Friday, August 31, 2012

What Day is It?

Wow, I must be getting really set in my ways.  I post on Tuesday instead of Monday and it throws off my whole week.  It's Thursday, right?  Only it's late in the day so you'll probably read this on Friday.

Well, TGIF, gang.

On Tuesday, I helped Maria Zannini celebrate the release of her new book, Mistress of the Stone, by offering a drawing for a free copy.  Everyone who leaves a comment on that post (unless they ask not to be included) will have a chance to win.  To give everyone a chance to enter, I'll keep the giveaway open until 5:00 PM next Thursday, September 6. 

 In fact, if I get 20 entries in the giveaway drawing, I'll give away a copy to two lucky winners.

So if you missed that post, go back and leave a comment here.

Looking ahead... on September 5, it will be my pleasure to host author Marilyn Meredith who will be telling us about her latest release, Raging Water.  Marilyn's also got a very special contest for us, so you won't want to miss it.


And on September 17, I'll be having fun with Alex Cavanaugh's latest blogfest, Genre Favorites.

Switching from books to TV.  When I was a kid (back in the dark ages), we had the three networks and maybe PBS and one independant channel that mostly showed old movies. New programming was on from fall to early spring. Summer meant reruns.

Then came cable networks. Now some of my favorites are wrapping up their season in the fall and the cliffhangers are everywhere. My favorite favorite? Burn Notice. Mike, Fi, Sam, and Jesse stranded in Panama after Mike's boss at the CIA tried to have them killed. 

How about you? Are you a fan of any summer cable network shows? What's your favorite? Did it end the season in a cliffhanger?

Funny of the Day:  (Someone told me this one today and I've just got to pass it along.)

It's Easter and the pastor has called all the little children, dressed in their Easter finery, to the front of the church to sit around him.

"Today is Easter," he tells them, "and you all look so beautiful. Today we're going to talk about the resurrection. Does anyone know what the resurrection is?"

One little boy raises his hand and the pastor says, "Wonderful.  Will you tell us what the resurrection is?"

The boy answers, "I'm not exactly sure but I know if  you get one lasting more than four hours, you gotta call a doctor."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mistress of the Stone - Release Day Giveaway

Thanks for coming by on a Tuesday.  Not my usual blogging day but I really wanted to dedicate this post to helping Maria Zaninni celebrate the release day for her latest book, Mistress of the Stone.

Don't you love this cover?

Here's a little something about the story.

Mistress of the Stone

A young woman at the helm of a pirate ship braves ghouls, ghosts and werewolves to find her father--or avenge his death.

Luísa Tavares has a list of sins the length of the Antilles, but there’s no time to repent for them now. When a pockmarked Frenchman hands her Papa’s ring—still attached to his severed finger—she orders the Coral back to the Caribbean, despite her father’s earlier warning never to return.

It’s Luísa’s luckless fate that the only man who can help her is a blasted Inglés pirate hunter who’s more dead than alive and locked in a curse he doesn’t want lifted. Worse, his feral sensuality sparks a hunger she can’t ignore.

Xander Daltry hadn’t planned on kidnapping this wild woman—or succumbing to his uncontrollable desire for her. But he needs Luísa and the moonstone she wears around her neck to rescind a witch’s spell. His sister, long dead, and others like her have been cursed to remain in the mortal plane for eternity. Only the stone can set them free.

The only way to convince the reluctant pirate queen to help him is to withhold one small bit of the truth. For if she learns who really betrayed her father, the longing in her fiery eyes could easily turn to murderous wrath…

I really enjoyed Mistress of the Stone.  Luisa and Xander are great characters, strong willed and determined, each on mission to save someone they love, but what will they have to sacrifice to succeed? The action was fast paced, with twists and turns and secrets revealed every step of the way. There were characters to love and characters to hate and the steamy love scenes were...oh, my... *fans self*

Okay, these two aren't really characters from Mistress.  They're Maria's Pirate Boys, Tank and Iko, but they look so cute, I had to include them.

You can buy Mistress of the Stone from Samhain Publishing here.
Or from Amazon here.
Or from Barnes and Noble here.
And you can visit Maria Zannini here.

Or even better, you can leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy.  Just make sure to leave your e-mail address (if it's not in your profile) so I can contact you.

When the last time you read a good swashbuckling pirate story?

Quote of the Day:  Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates”  ~ Mark Twain

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tomorrow (No, Not the Song from Annie)

Hi.  I'm supposed to post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but I've got a special post that needs to happen on August 28 and that happens to be a Tuesday.  So please, drop by tomorrow.

