appearing on Suburban Vampire, to announce my second book Vampire's Trill, which is due out any day now! Aren't you excited? I know I am.
So, stop by again this week, I'll have more for you then.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Coffee Klatch Monday ~ What's In Your Cup Today?

Well, this cute little guy just decided to plop down inside my cup this morning.

Just kidding. But the picture was so cute I just couldn't resist it and I know you couldn't either. I'm right, aren't I?

Wow. I had 3 days of intense read-through of my edits sent to me from my publisher. I wanted to get them done because the sooner they're done, the sooner all of you will be able to get your hands on a copy.

So, has everyone out there gotten their fill of turkey and pumpkin pie and more turkey and more pie and are you ready to get on crash diets?
I didn't have pumpkin pie--too sinful! I made that cherry pie, and that was very good, and then just this morning I made my fluffy chocolate chip cookies. So, That's what I'm having with my coffee this morning, is my chocolate chip cookie.

Share what you're having this morning, and a little bit of what you plan to do today, whether you have to go to work or what it might be.

I've got today off. I don't have very many Mondays left where I will be off, so I'm gonna make the most of it. I'm sending the short story I worked on last week to Lori W. Branson of Dark Moon Horror. I'm not real sure she'll want it--there isn't much horror in it, but it is a vampire story with action and some tongue-in-cheek moments (most of you know my brand of writing, right?) and it's from a male's perspective. I remember when I wrote "The Spy Who Bit Me", it was some years back and when I reviewed it just a short while ago, I could see right away I needed to chuck the beginning and get down to the action right away. So, we'll see if they'll take it.

I have other things pending. I'm going to be on Suburban Vampire this Wednesday, VampChix the week after that. After this, I haven't anything scheduled until I show up on Heather's Odyssey on the 19th, but I'm hoping to get some places lined up for my next book.

Okay, it's your turn!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cold Magic ~ A Review

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott was one of those reads where you can loose yourself in the story easily. I like to read before bedtime, and found that I could open the book back up and be quite lost in it's richly researched alternate history, great characters and fantasy/Steampunk elements in this book.

It's quite a concoction.Elliott herself calls it a "mash-up" of "Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency novel with airships...". Elliot somehow makes this Steampunk, fantasy, sci-fi so realistic you can taste the coal smoke on the air, feel the sting of cold on your nose and fingertips. When I read where the girls were in massive factories, she didn't nice it up at all, there were beleaguered workers that were treated more like slaves. As you read through this alternate history world, you come across pieces of information which links what you know as history of our world and the world within this book and it is done with such exacting measure a laser could not have done better.

The adventure is continuous once our main character, Cat Barahal is forced into marriage to a powerful cold mage--who is arrogant to the extreme. Cat, and her cousin, Bee, seem to be typical teenagers who are experts at sneaking through windows when they should be in bed. But the adventure starts when Cat is taken from the home of her aunt and uncle, and later feels betrayed, after the mages discover that they have the wrong daughter and decide the only way to end a magical marriage is to kill her.

I don't come across  a book so well written that I look forward to reading it every night--and this was a large book. When I do enjoy a book this much, I call it my "Top Shelf".

If you love alternate history, Steampunk, fantasy, sci-fi, adventure with some (light) romance involving young adults, this is an excellent book to get your hands on. I'm looking forward to Elliott's second novel Cold Fire.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Edits on Vampire's Trill DONE!

Edits are done--WOOHOO! And I hope I can get some rest tonight, not thinking about the work. I can't stand for things to be unfinished, waiting for me to get back to it.

With December closing in, I realize that the first aniversary of Vampire Ascending is coming up. I had gotten notice last year that my copy of the book would be sent to me, and was sent on the third of December--oddly enough also on our wedding aniversary! Last year we were on our way for a 2-night get away in the cabins at White Pines. The book arrived the next week, and I was thrilled to see it. So was my husband. He snagged it and wouldn't let me touch it again as he sat in the evenings to read it, feeling pride in his wife, the writer as he did. He became my biggest fan, and supporter, especially when I had my book signing at Borders in January, talking to a lot of people about it, and selling a few copies for me with his spirited sales pitch.

Anyway, if all goes well, it looks as though this second book will come out right around this time as well. The eBook will be first, and the paperback will come out there after. And once it does I will do my best to get some sort of book signing at B&N.

And I'm about to make my rounds at the blogs with this, so, if you are interested in give-aways, I will be announcing these soon. I'm slated to be on Suburban Vampire on November 30th, but it might be too soon to have a give away then. I also will be on VampChix on December 5th. I
I will be on Heather McCorkle's blog also, but the date hasn't been worked out, as yet.

