Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Greetings from Arcola, IL !

Hello, my pretties!

Just a short message from me while I'm down here in Arcola, this morning.

We had a good time down here, seeing the Amish, eating unbelievable food, and seeing the sites.

We went to see the log cabin where Abe Lincoln grew up. It was his father's cabin and their farm. It was funny. We were there 15 min. before they opened. Who greets us but an orange and white cat. Who does he walk up to first? My husband, naturally. I guess news of him being the Cat Whisperer has gotten around.

Yesterday rained the whole time, but we got to one of the local places. If you get down here. Go out toward Arthur, on 133, and find Yoder's Kitchen. The fried chicken is the best!

Well, today we will be heading out. Not sure if we'll go see anything, since it's foggy. I guess we'll just wait until the fog lifts. It only took 3 hours--of course we stopped and had lunch once. But not a bad drive. Thing is, you don't want to come here on Monday. Most of the shops are closed. And Rockome Gardens is NOT open until Wednesday. But these are things to see. Next time I guess we'll try and get here on days that that is open.

Well, I thought I would just do a quick update, and clean up my blog since I was able to jump on a computer here at  the motel (Best Western), and use their fast internet to do all this in very little time. Now I know what the rest of you enjoy! I'm envious.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Updates from llinois - Hate this humidity!

Yeah, it's hot. Well, to be truthful it's HUMID. I've been in Arizona where it's dry as bleached bones and it was something like 95 that afternoon we arrived at Dennis' mom & dad's place in Apache Junction several years ago. I wore jeans and a T-shirt. The only sweat I felt was on my upper lip. That was it. I could have used some shorts, but I was "comfortable" in the shade. Of course, you could not drink the water, and if you turned on the "cold" faucet it was actually pretty warm water. Saves on the water heater.  But I digress...

Here it's like wearing a wet washrag over your entire body, you can't breath, the deer flies attack you like crazy if you step outside from the moment the sun pops up (at least out here in the country--and my husband has the bites to prove it. He says, "you get used to it" And since he has to mow and hold on to the handles of the big zero-turn mower or it won't go) he can't swat at them.

My job puts me into a transit bus where I have air conditioning (thank you!), and believe it or not ONE person actually asked me to turn it down or off yesterday. I said, "I'm not turing this off." I'd have to turn it back on in two minutes (because I'd be suffering), and that's not good for the unit. She didn't press. She had sleeves on. Go sit down and talk to your friend on your damned cell phone and leave me alone!

Oh, yeah. This weather makes me snippety.

Been going through the documents my ex-publisher gave me to find any type-o's and other things I might want to change. Since I get to publish this Independently, I want to polish it up a bit, so that's where I've been when not working for the bus company for the last week or so (and will be tied up for another). So, if you wondered what the heck happened to me this is what's going on.

I'm hopeful I can get these done in another week and begin putting them back out there again.
Lorelei Bell, author of the Sabrina Strong series is working to get the eBooks back on Amazon so that you can buy them
Until then you CAN buy the first book of her other series, the Chronicles of Zofia Trickenbod, Sorceress - see below

Meanwhile, I've not quite put an ending on my 7th WIP. Things sort of got on the back burner while dealing with work on the first three books. However, you would think I'd be too busy, too stressed out with all that's happening around me to even think about the eighth book... but no. #8 is clanking around in my head. It's like I live in another dimention right where Sabrina lives, and I'm seeing it from my spot. Sort of like a fish bowl, I guess.
I'm thinking of mixing things up a bit starting with this one, and get away from the Vampire This or That titles.
What do you think of the title: "Six Shades of Hell"? Let me know if you think it's a good one, bad, or if you're indiffernt, don't worry about it.

Glad to see you all "waves". Hope to be back to normal (yeah, right) soon!

Lorelei Bell's debut novel about a quirky sorceress trying hard to do her job... and not get killed in the process.
Spell of the Black Unicorn can be purchased here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

If a Movie Were Made of My Life ...

Goldie Hawn would play me because she's cute and can play a goofball without even trying.
Dennis would, of course, be played by Robert Redford because he looks great in a beard.

Hey, this is my fantasy, so shut the heck up. I know, I know. Goldie is blond/blue eyed and I'm a brunette. You got a problem with that? Well, do ya?

Oh, by the way, today's ramblings are brought to you by ... hmmm. Okay. Ramblings R Us.

Things that bug me
You ever watch these old western shows where the men are clean-cut, shaven, and the women have heavy eye make-up and their hair is perfect? That kills me. "The Big Valley" was not my cup of tea, or any actor/actress on there. Seems that the women got to wear make-up and their hair anyway they liked (no one had a hair-do like Mrs. Barkly back in the 1880's), and clothes to look good on the screen. I once saw a show where Mrs. Barkly had a stretch/knit turtle neck on and I'm really sure those were not seen until modern times.

