Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

This week's pictures.....

Montana Mavericks are back!

You're seeing it here first! The list of the new Montana Mavericks series for 2007! I have every MM ever written and never miss one. The complete list is always on my website and many readers sayd they've appreciated that because it's not to be found elsewhere.

So, MM fans, book 1 in this series, a July release by Christine Rimmer will be in stores any day now.

Montana Mavericks Miniseries: Striking it Rich
* Book one:
The Man Who Had Everything by Christine Rimmer (July, 2007, 0-373-24837-7)

* Book two:
Paging Dr. Right by Stella Bagwell (August, 2007, 0-373-24843-1)

* Book three:
Her Best Man by Crystal Green (September, 2007, 0-373-28098-X)

* Book four:
I Do! I Do! by Pamela Toth (October, 2007, 0-373-28103-X)

* Book five:
A Family for the Holidays by Victoria Pade, November, 2007, 0-373-24861-X)

* Book six:
A Cowboy Under Her Tree by Allison Leigh (December, 2007, 0-373-24869-5)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Take Two Winner This Week

This week's winner recieves two Steeple Hill Love Inspired titles.

HEART OF STONE by Lenora Worth

and A Hero for Dry Creek by Janet Tronstad

and the winner is.........

there are so MANY to draw from this week!


You're probably exhausted from watching Eric work all week, so make a pitcher of tea and put your feet up. You've got some relaxing to do!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Lawman's Bride Giveaway

Our Jennifer who's been missing for some time (I thought maybe she and Lucky Lou had taken a trip to Finland wthout us!) has a contest on her reader blog today for a copy of The Lawman's Bride. Anyone who needs a copy, mosey on over.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

ebay auction: Harlequin Historicals

This is interesting for any fanatical Harlequin Historical collectors out there. This is a lot of 40 HHs for sale on ebay. This is how I filled out many of my sets, for example my Montana Mavericks, etc.. I won bids on lots and then gave away the books I didn't need. This lot includes a couple of mine.


The maps to the right in this blog keep track of all the visits. Yesterday 112 visits were reported, including 2 from Finland, one from England and many from all over the US.

Just for fun, I'd like to ask that if you're stopping by this blog today, will you PLEASE leave a few words in a comment just so we know who you are (even if you're anonymous)? If you gave a general location of your home town that would be awesome.

And, you're invited to join us on our retreat to Finland. I've asked Eric, and he says he'll come along to shop for groceries and cook, so we don't even have to worry about that.

Monday, June 25, 2007

we need a small vacation

Thanks Minna for finding us a spot for a holiday. We're going to be exhausted after Eric is finished with all the work, so I think a vacation is in order. We'll meet at this quaint retreat in Finland next week, what do you say?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lists for Eric

We haven't done this for a while!

Ding Dong! That's your doorbell and you go check. It's Eric Stromer. He's wearing his toolbelt and his truck full of fixer upper stuff is in your driveway. All he needs is direction from you. He has the rest of the week to stay and help you out, so find your list and put him to work.

What can Eric do for you today?

Here's my list:

I really need a new kitchen floor, hardwood, and I'd like it to extend all the way to the front door.

This is my dream list after all, I think I'll have new cupboards installed since he's here. There are six can lights in the garage, hook those up, will ya, sweetie? Oh, and somewhere out there is the antique fixture we bought to hang over the island. I've forgotten what it looks like.

Drywall mudded, taped and sanded and don't make a mess. I'll even fix you lunch. Wow, my kitchen is going to be finished!

Paint. I love paint. I even have the colors selected already, but he can shop and pay for it.

That should just about fill Eric's week. Come back soon. I want my master bath done, too.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Squirtle's Story

A week ago Jay found an unusual turtle/tortoise in our yard. We weren't sure what it was and even taking it to Petco wasn't helpful. I emailed herpetilogical societies,etc. and meanwhile we treated "him" like a tortoise. We made it a home and fed it vegetarian fare. Squirtle loves bananas! After reading all the literature we knew it was important to know the exact species because a tortoise or turtle will die if its habitat or diet is incorrect. Treated well, they live 50 years.