Anyone else out there who wishes to host me on their blog, please e-mail me (see my contact info).

With the new book coming out I decided that I needed to make a better place for fans of the series to come at facebook to leave messages, find out what is going on with my books, etc. So, this morning--in the wee hours--I got a new facebook page up for Fans of Vampire Ascending/Sabrina Strong Series. I've already invited a couple of people who have been strong supporters in the past, and they are already there making comments about the new book. Come join us if you're a fan, or simply want to check it out. You're more than welcome, as it is an open group!

I'm hopeful to make new friends and fans in the coming weeks and months!

Friday, November 25, 2011

WRITING Black Friday

I have a confession to make. Until a few years ago I never knew what "Black Friday" was. I really had no clue. I mean, after Thanksgiving, what do you do? Have left overs, sit around with family. Enjoy a day off from your regular work.


I now watch the news and shake my head, and laugh at how demented people are. I mean they all go out at midnight, try to park in parking lots that are already full, or they line up at the store they are scoping out for that one item they know will be on sale. Some numbskulls actually camp out at the store's door waiting for the moment they open the doors for the sales on Black Friday.


Because the store has an objective. They want to be in the "black" when this day is done. Yep. They want to bring YOU into their store and spend MONEY. How do they do this? Well, it has to be the biggest sale ploy ever. I'm sure some day this day will be on the calendar, like a regular holiday.

And everyone falls for this.

I guess I'm different. I really don't need anything THAT BAD! I don't want to go to a store and be crushed by people trying to get that same item I want or some other thing. I was told by one woman I work with that she goes to the store (Walmart), stands and holds her hand on the item until they release it. For how many hours, I don't know. But sounds like you have to be awake for this, I'm pretty sure I'll be asleep during these ridiculous sales. Okay, I didn't ask her this, but what if someone else is there ahead of her? What if other people are standing there, in her way? What if there aren't enough of these items to go around?

I know that this is something she wants to do, and enjoys the craziness of the whole crush of people piling into the store, being demented because the store has put something on sale just for a few hours or until they are out. They are doing this to you, making you get up at midnight--or in the case of Walmart, you can stand there and wait. . . and wait. . .  and wait FOR HOURS ON YOUR FEET JUST FOR ONE THING. WHAT?


I'm not a shopper. I don't like shopping. I do not like to be in a store where there's hundreds of people shopping turning into maniacs, fighting over something, willing to trample you, punch you, (or punch the elderly cart lady/man), just for one or two things they've decided they can't live without. I remember the Elmo craze, the Cabbage Patch craze. Hell, I even remember the rush on the day we (I once worked retail), got in "Beanie Babies" and they only sent about twenty of each one, trying to keep the demand up. People who looked like they didn't have any money buying these things thinking to turn a profit. I remember an elderly woman saying she was buying them for her grandchildren's college fund. Okay. Maybe if you just put the money away in something called a BANK might work a little better. Thank goddess that stupid craze is over.

What I think peeves me the most is that someone has power over us, making us do these ridiculous things and it's retail stores. And yesterday was the first time they began the "Black Friday" during Thanksgiving. Well the economy is that bad, I guess.

Oh, yes I know that they have to turn a profit, of course. But I'm not going to be party to this. I wait until Christmas is over and find whatever is deeply reduced and the stores are empty (of people) because everyone is now in debt after Christmas. That's my plan. It is not rocket science, I'll admit, but it works for me.

I guess I'm the type of person who hates it when someone dictates to me what to do and when to do it. I've never liked that. I like to be in more control and I'm not bowing down to greed by corporations just becasue they decide to reduce prices just to get me into their store to spend money.
So, "Black Friday" I've now renamed "Writing Black Friday". I am wearing black, but that is optional, of course. The object is clear. If you can stay at home, enjoy those turkey left-overs, get into your writing clothes, and write you will have joined me on the first annual "WRITING BLACK FRIDAY".

I'm currently going through my edits of Vampire's Trill -- YAY!!! Happy Dance! This means as soon as I get this done (by Monday, I hope), I will send it back to my editor, my publisher will get it ready for the eBook first and when that happens I will shout it from the roof tops. I'll begin the blog-rounds with my book.

I am also trying to get a short story done for Dark Moon Horror, an e-magazine. There was an open call for vampire short stories. Well, I figured why not? That was before I got the edits, but I am off until next Tuesday. I think I can get both things done, as I'm pretty good at multi-tasking.

