Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thursday is Ask An Editor and Get A Prize Day

Thursday is is "Ask An Editor & Get A Prize Day" at Writers At Play

Don't forget to drop by Writers At Play for your chance to win loads of books and other prizes. Plus chat with Harlequin editor, Melissa Endlich and find out how your favorite books make it from an editor's desk to a bookstore near you. For loads of editor insights, book giveaways and fun, visit: Writers At Play

When: Thursday - May 1, 2008
Where: Writers at Play
Who: Harlequin Senior editor Melissa Endlich & You
Time: All day

the big bang theory

I accidentally watched The Big Bang Theory. I thought I was taping Dancing With the Stars, don't ask.

Anyway, what a hoot! These four geeky guys who are toral nerds and collect superhero figures and stuff like that bought a time travel machine - the one from Rod Serling sat in - on ebay. It was a stitch.

Season 1: Episode 14: The Nerdvana Annihilation
When the guys buy the old time machine prop from the movie, Penny accuses them of acting like children and tells them to grow up. This prompts Leonard to get rid of all of his nerdmorabilia, as he realizes that girls like Penny don’t end up with guys who have time machines. But when Leonard sees Penny on a date with a gorgeous hunk, he decides to keep his things.

And what about Bones?

For its season premiere next fall the Ausiello Report claims it will be Bones' biggest show ever. A two hour show being taped in jolly old England. The only clue is a phone booth. Could be they get trapped in a phone booth? No big deal - unless of course the phone booth is underwater or something. Could be a play on words, since his name is Agent Seely Booth.

I'm just enjoying the rest of the remaining new shows finally released after the strike. Bones has more remaining than most of the others - four was my understanding and we've seen two. How sad. I may have to get a DVD of another season to hold me over the summer. My Bones fix....

I loved this week's episode with the baby. Adorable. And Temperence was actually playing wth the little guy when no one was looking! LOL What terrific characters. If you missed it, go watch it on the Fox website.

Pair of Klipspringers

Klipspringers are dwarf antelopes found in woodland regions of Africa. They have an excellent sense of balance and can stand on the tips of their hooves.
My photo contest entry for Kasey's blog:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Published in Spain

Harlequin books are published across the globe. I recently got copies of two of my books which were published in Madrid.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Did anyone watch Grey's Anatomy last week?

What did you think?
I felt as though I missed something. And I still want to &*%$# slap Izzie. As if Dead Denny and the deer weren't bad enough, putting Cheech Martin through a battery of unnecessary tests just to chalk up points was ridiculous. Don't we need to feel a tad of respect for the medical profession when we watch?

We're told Meredith and McDreamy will finally be together this year. What are we waiting for? George needs a kick in the...rump. Christine's story line is in the trash can. Callie and the new doctor? I'm getting creeped out there.

AFter its long-awaited return, Grey’s Anatomy earned its lowest first-run rating ever last Thursday.

16 million viewers
6.3 rating/15 share among adults 18-49.
It still beat out its competition, becoming the highest-rated scripted show since February. That speaks highly of the sad state of television these days.

ABC wasn’t the only network to see huge drops in their ratings.
CBS and NBC hit all time lows as well, and FOX came in fourth.

Well, ER may be heading for its last season and fumbling a few plot threads, but for bigger-than-life excitement and realism, they still win hands down in my book.

Fancy yourself in a novel? inc. is the brainchild of husband/wife team Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher, who make up the writer called Fletcher Newbern. They created the company in 1992, and apparently have written 16 out of the 24 novels available. Who wrote the rest? Ten contest winners who wrote "Celebrating Romance," ten short stories selected to celebrate's 10th anniversary.

They call themselves "romance writers," but after reading the excerpts one might disagree. No one ever said the stories were well written.

Look at the prices they charge for this gimmick:
Paperback $49.95
Paperback with picture of the couple $74.95
Hardback $94.95
Hardback with picture of the couple $119.95

Pricey for a gag gift. Self-publishing is expensive, and at one book per order, they're not getting a bulk rate. Someone must be buying the books for the team to stay in business.