Elijah named "him" and we enjoyed watching "him." I set it in the sun during the day and gave it a soak for good hygiene. LOL Eventually I learned that Squirtle is an ornate box turtle, a terrestrial little guy who is a carnivore. Its natural habitat is the prairie or woods! And she's a girl. Males have red or orange eyes. Well, this particular species is the most difficult to care for in captivity and they burrow and hibernate underground for the winter. I knew the humane thing was to set it free in a safe environment. Elijah was broken-hearted. :-(

Today we had a a little ceremony and drove to a place close by that has a heron habitat, butterfly gardens, native grasses and wetlands for turtles, and we set Squirtle free. She took off without a backward glance, obviously quite happy to be back to nature.

We still wonder how she found our yard. We do live near a huge creek and also a recreation area with a huge lake and lots of wildlife, but it had to have crossed at least one or two streets to get here. There are two main causes for thee turtles to die prematurely: humans catching them and giving them improper care

Live long and prosper, Squirtle!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Winner!

This week's winner drawn from the blog posts wins an AUTOGRAPHED copy of the RITA nominated SHE'S NO PRINCESS by Laura Lee Ghurke....

and the winner is....


Whoo hoo, girlfriend. I know you'll enjoy the story.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I'm usually a scenery and nature photographer, but occasionally I get on a portrait kick. Tonight Kristin and I played with the camera and the editing programs. We can sit back to back on two computers and play. These are my efforts.

Monday, June 18, 2007

How was your weekend?

On Saturday I got a new kitchen sink and a new faucet. Way exciting. This is a work and pay as you go remodel, so the going is rather slow. The scary thing is I'm getting used to living this way. :::snort::: Jay claims that soon it will be too hot to work outside at all, and then the kitchen will go faster. Okay.

Yesterday was Father's Day, of course, and we celebrated by planting three new trees outide our back fence where there were none growing. Here's Alexis and Jared to show perspective. We've always taken pics of kids by new trees and then in ten or twenty years we have those images to compare. Don't know why, it's just something we do.

Jay found this little guy while we were doing yardwork yesterday. This afternoon Elijah and I are taking him to a pet store to see how to care for him. We looked him up on the internet and he's a tortoise, but there are many kinds and they each require different care. However, they will live a decade or two if given proper food and care!

It was wet this morning, from an overnight shower, and the rain was so pretty on my daylilies.


Finnish Holidays

When it comes to taking a holiday, it's best to be Finnish, and (not quite) the worst to be American. A new study ranks countries by their paid time-off policies.
In Finland workers must get a minimum of 30 days paid vacation plus up to 14 paid holidays a year! That makes it the country with the most generous paid time off laws out of 49 nations surveyed by human resource consulting firm Mercer.

Besides getting less vacation than workers in many other countries, Americans often don't use all the time that they do get, and what vacation they take is spent in small slices and often in contact with the office, according to findings from other studies. Unlike in most other countries, there is no federal law mandating that companies pay employees for time off or that they grant them a minimum amount of vacation days unpaid.

So, Minna, can you give us any more skinny on paid vacations in your beautiful country?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

McConaughey is People's hottest bachelor

McConaughey is People's hottest bachelor
The Associated Press

AP Photo/People magazine
Matthew McConaughey is People magazine's "bachelor of the year" in the magazine's "hottest bachelors" issue, on newsstands Friday. The magazine also names "sexy and sizzling" bachelors such as Adrian Grenier, Zach Braff, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lewis, Ludacris and Apolo Ohno.

Matthew McConaughey - frequently photographed shirtless and exercising on the beach - is People magazine's "bachelor of the year." "I love warm weather and summertime," the 37-year-old actor says in the magazine's "Hottest Bachelors" issue, on newsstands Friday. "What better way to enjoy it than at the beach, where few people wear shirts?"

When asked how he maintains his muscular build, McConaughey says: "I don't really have a workout regimen I follow. I just live my life. My goal is to break a sweat each day."

McConaughey, whose screen credits include "We Are Marshall," "Failure to Launch" and "Sahara," has high standards when it comes to the ladies. "What I look for in a woman is what I love to call the 'two Hs' - hotness and humor," he says. "But to be honest, a woman with a good sense of humor is always hot."

The magazine also names "sexy and sizzling" bachelors such as Adrian Grenier, Zach Braff, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds, John Stamos, Ludacris and Apolo Ohno. David Spade, who starred on the "Just Shoot Me!" television series, also makes the cut. "Luckily we live in a world where women can overlook the physical and focus on things more important, like having a good personality ... or being on a TV show," the 42-year-old actor-comedian says.