So, if you are pretty well fed up with the idea of the retail Black Friday, why don't you join me in Black Writing Friday? Let me know in comments that's what you plan to do, or that you agree with me. If you don't, that's fine too. I thought I would give you a better option of not going out into the madness--that is if it isn't too late.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


There is a lot to be grateful for. Our new kitchen is one, the new stove was also one of the things we've had to make sure to get before the weather turned cold, and that happened so that we can now cook w/o gas fumes and soot taking over the house! Last year we had to go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving )^; but this year we are home and this will be wonderful!

I'm grateful for my husband, my friends--those I work with--and those of you who are out here in blog-sphere who are genuine and true.

I'll probably post something later on this week. I've got several projects I'm working in, including something for another anthology. Plus some things for a couple of friends, so I'm going to be busy next few days.

Anyway, this is my wish to all of you to have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday Vampire's Trill

Here is a little shopping experience for Sabrina. She gets more than the frozen pizza and ice cream she craves to get over her heartache. Is the tall, handsome Bill Gannon stalking her?

I returned to my shopping and angled straight for the frozen section. I mulled over the choices in the ice cream shelves. There were so many to choose from. Why does a person need so many kinds of ice cream, really? All we want is the sugar factor, the melt-in-your-mouth-I-need-to-get-over-him thing. I found mint chocolate chip—my personal favorite. But a Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey was calling my name. I grabbed that, plus a plastic spoon from the deli so I could plow into that as soon as I got out to my car. My mouth was already starting to water thinking about it.
My hand was freezing as I carried the ice cream to the pizza aisle. Again, a huge selection. I went with barbecue chicken, and grabbed a second one that had spinach and portabella mushrooms and five cheeses. Healthy. Right?
I balanced the pizzas on top of the large container of ice cream, sat the smaller pint on top of that and did a balancing act toward the milk section. Grabbing a half gallon carton using my pinky, I now had my hands full. The one carrying the ice cream was frozen by the time I went down the cereal aisle—I was sick of eggs and bacon, or eggs and ham for breakfast. I was gaining some weight and knew if I didn't quit eating like a sumo wrestler I would gain five pounds of winter fat before winter started.
Scanning the shelves filled with—again—a million choices of cereals, trying to find one that wouldn't give me gas, yet sounded like something I'd actually enjoy with cold milk in the morning. I opted for flakes, instead of granola. I was down to a blueberry crunch thing that boasted it could make me lose five pounds in two weeks—yeah, if that's all I ate—when I decided to switch hands because the one holding the ice cream was numb—even though I had my gloves on, the cold seeped through and began to numb my fingers. Wish I could numb my emotions like my hand.
I set the milk down on the floor, and had to shift everything frozen into my left hand. Spying the box of cereal I wanted on the very top shelf (naturally, the one I wanted would be out of reach), I went up on tip-toes and stretched my right hand. Fingertips touching the box, I tried to knock it over, to bring it within my grasp.
That's when another hand snagged it easily.
Startled, I gasped as I turned to the owner of the large, male hand. I stared into cool green eyes. As recognition hit me, I found myself unable to utter anything intelligent for a full twenty seconds while he brought the box down, placed it into his cart, and then took the frozen things out of my hand and put these things, plus the milk in a corner of his cart as well, while I was still trying to form monosyllables, like “hi”.
You do know that this store offers carts and baskets for the shopper's use for free, don't you?”
B-Bill?” I said, my mouth trying to work. It was as though I'd been holding the ice cream and pizza in my mouth instead. It took me a second or two to get his joke, and I found myself smiling. “Yeah, I-I, um, I didn't think about getting one.” Lame, Sabrina. Lame.
He stood there staring back at me. “By the way, you're welcome.”
Oh,” I looked down and saw all my things were in the cart with his stuff. He had a rotisserie chicken, some frozen vegetables, a container of salt—kosher, I noticed—bag of sugar and flour and some chocolate chip morsels. I was still suffering from a brain-to-mouth malfunction. “Uh, thanks.”
Are you alright?”
Sure. I'm fine.” Will be after I snarf down the Chunky Monkey.
You sure?”
Yes.” Didn't I seem sure? Maybe it was my hair, and unflattering jeans. Oh, and the damned sunglasses.
I caught him gleaming, unblinking at me. He had the nerve to stand there and steal my breath away. The nerve. Plus, he was the antitheses to me; hair laying perfectly back from that highbrow; god-like, close-shaven face; pants pressed to a razor's edge, and his sweater was brown, fading to ecru at the bottom. I thought I picked up that Mrs. Bench had knitted it for him.
Are you ready to check out?” he asked. My feet seemed stuck in cement as I watched him push his cart around me and avoided a head-on with a lady on her cell phone.
Uh, yeah.” I dodged the woman on her cell phone talking to her husband—he wanted some cereal, but he couldn't remember what kind—God, get a life!
Banana Nut Oats,” I said to her. She glared at me. I smiled sinisterly as I heard the man's voice over her phone say exactly that.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week ~ Coffee Klatch Monday