From their website:
Newbern: "I was on a panel at a public relations conference and the ice-breaker question was: 'What would people be surprised to find out about you?' I answered that I had written a yet-to-be published romance novel, which got an appropriate response. Fletcher, then my boyfriend, had driven to the conference with me, and at lunch, one of the women, a friend, at the table said, 'Wouldn't it be great to read about yourself in one of those romance novels?' Well, we all laughed and kidded around about it. Then, on the four-hour drive home, Fletcher and I looked at each other, and the proverbial light bulb went off. We said, 'You know, we could do that!' and actually started outlining our first book, 'Another Day in Paradise,' on the back of a manila folder on the drive. We started writing it the next day."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's Springtime in the Heartland

I've been busy creating a couple of proposals for new stories that are contracted, but not written. Weekends we pretty much putter at getting the kitchen wrapped up. We have our living room painted now and most of the furniture put back -- it's amazing. Of course everything is half or partially done - wood trim especially. But I did unearth my cookbooks! For months, I had to find recipes online instead of in my favorite dog-eared books.

We're gearing up for a graduation in the family! Remember those gorgeous photos I posted a while back? Only a couple of weeks now.

It's Spring in Nebraska. We waver from cold and rainy to beautiful sunshine. It's still a tad early for planting or gardening, but people have been mowing already. And we've only just put away the snowblowers!

What's up with you this week?

Thought for the day....

Friday, April 25, 2008

May Day, May Day!

May day is "Ask An Editor & Get A Prize Day" at Writers At Play.

May 1st is approaching fast! Don't forget to stop by Writers At Play this Thursday to win loads of books and other prizes. Plus chat with Harlequin editor, Melissa Endlich and find out how your favorite books make it to a bookstore near you. For loads of editor insights, book giveaways and fun, visit: Writers At Play

When: Thursday - May 1, 2008
Where: Writers at Play
Who: Harlequin Senior editor Melissa Endlich & You
Time: All day


The robins are so fat this time of year! This brave one didn't even budge when the kis and I got really close to its nest.


These cranes are on a gigantic nest on top of a pavillion.

Beautiful Bird

Brigette Bardot: Then and Now

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Legacy of Secrets by Sara Mitchell

Amid the splendors and miseries of the Gilded Age, Neala Shaw suddenly found herself entirely alone. The innocent young heiress—penniless now—had no choice but to face her family's fatal legacy of secrets and lies. And as she fled from a ruthless killer, nothing stood between her and certain death but a man unlike any she had ever known….

Grayson Faulkner's years as a detective and bounty hunter had marked him forever, leading him far from his once-strong values. But as he sought to protect this very special young woman—masquerading as her suitor, to save her reputation and her very life—he began to wonder if her selfless love and limitless faith could somehow guide even him home….



Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Take the dolphin stress test

This is a simple test designed to indicate whether people have too much stress in their lives.

It's a picture of two dolphins. The two dolphins appear normal when viewed by a stress-free individual. This test is not accurate enough to pick up mild stress levels.

It's quite simple. If there is anything that appears different about the dolphins (ignore the fact of the slight color differences) it is often an indication of potential stress-related problems. Differences, if any, may also indicate the source of your stress.

Sit upright and viewing the screen head-on, take a deep breath, breathe out and then scroll down to the picture and look directly at it.

If there is anything out of the ordinary then you should consider taking things a little easier..


scroll down

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No Comment

I've Been Tagged

I was tagged by Kathleen Grieve. I must really be procrastinating, because I never do these things.

Here are the rules:

a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random facts about me:
1. I have a closet rule that will make my friend Cyndy Salzmann happy: When I buy a pair of shoes, one pair must leave. This makes me stop and really think hard before buying a new pair, because I really like all of my shoes.

2. One of my best friends since I was tiny is also my cousin. Her name is Diana and we can go months without talking and then pick up as though our last chat had been yesterday.

3. My grandmother named me, and my lifetime scripture is "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10. A few years ago my mother gave me a ring she inherited from my grandmother - a beautiful square ruby.