See you then.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Foto Friday - Looking Back

I love taking pictures.

I adore my grandkids.

So it's no surprise that I enjoy taking pictures of my grandkids.

I take plently of the posed variety, but I especially like the ones that capture a moment or tell a story.

This morning I feel like sharing a couple.

I believe I've posted this one before but it's half of a pair and I want to post the second one so you're getting them both. 

Finding stones to throw into the pond.

Studying the ripples he made.  Such power for a little guy.

The next one I like because of how I got it.  I was in the back seat of the car taking a picture of my granddaughter (in the front seat) using the sideview mirror.  In the far right side of the mirror, you can see me holding the camera.

This is just a cool action shot.  (She hammered that kick.)

This is a post-game celebration piture.  (He got two sacks!)  What makes it special is the guy holding my grandson is my dad.  How many kids get to celebrate their games with their great-grandfathers?

I took this one on Tuesday, a couple of days ago.  First day of school.  This is the same little guy who was hunting for rocks in the first picture.  Wasn't that just a year or two ago?  When did he get so big?  Like the sign at the corner, I want to tell him (tell all of them), please stop.

Okay, that's all for now.  I hope you enjoyed these.

I'm heading downstairs because my beloved spouse has the day off and said he was up for cleaning out the garage if I was.  Can't miss opportunities like that.  (I'll be a little late visiting/commenting today.)

This weekend is the start of football season so you know where I'll be.  How about you?  Plans for this weekend?

Quotes for Today:

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. ~Gail Lumet Buckley

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Star Struck?

Happy Hump Day

Every so often I come across a funny that's so good, it's worth a post of its own. 

This is one of those.


Paul Newman

Women of a certain era will fully appreciate this true story.
(If you don't understand this, tell your mother, she'll get it!)

A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New England town where Paul Newman and his family often visited.

One Sunday morning, the woman got up early to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile hike, she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone.

She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor.

There was only one other patron in the store:
Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a doughnut and coffee.

The woman's heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes.

The actor nodded graciously and the star struck woman smiled demurely.

Pull yourself together, she chided herself. You're a happily married woman with three children. You're forty-five years old, not a teenager!

The clerk filled her order and she took the double-dip chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and her change in the other.

Then she went out the door, avoiding even a glance in Paul Newman's direction.

When she reached her car, she realized that she had a handful of change but her other hand was empty.

Where's my ice cream cone? Did I leave it in the store?

Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the cone still in the clerk's hand or in a holder on the counter or something!

No ice cream cone was in sight.

With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman.

His face broke into his familiar, warm, friendly grin and he said to the woman,

"You put it in your purse."

* * * *

If you're too young to have ever fallen under the spell of those blue eyes, I'm really sorry for you. You've missed out on something special. 


And although I think Paul is worth plently of sighs, I wouldn't think of forgetting your "aw".

How about this one?

Okay, did that get you over the mid-week hump?

Answer to yesterday's trivia question:

Question: In what country was Britain's Queen Elizabeth II when she became Queen in 1952?

Answer: Kenya   Elizabeth II actually ascended some time in the night of February 5th/6th 1952, officially early hours of February 6, when staying overnight at the Treetops Hotel, Aberdare National Park, near Nyeri town, close to Mount Kenya. She was told of her father King George VI's death a few hours later after arriving at Sagana Lodge, the royal residence at Kiganjo, in the Mount Kenya foothills. Elizabeth II was the first British monarch since the William IV [reigned 1830-37] to be outside the UK on succession, and first in modern times whose exact time of accession is unknown because George VI died asleep at an uncertain time.

Medical Bloopers for Today:

Skin: somewhat pale but present.   (well, thank goodness for that)

The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.    (do they charge extra for the table?)

Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.    (no comment)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Novel or Screenplay?

A couple weeks ago my writing group held a public reading night.  A local bookstore gave us the space and a dozen or so members read to whomever stopped by.

Some of our group find these events unnerving but I enjoy them.  Maybe there's a little frustrated ham in me.  I did have childhood fantasies of being an actress.  In fact, I auditioned for our class play in the third grade but I was turned down because I wasn't loud enough.  (I'm glad my sons don't follow my blog - they'd be on the floor right now.) 

But I digress.

I wrote a short story specifically for this night and I noticed I write differently when I'll be reading the story aloud.  For one thing, I skip most dialogue tags and use a different voice for each character.  Yes, I know we create separate character voices in our writing, but it's a lot easier to do verbally.