Hey, guys! I know that you're all getting geared up for the Thanksgiving feast this week. I'm definitely looking forward to making the feast in our new oven this year. After having to go out last year for the dinner (and having to pay $4 for each piece of pumpkin pie!) And there were no left-overs! We are definitely looking forward to baking it ourselves. Dennis does the turkey. I do the stuffing, and we share the rest of the duties. Just the two of us this year, like most years. Oh, and I'm looking forward to that bottle of pumpkin wine we bought at the Pumpkin Fest!!!

So, my dears. You know how this works. First: Tell us all what you are enjoying this morning in your coffee and what you are having with it.

Here are some great pictures to drool over:

I want this in the worst way!


And since I'm in the baking mood--I'm going to put together a cherry pie today--all from scratch, not using canned pie filling, but making my own to avoid the corn syrup. Thus, I'm going to share a few great places to pick up some recipes.

First up, in honor of the pie-baking today, here is Pie Crust 101 straight from The Blog Entrouage. Just scroll down on their page, and you'll find it. It's a very easy to follow, and best way to make your crust--it's exactly how I've always made mine!

pinching the pie crust edges

pumpkin ginger muffins from Simply Recipes

And I have found a great place to check out for all sorts of recipes. It's called Simply Recipes and there is a delicious recipe for pumpkin ginger muffins you might want to try, but there's loads of recipes to look at and try. I gave them my email so that I don't miss a thing! I want to try everything!

So, what are your plans for this holiday? What are you baking? Let's share it!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Some Pictures from Our Summer Get Away

Having a head cold is never fun. Thus I'm going to do this easy post with pictures of our very short get away up to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.

We enter Michigan.

A boat dock along Lake Superior

Boats in a small town dock

I'm not the captan, but this is a cool boat.
Makes you want to walk along the path here outside of Cornucopia Minnesota

My husband looking out on Lake Superior--that's a gull above him.

Hope you enjoied these pictures!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Review for Vampire Ascending


Another review went up over on Vivienne Moss' blog for Vampire Ascending. And she had a very nice review on the book. I get the feeling she really liked it, and the hot guys in it. Especially my shape shifter, Dante. Who can blame her?
The last review came from my good buddy, James Garcia Jr. last Monday. You can pick that up here.

As I've been collecting these reviews now over the year (OMG! My first book is almost a year in being out now!) I've placed them on a separate page--REVIEWS. So that I can clean things up on my sideboard here, I'm now going to need it to place anything about my new book, Vampire's Trill that is due out in a very few short weeks. The eBook will be available around Thanksgiving. The book, a few weeks after that. I will have more information as it comes in. AS SOON AS IT IS AVAILABLE I WILL GIVE YOU THE LINK!!!

And Carole Gill has awarded me the Versatile Blogger award. I'm going to have to work on the seven things I can share with you all and find some victims nice people to give this award to.

Until next time...happy blogging and reading everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Holy cow! It's Monday again! I don't even have coffee on, cookies have to be put in the oven--oh, wait... my husband does all that (and I hear him in the kitchen, the oven warming up...what a guy!)

Today I need a tall cup.

Oh, and I'm in my PJ's right now. Although I did  brush my hair out, I've only just got out of bed.

Yesterday three things happened. Or three things were done/learned. So, the first one is my next book Vampire's Trill should be out in eBook form by Thanksgiving (TADAH!);
The second was the Campaigner Challenges 2011 anthology came out (woohoo!); and last but not least, I sent my short story--a steampunk--to Penumbra for consideration (so that is out of my hands for now)

And I've been going through editing or re-writing sections of my 3rd book. Now, EJ brought up a very good question at his blog and asked what do you do when you're writing along and the perfect word that would fit in a sentence doesn't come? Do you bang your head against the desk? Go call Mom? Fret and worry? Sit there and drool?

All of the above?