4. My husband's favorite Jell-o is strawberry with sliced bananas, and I happen to hate that kind. BLECHK!

5. I had a metal Disneyland lunch box when I was in elementary school.

6. I married the brother-in-law of my best friend since grade school. Laurie and I were friends as kids and teenagers, and we're been sister-in-laws for...well a few years now.

The six unfortunate people I tag are:
Anne Carrole
Mary Connealy
Rebecca Ryan
Nita Wick

Monday, April 21, 2008

ER is winding down....

Next season will be ER's fifteenth and final season. Amazing, isn't it? I'll have to do a tribute to ER next season. Jay always hears me saying, "He used to be on ER," regarding half the shows or movies we watch! LOL

Maura Tierney is only doing half the season. She wanted to be killed off, but they won't do that. They'll probably send her to Croatia.

Low-rise jeans are out this season!

Thanks goodness! I'm so tired of seeing girls with plumber's cracks every time they sit or bend over.

I didn't dignify low rise jeans with a picture.

Spring Author Round Up

Bookmark it and check in next week!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Klondike Fever by Kate Bridges

Harlequin Historical
April 2008
ISBN: 9780373294916

Sexy Mountie Dylan Wayburn is having a bad day. Disguised as a drifter, he fetches up in the same stagecoach as Lily Cromwell, a beautiful redhead who was once a family servant. She could blow his cover sky-high. Then their stagecoach is held up at gunpoint—because everyone knows that Lily has struck gold.

Pretending to be married to search for the gang who've stolen Klondike Lily's fortune leaves Dylan very, very close to the woman he should protect. He'll try and fight the flames of his desire...but how can he ignore the full lips begging to be kissed?



Wednesday, April 16, 2008




I'm blogging at Petticoats and Pistols today! You wouldn't believe the topic if I told you, so you'll just have to click over and see for yourself.


While you're there, don't forget to enter the Spring Round Up Contest! Here are the awesome prizes one lucky winner will get. Scroll down under my blog and you'll see the announcement.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

Switched at Birth
Okay, so I'm back at it. Seventeen-year-old Kassie Hopkins in Illinois knew something was wrong when she looked at the baby the staff wanted her to take home. Say wha???

While leaving Heartland Regional Medical Center, Mary Jo Bathon had a bad feeling as well. But the hospital said this was her baby. Hello! Wouldn't you know?? She'd already spent a couple days with this infant, right? She took the baby home.

Lo and behold hospital personnel had mixed up the babies! Kassie quick got herself an attorney and sued. What an emotional trauma.

The hospital called Mary Jo the same day and left a message on her answering machine. I'd love to hear that one. "Hello? This is Nurse Ratchet. Um, we gave you the wrong baby. Please bring that one back and we'll make an even exchange. Sorry for the inconvenience."

The lawyer wants an investigation. Duh. They're asking 5o thousand for each mother and a jury trial.

How did this happen? Apparently both boys were circumcised at the same time and their ankle tags came off. Someone put them back on the wrong babies. They did DNA testing to make sure which baby was which. Um, they could have asked their mothers.

"We genuinely regret the circumstances surrounding the discharge of these infants," said hospital spokeswoman Staci Bynum. "Fortunately, the situation was quickly identified and corrected within hours, with both healthy babies being joined with their families."

I'll bet they regret that. At least it wasn't one of those nightmares where the truth isn't discovered for five or six or ten years. This is kind of thing authors put in novels and then hear people say it's far-fetched. LOL

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Last night I stayed up really really late entering art fact sheet information into Harlequin's system. I'm not tearing into the day yet, I'm easing my way in and getting around to making a few plans. My weeks have been so full and hectic, I'm simply enjoying a few hours of quiet on this one day.

I do have more deadlines, but I'll go back to work on those tomorrow.

But today, I'm baking myself a cake. It probably won't look like this one, but it will be CHOCOLATE. What else?

I Need a Hero!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Brenda Novak's May Auction for Diabetes Research

Petticoats & Pistols Western Loot

Every year Brenda Novak holds an online auction to raise money for diabetes research, and every year it gets bigger and better! This year the P&P Fillies have donated a bag of goodies.