What are your thoughts regarding Matthew McConaughey's hotness?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Trash the Dress

There's something new in wedding photography. It's called Trash the Dress. Stash it and never wear it again or get rid if it for the sake of art and memories. Many comments convey that most women think this is a ridiculous waste when the dress could be donated to charity or saved for a daughter. Here in my city wedding dresses are donated to the theaters and playhouses for costumes, and the designers do a fabulous job redesigning them. The production for which they used the most wedding dresses was Beauty and the Beast. But I digress.

I guess I don't hold a strong opinion. The dress belongs to the bride, so she can do whatever she chooses with it. And as a lover of photography, I must say the pictures are lovely. You can click on that link above to see the website and many of the photos.

I think I would choose a vat of chocolate for my photo shoot.

Another fascinating tidbit brought to you by Moi.

This week's winner: The Taming of the Duke

The winner of this week's drawing recieves an autographed copy of the RITA nominated book, The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James! This author is one of the few regency writers I read, and in my opinion she just keeps getting better all the time.

The Taming of the Duke goes to....

Thanks for blogging with us, Carol!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Guest Blogging at The Good, The Bad and the Unread

This week I am guest blogging at The Good, The Bad, and The Unread, a review site for booklovers. The introduction post is up this morning, and later my post goes up, followed by questions. So, please click on over and chat with HH western authors this week! Along with me are my good friends, Elizabeth Lane and Pam Crooks. This has turned out to be one of the busiest blogging and interview months I've ever had for a new release. I hope it follows through in sales!

I forgot to draw a name on Friday, so I'm doing it today.

Last week's winner is Kathleen!

Kathleen gets a copy of Judith E French's BLOOD KIN.

Congrats, Kathleen.

Researchers Find 'Skim Milk Cows'


I know you guys count on me to find this fascinating stuff for you. So here's today's revelation: A genetic trait causes certain cows to produce skim milk.

(May 29, 2007) -- In a few years, skim milk may come straight from the cow, it was reported this week.

Skim milk is usually produced by taking all of the fat out of regular milk, but in 2001, researchers found a cow that skipped that step. While screening a herd of cows, they found one with a natural gene mutation that makes her produce lower-fat milk than a normal cow.

Marge, as researchers later named her, makes milk that has 1 percent fat (as compared to 3.5 percent in whole milk) and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. And remarkably, Marge’s low-fat milk still has the same delicious taste as conventionally produced low-fat milk, according to the report in Chemistry & Industry magazine.

The low saturated fat content of Marge’s milk also means that butter made from it is spreadable right out of the fridge, while most butter has to come to room temperature before it can be spread on toast. After researchers found that Marge’s daughters also produced low-fat milk, they surmised that the genetic trait was dominant and planned to breed herds of skim milk-producing cows. (Marge and her offspring live in New Zealand.)

ViaLactia, the company that owns Marge, expects the first commercial herd of cows supplying natural low-fat milk and spreadable butter for the market by 2011.

But because cows are normally selected for breeding because they give a high milk yield, this new selection criteria could mean the skim milk cows would produce less milk, said Ed Komorowski, technical director at Dairy UK and who is not affiliated with the research—so more cows could be needed to produce the same amount of milk.

And "normal" cows wouldn’t disappear, he told LiveScience, as their milk would still be needed to make fattier products such as cream.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Now when they find the cow that makes chocolate milk, I will buy stock.

Don't forget to stop by The Good The Bad & The Unread today, too!

So how was your weekend?

In Hot Springs, Arkansas yesterday, a dozen riders on a roller coaster spent half an hour hanging upside down - 150 feet above the ground - after a power outage shut down the attraction. It took about 30 minutes for the city Fire Department to rescue the riders using a ladder truck. Spectators cheered when the riders were brought to the ground from the highest point of a loop on the X-Coaster, but one passenger threw up after reaching safety. Oh. My.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My Critique Group

This is me and the gals I critique with every Friday night.
Left to right: Barb, me, Donna, Andrea and *lizzie
We had a fantastic chapter meeting this morning, and the program time was spent brainstorming. It's an activity that mizes us up with different people and jump starts our thinking. I got help with an idea for a story you'll be seeing soon!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

We all have our priorities, things we're willing to spend money on and sacrifice elsewhere in order to do or have. I know someone who budgets around their tanning sessions, someone who stops for a cappuccino every single morning. There are some who use coupons on groceries in order buy expensive car washes or scrimp through the week to afford steak dinner on Saturday night. Not everyone can see the appeal of your particular type of pleasure, but you can bet they have one of their own. Maybe they stash Godiva chocolates under the sofa cushion or do their own home repairs and lawn so they can afford a day at a spa once a month. What's your pleasure? Is it shoes? Manicures? Ben & Jerry's?