My answer was, I leave it blank. I've been there. Believe me. Worrying about one word when a whole bunch of words are to come after is non-productive. You have to trust your brain power to skip over this problem and move on. When you come back to it, later, it will come to you. (Sometimes it comes to me in the least likely places like the tub, or when I've gone to bed--arrrrrg!) After writing for so many years, I know that that illusive word will come to you (like the word illusive--I nearly couldn't think of it, but wonders of wonders, I did!) I've found that because my mind has not been pondering the problem, which merely blocks the thinking process even more, the word will magically appear in the gray matter. Poof! And when it does, you'll be so excited and you'll think yourself as so brilliant you should have been a brain surgeon. Well, not really, but you know what I mean.

I have another question for you. And especially if you are doing NaNo. What do you do when you can't finish a scene? I've got a number of these in my manuscript right now. Actually only two now, and have to go back to write them. Yep. I had a sword fight, which I really needed to have the words in order to write it and just didn't want to interrupt the flow, so I left it blank. It won't be a big scene, but I need to do at least a paragraph. And I have something earlier that I may have to expand more on. Sometimes I don't have my characters developed enough and want to wait until I get that done before I approach a whole scene.

So, peeps. What have you in your cups today and what choice of goodies have you got to fill the empty belly?
And if you want to tell us what you do when the words don't come, be my guest. And then after you do, go check out other peep's blogs who have stopped by and say hi to them.

Ta for now!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Anthology "Campaigner Challenges 2011" Now At Smashwords!

I just got word this morning that the anthology was published. For those of you who are/were part of this 2011 Campaigner Challenge, you've probably had the email too. And for those of you who were not, the participants were challenged to write posts containing specific words, and/or themes of no more than 200, or 300 words. Despite the same premise, our stories all were quite different.

Mine was titled: "The Synbatec Island Caper", a 300 word challenge using three made-up words (Synbatec being one of them; wastopaneer, and tacies the other two), used in such a way that it sounded like actual words the characters used in speach, etc. I was amazed at how so many of us simply wrote these made-up words into our pieces.  Some of these were really funny. Others were interesting and fresh.

You may have stopped by mine and various other blogger/writers who took the challenge this year with Rach Writes while the challenge went on from September into October. We had three challenges, I took part in only two. It was fun. I know I had a lot of people from this challenge stop by, became followers, and made nice comments on the pieces I wrote for the challenge. I was contacted and asked if I would like to donate any of the writings toward the "Help Harry Help Others" to raise money toward cancer research. All proceeds from this anthology goes toward this charity. I was happy to donate one story. All together there are 176 flash fiction, poems and articles in this anthology. The list price is $2.99 and here are the links for Smashwords and Amazon.http://www.amazon.com/Campaigner-Challenges-2011-ebook/dp/B0066UV28C

Please stop by and make a purchase. The charity is for a good cause. I learned in this email this morning that Harry Moseley, who was only 11 years old, was able to raise $137,000 (roughly in US dollars), and died on October 8th.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Question: What do you wear when you write?

A number of years ago I remember reading an article by a writer who said she learned to not wear anything she would dare be caught dead in, should anyone see her. The ploy was to keep her inside and not go out or have any excuse to go outside, so that she would write. I figure if a person was always looking for excuses to get up from their chair and go outside, maybe go grocery shopping, instead of write, this would be a good idea. You'd have to throw on something nice in order to be seen in public.

I later recall seeing a post about what writers like to wear--called them "writing clothes". I don't recall what was posted, but I'm sure it was something in the line of a nice velour pantsuit of some sort. Like what I wear on my longer days of working in my office.

I tend to jump into sweats the moment I get home, anyway.

So, let's explore the idea in this blog post.

This looks comfy...

...for the Victorian age. But I think it's rather romantic. I'm sure that it's comfortable too.

I've read that some people get dressed up. Men perhaps put on a suit coat in order to feel as though he's actually going to an office sort of job. But I don't think it applies to all men when they write. Do they get up, throw on the sweats and a T, go unshaven and crouch over the computer keys? Or do they shower and shave, and get into a pair of jeans and a button up shirt? Unless any guy writer out there wants to comment, and let us know what he wears when he writes, I haven't a clue.

So, I thought I would throw the question out to you:
 What do you wear when you write?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No-Name Thursday ~ My Day Went Fine

I had wished for no rain today--because we'd gotten rain for two days, basically. Well, it didn't rain but we did get one doozy of a cloud burst snow shower. It lasted for about 5 minutes, and quit. We then had a couple of small showers, with peeks of sun after that.