Check out the description and pic:
Autographed books by the fillies of Petticoats & Pistols, western romance authors Linda Broday, Mary Connealy, Pam Crooks, Geralyn Dawson, Karen Kay, Stacey Kayne, Elizabeth Lane, Patricia Potter, Charlene Sands and Cheryl St.John.

An entire bouquet of fine western reads all tucked into a Petticoats & Pistols loot bag--along with a sterling silver pendent from Cheryl St.John, a variety of bookmarks, and a little something chocolatey for the sweet tooth.



I'll post again to remind you when the bidding starts. There's lots of great stuff!

A Trip Down Memory lane

There's a gal named Gemma who has a site where she lists all the Harlequin Historicals from 1977 until now. It's pretty incredible. There are covers missing here and there, but she's filling them in. She also lists all the Mills and Boon releases.

I loved loved loved looking through all those vintage covers and remembering all of those books that I had read. They reminded me of hours of reading pleasure. And back then I only dreamed of being one of those authors.

Like these covers I've posted. Do you know who Kristin James is? Candace Camp. There's another in this trilogy called The Hellraiser by Dorothy Glenn. That's Dorothy Garlock. Back then all Harlequin authors had to take a pseudonym. There isn't a cover for The Hellraiser posted. Maybe I'll have to dig out my copy and sent it to Gemma.

Harlequin Historical
May 2008
ISBN: 9780373294985 (#898)

A Viking raid
They claimed they came in peace, but soon Lindisfarne was aflame. Annis of Birdoswald fled in fear, but she could not escape the Norse warriors.

An honorable captor
One man protected her—Haakon Haroldson. The dark, arrogant Viking swept Annis back to his homeland, taking her away from all she held dear.

A new life—as his mistress!
Now Annis must choose between the lowly work that befits a captive, or a life of sinful pleasure in the Viking's arms!

Read Excerpt


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Judy Duarte talks about her new release, Mulberry Park

I'm delighted to introduce my friend Judy and give her this opportunity to share about an exciting new release.

When people learn that I’m multi-published, most of them ask where I get my ideas. Some even want to offer suggestions for stories they don’t have the time or the confidence to write. But truthfully? I’m not in need of ideas. I’m bombarded with more than my share every day.

Sometimes a song on the radio will spark an idea. Or an article in the newspaper will catch my eye. Even a nearly forgotten memory will do the trick.
In fact, that’s how MULBERRY PARK, the book of my heart, came to be.

Do you remember those notes we used to write in school?
Dear Jimmy,
Do you love me? Mark the one .
Yes____ or No____

Well, that’s the kind of letter I’m talking about. But the one that actually tickled my imagination and sparked the inciting incident in MULBERRY PARK wasn’t written to a boy I had a crush on.

It was written to God.

“Oh! You’re a writer!”
When I couldn’t find a satisfactory answer to my question through ordinary measures, like asking the adults around me, I sat down and wrote a letter to God, tucked it between the mattresses of my bed, and went to sleep, knowing I’d have the answer by morning.

Of course, God didn’t respond in the way in which I’d expected-- with the pen I’d included in my letter and a big X in the Yes or No boxes I’d drawn. So, needless to say, I was disappointed.

In retrospect, and with a few years behind me-- I won’t tell you how many-- I now realize that I’d had His answer all along.

You see, my mother had already given it to me. I just hadn’t agreed. So I went around her—and over her head. I’d planned for God to clarify things and set her straight.

Two years ago, during an RWA conference, I was sitting in a hotel room, resting for a moment between workshops. I was a long way from home and waxing nostalgic. Memories are often linked, and as one flipped to the next, that letter to God came to mind, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if I wrote a story in which a child wrote a letter to God?”

Oh, wow. And wouldn’t it be cool if someone found that letter and wrote back, as if he or she were God?

Ooh. And what if the child began peppering that poor person with more notes…?
And there you have it--the start of MULBERRY PARK, my first women’s fiction novel.
God didn’t answer my question that night--nor did He eat the red licorice I left him. But He answered me indirectly, which is what He does in MULBERRY PARK.