What is it you can't do without?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Matt Wertz

Katrina asked about the song on my Bones slideshow. The song is called 5:19. I found it by accident. adds music if you want, and 5:19 was one of the choices. The best choice! I really like it. The artist is Matt Wertz who looks really young, but hey, everybody looks young to me. LOL Here's his official website if you want to check him out. The website plays his songs, so you can hear more.

Part of his bio says:
Wertz is proficient at turning life’s lessons into a beautiful soundtrack, but he has a natural way of moving through those serious moments to a place where he can relax in the simplicity of life. He loves to laugh, and he has a guy-next-door charm coupled with movie star charisma that draws people to him. Chances are, if there is a group of people, and there is a sound system, then a Michael Jackson album will be playing, and Wertz will be in the middle of the room, on the floor, dancing. It’s no surprise that many of his friends wanted to accompany him in making Everything. They gathered around him for the recording process, headed by producer Ed Cash, who worked with him on his second album 23 Places (2003), and the Today & Tomorrow EP (2005). The result is his best album to date, one that will undeniably find a place at the top of the playlists of his ever-increasing fan base, which has largely grown by word of mouth.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Interview at Harlequin Historical Authors Blog

The Harlequin Historicals blog has posted an interview with me today.
Check it out by clicking here.

my little cactus flower...

A couple years ago I made a rock garden under the overhang on the back of our house where there was once only hard-packed dirt. The rock garden was my idea for transforming an ugly space near our patio into an interesting feature. I have a yucca and many cactus plants. Oh--and lots of rocks. The cactus bloom for two days and are gone. This is the second day of these blooms, a little past their prime. I will snap the new blooms as they open to show you the beauty of that one day of perfect bloom.

Heads Up for Suzanne Brockmann fans

CLICK HERE TO ORDER Force of Nature, hardback available at amazon

Hard-driving suspense and intense passion are the hallmarks of bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann's pulse-pounding thrillers. In her tales of daring, danger, courage, and desire, men and women of action fight fiercely, love deeply, and time after time raise the bar for adventure to new heights. Brockmann's latest novel is no exception.

Florida private investigator and ex-cop Ric Alvarado's life is spiraling out of control. His beautiful new Girl Friday, Annie Dugan, is far more interested in fieldwork than filing, an despite Ric's best efforts to ignore the attraction, sparks are flying between them. Then one of Ric's clients turns femme fatale and tries to gun down an innocent man. Thanks to quick thinking and even quicker reflexes, Ric comes to the rescue, only to learn he's done a very good deed for some very bad people.

Suddenly Ric finds himself deep undercover with Annie, working for notorious crime boss Gordon Burns. One mistake from Ric's painfully inexperienced partner and they're both dead.

FBI Agent Jules Cassidy's life isn't in much better shape. For years the FBI has been trying to prove Gordon Burns's ties to terrorist activity. Now, thanks to Ric and Annie, Jules has found a way into the lion's den. But in the course of his investigation, he comes face to face with Robin Chadwick, the charismatic but self-destructive and closeted movie star for whom Jules feels a powerful attraction. Robin's in town promoting his latest film -- and Gordon Burns is a star-struck movie buff.

With Robin and Jules's help, Ric and Annie are soon entrenched in Burns's organization, surrounded by killers who may already have executed an FBI infiltrator. Before long the couple realizes that many more lives than their own will be at stake if they make a false move. As the heat between them reaches dangerous levels, so do the risks they're willing to take -- in the line of duty, for the sake of loyalty, and in the name of something that runs even deeper...

Friday, June 01, 2007

For this week's winner: A Duke of Her Own

Lorraine Heath is one of my very favorite authors. This autographed copy of A Duke of Her Own goes to Carol.

Thanks for blogging this week, Carol!

Gracie - in theaters now

It's not just because I'm a huge Dermot Mulroney fan that I think this movie looks great. It's taken from a true story and promises to be a fantastic family film. IMHO, when they make these types of films, the movie-going public needs to support them. The main character, 15-year old Gracie, takes her brother's place playing soccer in 1978, a time when there were no girls' soccer teams. From all appearances it seems to be a classic underdog achiever story where we can root for the characters. Think you'll want to see this one?