My day went fine. I always seem to cultivate friendships from a few young college men that find me interesting enough to slouch against the front area behind me (while I drive the bus) to talk to me during the 15 min. trip from campus to where they live. Each semester I loose one and gain one or two. The end of this semester I'll be loosing one. Michah is a biology major and he's moving to New Mexico where they don't get quite the diversity of temps, and--as I stressed--more beautiful surroundings. I will miss him. We had some interesting conversations in the past. *sigh*. But, I'll keep in mind all the things we spoke of and because of one area of interest in blood, I may have an interesting thing to use in a future book.

Why is it the young men will speak to me and not so much young women? I don't know. It was like that when I was younger. Guys gravitate to me more. There are some young women who will say hi to me. And of course older women who get on my bus will speak to me, too. But then we already have a lot in common. I think it's just something about me and my ways. While these young guys know I'm approximately as old as their mother, I'm not their mother and I dont' act like it. I can talk on their level. I tend to know what makes them chuckle and I think it's what they like best about me. I think that maybe also they like to talk to me because there is no pressure. And we're just chatting. Whereas if they speak to women their age, there is always some sort of pressure.

Because of the fact I'm waiting on edits, I'm not joining in any reindeer games blog hops, or anything that asks you to write flash fiction. I need to concentrate on what I need to do for the next couple of months. Gadz am I glad I didn't go ahead with NaNo. And glad that everyone out there is sort of busy with it. I'm feeling no pressure about doing posts, no one is really coming here to make comments, but that's okay. I don't mind. I just check on things and go back to my work.

Tomorrow is Friday, and it's Veteran's Day. Be thankful toward those who have sacrificed much in the name of our country.

Have a great evening and an even better Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

EKK! SNOW! (Plus other things)

If you live in the Midwest (northern fringe) you know that once November gets here, you're going to see the white stuff pretty darn soon. Well, we saw our first flakes. They were innocuous things, really. It was not cold enough for it to stick, it had been raining since yesterday. The weather people WARNED us that this would happen. And it did. Figures they'd get it right this time!

But, like I said it wasn't more than maybe 30-40 min. of the flakes. Being a bus driver, I have learned to drive in it. I hate to drive in it, but with more than a dozen years of experience driving a 12 and a half ton bus where all the lives seated behind you are counting on you to get them safely to their destination--and I've done so faithfully for that long--I feel that my driving habits are top notch.

So, from that to other news.

I have a winner from the last contest over on Urban Fantasy Investigations blog, and Denise Zaky has won an autographed paperback copy of my book. Congratulations to her and I will be mailing this out soon.

I've actually won a book from VampChix.  This is the book I've won below...

I'll talk about it later when I have read it.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying Cold Magic. I'm more than half way done with it. Once I do get through this book--it's 580 pages (not counting all the extras in the back). I love a long book, as long as it is good. And this one is.

I'm looking at my calendar and realize that Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away. Dennis and I get 5 days off (w/o pay, but he's picking up a few extra hours to help). That new oven is going to get a good work out that day! Believe me we look forward to not driving a bus for 5 whole days! And then three weeks after that it will be semester break at NIU, and we will be driving break service for two weeks then off two weeks and then back on break service. After that my head spins, so I'm just trying to keep things straight in the next two months.

And I've noticed that it has been very quiet around here. But that's okay. I know that a lot of you are busy with your NaNo, or what have you. I am awaiting my edits. Once these are sent to me I'm going to be busy too.

I'm hopeful I will be having another book signing during my hiatus from bus driving. We shall see.

If you get a chance to stop in say hi. Remember I've begun Coffee Klatch Mondays, and this seems to be a good time for a bunch of you to come in and chat.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday ~ More from Vampire's Trill

This is from Chapter 9 from Trill: You ever get creeped out walking down a hallway in a strange place by yourself? Sabrina has!

There were other offices, along this hallway, of course, and I had no idea what they were for. I only knew that vampires worked in them nightly possibly for Tremayne Enterprises. It spooked me to walk this way by myself. I normally had Dante with me. Last night had been my first time coming this way by myself. It was no less stressful tonight.
With my new, improved Were hearing, I could now hear a vampire's approach, even on carpet. Two vampires, in fact. I stopped and pressed my back to the wall, allowing two male vampires in Armani suits pass. They smiled and made slight bows to me, meaning they had no intention of bothering me. Heart pounding, I cast my gaze down, allowing them to continue on. Learning the subtle rules and vampire etiquette here went far in keeping a vampire's fangs out of me. The first thing I'd learned was to never allow a vampire to walk behind me. Never. A vampire who follows you becomes a stalker and hunter. Plain and simple. My allowing the two to pass meant I was not available to become their happy meal. Their nodding to me affirmed that they understood this. I averted my eyes quickly, just to make certain they understood I really, really wasn't a willing donor. Looking straight into a vampire's eyes was the next best way of becoming a victim—lesson number two. It would not help if you weren't a registered donor, I knew they would bite first and ask questions later. I didn't care if they had monitors, and laws in place. A vampire could get his fix and move on. At the very most they'd get fined for biting a non-donor. Also, in most cases, it would take a vampire less than two seconds to put the thrall on a human. Some older vampires could do it across the room with or without eye contact. For some even older vampires, like Tremayne, or Vasyl, it merely took a thought. Both could thrall me at a distance. Tremayne could do it even through the phone. That was scary as hell. But then both masters had had my blood.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Coffee Klatch Monday