When Analisa Dawson, a seven-year-old orphan, can’t find the answers she seeks, she takes a felt-tip marker and addresses God. Then she places her note in a flamingo pink envelope, decorated with globs of glue and glitter, and sets it high in a large Mulberry tree in the center of the park, believing the branches reach all the way to Heaven.

Claire Harper, a jogger whose faith was shattered by the loss of her son, finds the heartfelt plea and feels compelled to respond. That simple act sets motion to a miracle that touches the lives of nine different people, all strangers to each other, all lonely and hurting in their own way.

In the pages of MULBERRY PARK, the characters learn, as I have over the years, that sometimes God’s voice is a whisper in the wind, a peace within the storm. And that some of His biggest miracles occur when the heart listens and obeys.



The Gratitude Campaign

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Here's a new Harlequin Historical anthology for all of us western novella lovers!

Of course I'll be doing a future blog on that church. It sure gets around, doesn't it?

Rocky Mountain Bride by Jillian Hart

Savannah Knowles arrives in Montana expecting to marry Nate Brooks, but he has never heard of her! Can this quiet man find room in his heart for lonely Savannah?

Shotgun Vows by Kate Bridges

Milly Thornbottom has a crush on Mountie Weston Williams, and one stolen kiss changes their lives! After they're marched straight to the altar, can her crush possibly develop into more?

Springville Wife by Charlene Sands

Grace Lander returns to Springville to pick up the pieces of her life and become the town's schoolmarm. Single father Caleb Matlock's kiss may be just what Grace needs to mend her heart and make a home!

If you like hunky mishievous heroes with a twinkle in their eyes, then you'll love Caleb Matlock. The town of Springville holds a big batch of secrets that only his love can reveal.


My Adult Delivery

UPS calls a day ahead to make sure someone will be home to sign for deliveries from wine .com. I got the call and knew it was my bottle of champagne from Harlequin. The editors and team send the RITA finalists a bottle of bubbly. How great is that?

I didn't have a minute to do Kasey's still life challenge last month, so this morning I whipped out my Sony and dusted off last year's RITA bottle (we're such big drinkers, ya know) and shot this. I broke a bloom from the orchids my agent sent. Now I have a commemorative kind of photo and a still life all in one.

AFter last night with my wonderful can't-live-without-them critique partners (thank you *lizzie, Donna and Sherri) I was up until 2 AM doing edits. I still have a few more to polish. I was a wee bit stuck at the end. And then the book will be in my editor's hands. I love this story. More about that later.

Anyhoo I got a reminder from RWA office that they hadn't rec'd my copies of the novella for the final judging! Oh no! Dragged my hiney out of bed this morning and shot to the PO to get them sent off.

Almost caught up. But not.
I'm making split pea soup today. mmmm Jay is putting up new trim around the front windows. I've finally trained the dog not to bark at the nail gun. More about my new dog whisperer career later, too.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hello? Can anybody hear me?

From a website called Switched, mainly about gadets and technical stuff, comes this report by Joshua Fruhlinger.

It was five years ago when Frank Jones' wife and son died unexpectedly. His son, Steven, died of a brain tumor at an early 32. Three months later, his wife, Sadie died from a heart attack at the age of 69. Sadie was a cell phone addict. "She always had a mobile with her," Jones told the Blackpool Gazette. So, of course, they buried Sadie with her cell phone.

Now Jones believes Sadie is getting service six feet under, and she has been sending him text messages with words only Sadie would say. Of course, there is no return number on the messages or missed calls, leading Jones to believe the communications are [from] his deceased wife.

Creepy? Yes. But here's where things get creepier: The house Jones lives in has a history of hauntings from a being called "The Thornton Thing". The entity drove a family from the house in 1971, and after the Jones family suffered hauntings as well, they had the house exorcised.

It wasn't until the untimely deaths of his wife and son did Jones start experiencing messages from beyond. The obvious question we can't help asking: What kind of service does one get up there? She's clearly getting a lot of dropped calls.