This caused me to remember a critique I once received that said my plot, action, character development, and dialogue were good but I needed to layer in a lot more setting, more visual description.


I'm stronger in plot, action, character development, and dialogue.  I like verbalizing (or hearing someone else verbalize) my character's voices.  I'm weaker in visual description and setting.

Should I be writing screenplays?

It's an "out of left field" idea and I'll have to do a lot of research and study if I try going in that direction but does anyone have any insight to offer?  Any experience you'd like to share?

Just wondering.

Couple of notes on upcoming events...

On September 5, I'll have a special guest, author Marilyn Meredith, with a special contest. Don't miss it.

On September 17 I'll be participating in Alex Cavanaugh's latest BlogFest.  This should be fun. Why don't you join in?

Trivia Question for Today:

In what country was Britain's Queen Elizabeth II when she became Queen in 1952?

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Mouse in Orlando and a Skunk at Home

I had an interesting evening last night. Sophie was very agitated and wanted to go outside.  I let her out and she went tearing around the yard trying to find something.  I stepped onto the deck and got an unmistakable whiff.  Good Lord, a skunk. 

Had it just passed through and left a little something behind?  Or was my crazy dog about to get sprayed.

I quickly rounded up the crazed canine and brought her inside.  But it was near bedtime and she needed to...well, you know.  So I got her leash and we headed out the front door for a nice walk.  In the dark.  And then I listened to her whine and fuss at the back door half the night. 
(I really think he was out there.)   

But hey, better than a close encounter of the stinky kind.

Enough of that.  As you know, I'm just back from a family vacation at Disney World and tradition demands I bore you with a couple pictures.  Just a couple, I promise.

These are the very cool, ridiculously overpriced rain ponchos we bought after getting drenched by a sudden downpour on our second day.  Naturally, as soon as we put them on, it stopped raining.

It made us feel a little Goofy.

This was a new ride I wanted to try out.  Unfortunately there was an unreasonable weight limit.

The kids got to make candy at the candy story.

So did I.

Okay, got to have one group shot.  Here's the whole clan. 

If you're looking for a picture of Mickey, we never ran into him. 
But I didn't run into that skunk last night either so I'm good.

Groaner of the Day:  Two guys have been lost in the desert for weeks and they're in a bad way. As they stumble on, hoping for an oasis or something similar, they suddenly see, in the distance, a small tree.

As they get closer, they can see that the tree is draped with rasher upon rasher of bacon. There's smoked bacon, crispy bacon, life-giving juicy nearly-raw bacon, all sorts. And the smell... oh, the glorious smell!

"Look, Pepe," says the first man. "It's a bacon tree!"

"You're right!" says Pepe, "We're saved!"

Pepe doesn't wait another second. He runs up to the tree, salivating at the prospect of food. But just as he gets there, there's the sound of machine gun fire, and he is shot down in a hail of bullets.

His friend quickly drops down on the sand and calls to the dying Pepe.

"Pepe!! Pepe!! What happened?"

And with his dying breath Pepe calls back: "Ugh, run, run!! It's not a Bacon Tree after all...

...its a ham bush!"

(I know, vacation pictures and a groaner that bad in the same post.  I'm ashamed. I truly am.)

hee hee hee

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hump Day Funnies from Across the Pond

Happy Hump Day

And happy August 1st.  What?  It isn't August 1st?  The 15th?!?  How did that happen?

Well, I'm back from our trip to Disney World and apparently from a little extra two week time warp.  But I'm just in time to give you that much needed boost over the mid-week hump and onto the easy slide to the weekend.

In honor of the Olympics (weren't they wonderful?), this week's Hump Day funnies come to us from jolly old England.  The following are little snippets from various British newspapers.

 Commenting on a complaint from a Mr. Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, "We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr. Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that destroyed his house."
(The Daily Telegraph)

Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle and they don't want the public to know what it looks like. (The Guardian)

A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coast guard spokesman commented, "This sort of thing is all too common". (The Times)

At the height of the gale, the harbourmaster radioed a coastguard and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. (Aberdeen Evening Express)

I'm not sure where these came from but they're worth a chuckle:

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten your "aw".  It's a good one.

You know you said it.

Did you have a favorite? 

Please say hi when you stop by so I'll know you haven't forgotten me.  I'll be coming by your blog soon.

Quote of the Day:  By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.  -- Socrates