I have a cup of coffee--creamer & Splenda--and a cookie this morning. What did you have?

Hi, and greetings to old and new fans/followers out there. I'm unable to see my followers list, so you'll forgive me that I'm not able to return the favor unless you make a comment here. Thanks for the add, at any rate.

This is going to be a trial thing, this Coffee Klatch Monday. What is Coffee Klatch? It's a casual gathering for coffee & conversation. So, if you are participating this is all I ask of you:
1. Leave a comment. Say hello.
2. Tell me what you are having at this Coffee Klatch (i.e. coffee & bagle or whatever)
3. Click on someone you don't know who leaves a comment and check out their blog! And all of a sudden you have a new friend and possibly a potential follower. The whole idea is to follow the meaning behind a coffee klatch in the old sense of a casual gathering and chatting/greeting. If you want to join in, please do. I'd love to hear from you, what you are doing today or this week, and hope to accomplish. If you are doing NaNo, let me know how it's going. If you are joined up but are not getting anything done with it, share that. (I did join, but early on decided it was too much for me--got too much this month to do.)

Tell us what you've done this week, or what you've blogged about. Anything you wish to share. We all need support and kind, encouraging words from our fellow bloggers/writers. I know that not everyone can stop and say hello, but I'd love to hear something from any of you who have not made a comment here in a long while. Again, if you are doing the NaNo, I don't expect it. This will be a lean month of comments at Lorelei's Muse. But if you do read this, and have in the past made comments on something, I think you for your kind words and encouragements.

Meanwhile I'm going to tell you about a few blogs/people you should check out.

The first one I share in the name of all writers who have had doubts about themselves and their writing at least once. If you've never seen The Kill Zone blog, you might want to go check it out. James Scott Bell is known for his suspence writing, as well as his contrabutions to Writer's Digest. He has a list of things you should NOT do as a writer called "How To Feel Miserable As A Writer".

And this just in: James Garcia Jr., author of his fast-paced, vampire book, "Dance on Fire", has given me an excellent review at his blog. If you have been considering reading my book, Vampire Ascending, but have not commited, you might want to read his review. THANKS JIMMY! I think he gave me a fair review here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quiet Sunday Mornings - Yeah, right...

A walkway to the shore of Lake Superior (2011)
I wanted to place at least one of the pictures I took while on our 3-day get away up north. Isn't this peaceful? It helps me focus, I think. That sandy trail to the shoreline, gulls and bald eagles soar and look for their food in the churning depths of the water. It was windy that day we were there, and chilly for an August day. Then it later rained on us and we ducked into one of the little shops along the docks in the small town of Cornucopia.

This morning was our day to hang the new drapes in our living room. Knowing how things never go up easily, or install right, I put it as a two hour task. Yes. At least two hours. But after the whole ordeal, we now have chocolate brown curtains up in the living room. We'll have to shop around for something to tie them back with. But that's for later.

We then moved to making our stew in the crock pot. When we went to the store and viewed what the store offered for cut up stew meat, I was already looking at roasts. Bottom rounds. My husband went and talked to one of the butchers on what type of roast he would recommend. I was still standing eyeing the various roasts. These looked really lean, except for a sheath of fat on the end, it would do fine. You just cut that bit of fat off. The butcher recommended these bottom round roasts would be ideal for stew meat. We went with that.

So, this morning--after the drapes--we got into the meal prep. My husband chops/slices the onion, mushrooms, garlic and he also sliced the carrots (using the baby carrots saves a bit of time)--oh, these were sweet and we had to munch on a few.