I remember a story years ago, where a woman kept getting weird calls and come to find out the phone line was down in the cemetery. LOL

I tell ya what, when I go, DON'T put a cell phone in the box with me. I've had enough hectic distractions and am looking forward to the peace and quiet.

photo contest

Wine on the Keyboard is a favorite blog of mine for the delightful photographs Kacey posts every day. Right now she's holding a contest for favorite photo of March.

If you wanted to hop on over you might see one you recognize.


Malaysian Man Gets Double Whammy Divorce

associated press report:

When Roslan Ngah took a second wife, he might have wondered if she would get along with his first.

He need not have worried. The two women got on so well they decided to leave him at the same time.

Faced with their united stand, Roslan, a 44-year-old Malaysian Muslim, divorced his two wives, aged 46 and 35, in an Islamic Shariah Court in northeastern Terengganu state on Tuesday, a lawyer said Wednesday.

According to Islamic law, a woman can submit a request to leave her husband, but the pronouncement of divorce must come from the man or a court. Islam allows a man to have four wives.

Salwa Mansor, the second wife's lawyer, said the wives cited irreconcilable differences and other complaints.

The Star daily quoted Roslan as saying that he was aware his two wives had become close over the years.

"They are like good friends but I never imagined that both of them had collectively decided to divorce me," Roslan was quoted him as saying. "I never expected our marriages to end in this manner."

Roslan has four children with his first wife and two with his second.

Roslan reportedly said he would marry again, "God willing."

"If my fate says so, I have no qualms and this time I hope that my marriage will last forever," The Star quoted him as saying.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

American Idol Favorites

'American Idol' contestant David Cook is "doing fine" after being hospitalized because he felt heart palpitations following Tuesday night's show, a PEOPLE source confirms. According to the report, the rock-loving Cook was treated at the hospital for high blood pressure, and was shortly released.

The hospitalization came after Cook unleashed another praise-worthy performance, belting out his own take on Dolly Parton's 'Little Sparrow.' Following the performance, Cook was not among the rest of the contestants. TMZ broke the story and reports that Cook has been stressed out behind the scenes because his ailing brother, who is battling cancer, had a setback. How sad.

David is among my favorites. Michael, one of my early predictions who lost a little favor for a time, is now back in my hot list. I love love love Carly. I still love Jason, and while he had a weak song last time, I think he did great with his Dolly choice. I am concerned for him, though, because he's not quite as versatile as some of the others when it comes to these song limitations.

I used to really like Ramiele, but she can go. I like David A and believe he's incredibly talented. Would I buy a CD or watch a concert. Probably not. That's how I decide. I can't believe Kristy is still there, except she's cute and blond and shows off her, um--assets.

With DialIdol this year, you can vote who to keep safe or who to make unsafe. I usually choose who I think needs the votes to stay safe. But this week I simply voted for Ramiele, Kristy and Saesha to be unsafe. Saesha is okay, but she tries to belt those big songs and is too often screechy or flat. I don't know if Dolly or Whitney's version of I Will Always Love You is my favorite because they're both so beautiful. Saesha should have stayed with the sweeter version. I'm a huge Dolly fan, and it just makes me sad to see her...well, getting a few years on. She's still adorable.

So anyway, who blew me away this week? Carly. And Michael.

Since I realized the itunes downloads are full versions of the songs (duh) I'm going to download a few for my ipod. Has anyone tried it?

Hear Michael's bluesy version of a Dolly song:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Book Sales Rise in the New Year

Good news!

The Adult Hardcover category was up by 4.2 percent in January with sales of $94.4 million. Adult Paperback sales rose 37.6 percent for the month ($135.2 million). The Adult Mass Market category rose by 17.3 percent for January with sales totaling $65.3 million. The Children’s/YA Hardcover category saw a decrease of 21.9 percent for the month with sales of $33.6 million. The Children’s/YA Paperback category was up by 28.2percent in January with sales totaling $34.0 million.

To read the enetire press release, click here.

Napping on the sofa

I don't know why I like this photo so much. I love the vintage throw; you can even see all the threads that make up the pattern. I love the strip of sunlight across Alexis's face and how it touches her eyelashes.

I just like it.