Other things that bug me
I've been re-reading the Charlaine Harris' Sookie books. There are things that bother me about her writing--she does a lot of telling in them. Her first two books were hard to read because she was all over the place with her writing style. It calms down slightly in later books... slightly, I said.

In "Definitely Dead", Eric (a top-dog vampire who has had sex with our heroine, Sookie, but doesn't remember because he was under a witches spell), has had his second in command call Sookie to come to him. She refuses. Sookie is a busy girl and she's got things to do, has a date with a weretiger and such. So, on the very night she is waiting for her date, Eric shows up at her doorstep.
"You told Pam you didn't want to come to Shreveport," he said. Oh, yes, he was angry.
Now, this is telling. I want to see his face. I want to watch his jaw work, I need to see this! Because I just don't believe he's angry.

What I do like about Sookie is that she isn't afraid of the vampires in her life--well, most of them (we get that they're scary, because she always tells us they are "the scariest vampire I've ever seen"). She mouths off to Eric and points out that he has not committed to her, has not asked her out or anything since then, even though he likes to point out they had sex and that he "assisted you financiall" (she corrects him and tells him he paid her for services rendered--um, not the sex, but she used her tellepathic powers to help in some situation.

Work In Progress
I'm working up to the climax in the seventh book. Well, I've written the scene out, but I've got it in my "notes" so it isn't officially in the manuscript as yet.

As you can imagine, Sabrina has had many, many things happen to her in books #4-6. Wishing I could just tell you about them, but I won't be that mean, and go on for hundreds of pages here. But at this point Sabrina is facing off with Stefan, who is now magnate of the Eastern half of the US. His goal is to impregnate Sabrina. Sabrina isn't exactly keen on all this "impregnate the sibyl" scenario. She's sick of it, in fact. And, as a background note, at the beginning of this book, she's lost her memory of everything, but she's gradually gaining things back.

I've been working on this scene and threw in a few things here and there. Forgive me if this is all raw, but then, it is a WIP.
Oh, and Bill Gannon is with her. At this point Bill and Sabrina are very "close". Ehem.

The house phone rang. I gave Bill a withering look.
Who is it?” he asked, looking directly at me. Yes. I should know the answer to that. But I didn't.
A supernatural. Which one, I don't know,” I said. Flopping my napkin on the table, I got up to answer it, having to duck into the kitchen to grab the handset. “Hello?”
Sabrina, good evening.”
I rolled my eyes. “Hello, Stefan.”
You sound... preoccupied,” he said.
I was eating dinner,” I said.
Very sorry,” he said. “The reason I'm calling is, I'm coming out to your house.”
Oh fudge. “I can't entertain you, tonight, Stefan.”
Why? Is Bill still there?” his voice a straight monotone.
As a matter of fact, yes, he is.” I smiled to myself. If that bothered him, too bad.
I'm bringing your cell phone charger to you. I thought that you'd like to have that.”
That's very nice of you,” I said, but knew that he would not drive all the way out to my neck of the woods just to bring me back my little charger for my phone. He wanted to see me.
I will be there in a few minutes. Will you welcome me inside, at least?”
Inside my house?” I said. “No. I don't think so.” I knew that once the vampire was invited in, he could barge in any time he pleased.
Well, at least come out to get the phone charger,” he said. At that exact moment I heard a car pull into the drive. Looking out the window, I could see the headlights of his car.
Okay,” I said reluctantly, because my gut told me this was a ruse. I hung up and stepped out into the dining room where Bill was waiting for me.
Don't tell me,” he said. “Stefan is here and he wants to talk to you.”
He has my phone charger.”
He could have sent it by the post,” Bill said.
I know. He wants to talk to me.” I took my coat off the peg and slipped my arms into it. “I need to make sure he won't bother me any more.”
I'll give you two minutes before I come out there.”
Wow. You don't trust me?”
I don't trust him. You get into his car, he takes off and I have to chase you down.”
I twisted my lips. Hadn't thought of this. “Okay.” I went out into the cold night. His car was parked near the steps. I was glad to get into the relatively warmer confines.
Here is your charger.” Stefan handed me a sealed envelope. Of course the bumps conveyed to me that the wire for my cell phone was inside. Not that I was worried about it. I was more worried about the real reason he had come all the way from the city to see me.
Thank you,” I said.
You got the flowers I sent?”
Yes, and thank you for those as well.”
There are a few things I must speak to you about, and I couldn't do this over the phone. I had to see you face-to-face.”
Okay. What's up?” Licorice and leather filled my nose. I wanted to take a bite out of him, but resisted with all my might. He obviously upped the wattage on his usual vampire scent to drive me nuts.
I've had my lawyer look over the papers of your marriage agreement with Vasyl. I hadn't even realized this was not a regular marriage certificate, but a vampire marriage to a human. The marriage is recognized in a court of law. Thus, we will get it annulled. No problem. However, the Bond Sponsor line was not signed at the bottom.” All of this was news to me, since I couldn't remember the wedding at all.
I'm sorry, I'm not following you,” I said. “I don't recall it so I don't—”
In other words, the vampire who would have been chosen to be Bond Sponsor would take over the bond you have with Vasyl, should anything happen to him. Since Vasyl relinquished his status as magnate over the eastern half of the United States to me—and left you—I can legally claim to be your Bond Sponsor. It doesn't matter when it it signed. I signed it today.”
I looked quizzically at him. The porch lights played over his handsome face. For some reason, I wasn't affected by them at all. Not like before.
In other words you are mine, Sabrina,” he said.
That's ridiculous!” I snapped. “This isn't the twelfth century. You can't make me go or stay with you.”
He grabbed my arm before I could make a run for it. I stared back at him. His vice-like grip on me hurt and I nearly cried out, but I wouldn't, damn him!
Let go of me!” I all but growled through gritted teeth.
Like it or not, my claim on you is legal in vampire law.”
I'm not yours to have. I'm a human!”
The door opened on my side. Bill grabbed my arm and pulled me out. Stefan actually let me go. I was happy to be away from Stefan his crazy words, but this whole visit had up-set me.
Vampire law won't hold—or even be presented—in a human court of law, and you well know it,” Bill said, obviously having heard the whole conversation. I hadn't even heard or seen him step outside. He wasn't wearing a coat at all. The wind whipped his dark hair around his head.
That may be, Gannon, but mark my words, you have not heard the last of me!” Stefan said. Bill slammed the door shut, and Stefan put his car into drive and pulled away. Bill jumped out of the way. I stared after the black car's red tail lights as it made a swerving turn onto the icy road, and sped away. Bill strode up the porch steps where I stood.
I've just made enemies of a vampire lord,” I said, dismally.
Bill put an arm around me. “Yes, but you've got a god and goddess on your side. I think your deck is pretty stacked, if you ask me.”
Hope you enjoyed this! Gotta get the heck out of here for the day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Updates