I peeled the potatoes and cut them up--not quite 2 lbs. Then came the roast--2lbs. Dennis cut the roast u into cubes, he cut against the grain to further insure this would be tender as butter once the meal is done in about 7-8 hours. Then, dredging the pieces in flour, I seared them in a frying pan. These cubes of meat went into the already heated up crock pot with all the vegetables. If you like mushrooms, you'll want to add them. We love this stew. If you have red wine, add about a 1/4 cup to the pot. Add a can of beef broth--make sure to get the low sodium and low fat. And a small can (I think it might be 6-8 ounces) of V-8 juice. Aside from a 1/2 t. of salt, pepper, we added a 1/2 t. of thyme, and I like a t. of Worcestershire sauce. It picks it up.

That brought us up to about 9:30, and another load of laundry went in.


Did you remember to "fall back"? We did. And although we did set our clocks back, we always get up when we usually do--about 4:30 am. We've too much to do in our day (as you can see from above) to spend it in bed. A nap later will suffice.

Very early, I went to work on the short story which I'm naming "Dreadfuls" and sending it off soon to be considered by Penumbra Publishing. I have to thank Heather McCorkle for posting "The 3 Elements of a Story" earlier this week on Critique Sisters Corner. It was exactly what I needed to figure out what I needed to sharpen in my story. It wasn't exactly missing it, but I needed it to be brought out a little more for the second point. The three points are:
1. Problem
2. Stakes
3. Solution

Heather goes into these points a little more detail HERE.

Well, I'm going to be on a few blogs coming up, what with the new novel about to be released. But Jimmy a.k.a. James Garcia Jr., has promised his review on my first book at his blog tomorrow. He actually had time to read during a trip to his brother's wedding to the east coast. I'm eager to see how he liked it. He does a good job at reviews.

Speaking of which, I'm behind on my reviews. I hope to put at least one up this week. I am currently reading Cold Magic by Kate Elliott, and I'm totally enjoying it. I actually can't wait to put up a review about it. But the book I will be reviewing soon will be the YA novel by Anne Spollen, Light Beneath Ferns.

Well, that's my summary of my "quiet" Sunday. Hope you all are having a good Sunday as well.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Long Awaited Pics of my New Kitchen

Yes. I know. This happened way back in the spring, into summer. And finally got our new stove in just a few weeks ago.
I'll take you on the tour.

 Keep in mind this house was built by homesteaders, the original house was elsewhere. This one was built (we are guessing) in 1906. The house was part of a dairy farm.It now sits on re-planted prairie and newly mitigated wetlands, called Afton Forest Preserve, which Dennis and I are managers of. There are three floors, we live only in the downstairs, and the attic is large enough to put some extra hands up there (which I'm told had been used in exactly that way during the hey-day).

First to up-date you on conditions of the old kitchen.The old cupboards were white and very old. The floor was an ugly brown carpet. There were 4 drawers total. There are now 9. Now more cupboard space as well, plus I can store my wash basin below the sink and a few other things whereas before--NOT. I love these curtains we found at Walmart. They are ecru and coffee brown--with coffee cups and the words late and mocha across them. Cute?
as viewed from door stepping in from dining room
 We now have a nice vent and light above the stove as well as small cabinets above where we store liquor spices and oils for cooking. Above, I show off my three copper kettles. One was my grandmother's--yes one of my antiques.

from opposite end of the room. This stove has
been replaced by a new electric one
  This is our view out the window. It is not uncommon to see deer stroll through--but you have to be looking when they do, or they disappear back into the pines, trees and thick brush we've allowed to grow wild for them.
And the floor is a nice color, looks a bit like stone, and hides the dirt--which reminds me I need to wash it!!!

There you have it I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Contest Winner And Another Contest !

As my head is still swimming in all the Halloween left-overs (you know you can grab Halloween candy for 50% off in stores now--gak!) Plus I had a most unusual dream about a vampire, last night . . . okay, okay.

As some of you may have been too busy going to blog hops, and trick-r-treating at your favorite blogs, you might not have noticed I did have a contest. Actually, I had two. One was for the 100th Follower on my Blog--YAY !!! And the other contest was a very time consuming scavanger hunt. Only one person attempted it and survived to tell about it.

You know what? The winner of both contests was the same person. That was JENNIFER SMITH! Jennifer has already been contacted and her autographed book is on it's way. She was very excited about it, I could tell.

Now that I've got a new book coming out soon I'll be going on book tours. However, since it is not available yet, my pretties, this contest is for Vampier Ascending and it is over on Urban Fantasy Investigations, and I wish to thank Stacy Maynard for having me today.

Since I had these announcements to make, Teaser Tuesday will be back next week. Have a great night after Halloween! 

Chickens lay eggs, and so do Turtles

For those of you who don't know my husband is park ranger and one of his main jobs is mowing. He has a large deck (72") Toro Zero T...