Well, my pretties, I am enjoying my day off, and posting to bring you all up to date. Nothing huge to talk about, but I post up-dates for those who follow me (yes, all ten of you *waves*).

This past week had me working on my 7th book in series and I got the brainstorm of an ending for it. I worked on a bedroom scene and posted about the differences between urban fantasy and paranormal romance here. If you don't know what the difference is, this will help. The word "romance" should give a big clue, however. Anyone who knows me/my writing knows I am not a romance writer or fan. I'm also not a a fan of erotica. If you want an entertaining read about my view point on this, go head on over to my other blog, but come on back and read the rest of my ramblings.

"Cat Whisperer" is needing a bit of a fluffing. I have to work on some little "side journeys" I call them. This book isn't just about the cats/kittens, it's about my husband. I'm often amazed at how he can control animals. Only this week he had to get Half Pint down from a tree. He had chased Tango up there after the usual loud cat-brawl. He got Half Pint down and brought him back over to the house. Eventually he got the two males to calm down and he petted them while talking to them. I don't know what is is about him, but the cats mind him. Just like he trained dogs--which were not much easier, but he trained them to obey.

It hasn't rained since Friday, I believe. And so I went for a nice walk out in our park. You can check that out here.

I've turned my attention on another back burner. My mystery I was working on, I put down to work on other things, and to let it rest. I was having trouble with the plot. Decided that if I just let it chill a while, I'd come up with a solution, and I did. Not quite ready to work on it. I want to get a few things done first, and maybe I'll work on that one this fall or winter, when I have time. If I do, that is.

The other day (I guess it was Friday), I came home and found that my husband had moved furniture around. Okay. He hasn't done that in a while. He called it our "summer" look. Whatever. I told him no wonder he was complaining of his back having a twinge. But at least he took most of the weekend off. He did have to get on the big mower and do the yard, as it was long. The grass has had lots of rain, and is keeping him busy in the park, which is super good. But he needs a day off. He and I are going to go out tomorrow, browse a nursery, go to lunch and brouse a local antiques place. It's on a farm, and antiques are in their 1839 barn. I got the idea of using the barn (at least mentioning), in a section of my WIP. I can't wait to go and see it again. We have not been there in over a decade, I'm sure.

I haven't heard from my publisher about my books as yet, but I should be hearing from him soon. Surely? I will become an Indie soon, because he is quitting the publishing business of other authors. He was the first one to publish my books, but now it would seem that I should be able to do this myself and make a little better royalties. I'm not going to get rich. I'm not even going to be comfortable. I'll be happy to get a $100 check every once in a while from Amazon.

Speaking of Indies, my good friend Shelly Arkon is giving away free copies for Kindle only of her short story "Partner's Progeny" You'll want to check this out. I'm sure everyone who can download to Kindle will want to check out my friend's book, and you can do that at her site, "Two Fur-Peeps and A Writer"

Well that's all the news and updates I've got. Have a good week and see you in the usual places, if not here!

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...